With days left to the Champion’s Trophy, India are bidding to lay their hands on the trophy for the first time.
The cricket world champions however, are going in with an inexperienced squad which is not used to English conditions.
The selectors dropped Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh amongst others who played a vital role in earning India their second World Cup.
The pressure would be on young shoulders of Dhawan, Vijay, Karthik and Rohit Sharma who have been given an opportunity to prove their mettle. But it might prove to be a huge gamble since these players lack experience.
Vijay has been a slow starter whilst Rohit has been in and out of the team for a long time. The Mumbai batsman who was once compared to Sachin Tendulkar failed to dazzle and was eventually dropped from the 2011 World Cup squad.
Karthick has been out of international cricket for a while but the performance in the Indian Premier League shows a promising future for the wicket-keeper batsman.
Dhawan has won accolades after the fastest ton on debut and he would look to replace Sehwag permanently as an attacking opener.
The English conditions are bowler friendly with hard, dry and bouncy pitches, which can test batting skills to their limits. Middle order depends on Kohli, Raina and Dhoni who have been consistent.
Kohli has a fair average of around 50 in one day matches but his performance in Australia was scrutinized. Most of his runs came in under sub continental conditions and it would be good to see how he tackles the South African pacers. It is to be noted that he scored nearly 2000 runs last year.
Raina has always had problems facing the short ball and he failed to attack pace bowlers. He plays a key role in shaping innings under critical conditions. The 26-year-old averages 37 in ODIs and it would be important to see his approach.
Skipper Dhoni has shown some tremendous improvement in the 2011 series against England as compared to his first visit in 2007.
To solve the problem of an all rounder, the selectors have picked up Irfan Pathan and Ravinder Jadeja. Dhoni would rely on his trump card Ashwin but Amit Mishra’s performance has been splendid.
Delhi boys Ishant and Umesh would be the ones to go with. Praveen Kumar and Vinay Kumar are also making a comeback after saving crucial runs in the final overs during IPL matches.
Bowling has always been a problem for India and with an unchallenged batting order it does look scary for the Indians.
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