Likely Indian Team for ICC Champions Trophy 2017 (Part 1)

May 8 update: India’s confirmed Champions Trophy 2017 squad is the same as what Cricfooty had predicted. Injured Lokesh Rahul has been replaced by his state team-mate and Kolkata Knight Riders star Manish Pandey!

At the time of writing this article, 94 days are left for the start of ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in England. This 94-day period could be looked at as a relatively short one or a fairly long one. From Indian Cricket‘s perspective, Virat Kohli and co. are currently involved in a four-Test series against Australia and after its culmination, a lot of the players from the Indian squad will be joining up with their IPL franchises for IPL 2017.

In cricketing terms, three months is a fairly long time during which players can get injured, firstly, and suffer a drop in form too. The IPL, in particular, with the travelling, matches being played in quick succession and the hustle-bustle nature of T20 cricket, can be draining for the players.

Team India’s performances, though, during the limited-overs series wins over England and the 3-2 ODI series win over New Zealand last year, have given us a bit of guide as to what the final 15-man squad for the Champions Trophy might be.

Likely Indian Squad for ICC Champions Trophy 2017

The Vijay Hazare Trophy 2017 began yesterday (February 25) in Cuttack and many Indian players—including the former Indian captain MS Dhoni (Jharkhand), Shikhar Dhawan (Delhi), Yuvraj Singh (Punjab), Manish Pandey (Karnataka), Ashish Nehra (Delhi), Mandeep Singh (Punjab), Suresh Raina (Uttar Pradesh), Jasprit Bumrah (Gujarat), Hardik Pandya (Baroda), etc.—who were part of the squads for the ODI and T20I series against England, are involved in this domestic one-day tournament.

Nehra, for instance, has said that he would love to play in the Champions Trophy and make an ODI return after exactly six years. And his bowling performances for Delhi, over the next fortnight, could give the Indian selectors an indication of his fitness, most importantly, taking into account that the left-arm pacer has been injury prone throughout his career and getting through 10 overs in an ODI is a lot different from bowling four overs in a T20I.

Indian Openers for the Champions Trophy

When the selectors sit down to pick the Indian squad, the biggest topic of discussion will be the opening pairing and who is the third opener.

13, 14 and 13 were the stands provided by the regular and makeshift Indian openers in the three-ODI series against England, which was missed by Rohit Sharma because he has been recovering from a right quadriceps injury suffered during the final ODI vs. New Zealand.

The Mumbai batsman will probably return to India’s squad for the final two Tests against Australia and if he does not suffer any further injuries, he is a certainty in India’s 15-man squad for the Champions Trophy. He is India’s No. 1 opener in ODIs and T20Is.

But the bigger question is, who will partner Rohit at the top of the order?

One of Ajinkya Rahane‘s two ODI centuries has come in England, more specifically at the Edgbaston in Birmingham, where India and Pakistan lock horns on June 4. Rahane has played better in overseas conditions than he has in India, across formats. But he has flattered to deceive lately in limited-overs cricket: big-hitting isn’t his forte and Rahane also struggles to rotate strike regardless of the position he bats at. Rohit’s partner, ideally, has to be someone who is capable of scoring runs in a hurry in the mandatory powerplay and Rahane is definitely not a batsman who suits that role.

Lokesh Rahul has played only half-a-dozen ODIs for India, and against England, the Karnataka batsman managed a meagre tally of 24 runs in three innings. While Rahul has the repertoire of an opener, he is very much a new face in the Indian limited-overs setup. Plus, like Rahane, KL Rahul is a right-hander and from a tactical viewpoint, the Indian team management might want to have a left-right batting combination at the top.

Which then brings us to Shikhar Dhawan, who is enduring a rough patch and is not the batsman he was at the start of 2016. However, the ODI series against England was his first since the five-ODI series between Australia and India in January 2016, when he was one of the leading run-scorers for India, along with Rohit and Kohli. Dhawan failed in the first two ODIs against England and wasn’t picked for the third ODI in Kolkata, the reason for which was unclear because the Delhi southpaw had gone for a doctor consultation before the match regarding a bruising on his previously fractured left thumb and had failed in the first two one-dayers too.

Mind you, Dhawan was the man of the Champions Trophy 2013, which was also played in England, for his tally of 363 runs and the Delhi southpaw has forged a good opening partnership with Rohit Sharma. He is arguably the perfect foil for Rohit, who likes to play the bulk of the 50 overs and Dhawan’s proactive batting upfront does give the Mumbai batsman the breathing space at the start of his innings. From the team welfare’s point of view too, Dhawan can give India a headstart and help grab the early initiative.

Openers in the Indian team for ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul (third or backup opener)

Indian Middle Order

The Indian middle order picks itself, with captain Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni slotting themselves at Nos. 3, 4 and 5. This is the most straightforward selection for the selectors when they sit down to pick the Indian team for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.

Yuvraj and Dhoni played just one good knock each in the three ODIs against England, as this iconic duo struck their 14th and 10th ODI hundreds while being involved in a record 256-run stand for the fourth wicket in the second ODI in Cuttack.

Although Dhoni and Yuvraj aren’t the batsmen they once were and could be a liability if they walk in with their team two or three down with not many on the board, India will hope that this duo deliver the goods.

Kedar Jadhav has displaced Suresh Raina and become a No. 6 batsman who India can rely on. He put up an exhibition of his batting skills in the three ODIs against England, making 232 runs, and has made No. 6 his own ahead of the Champions Trophy 2017. Jadhav will be vital to India’s chances of retaining the trophy they won in the 2013 edition of this tournament.

Middle order batsmen in the Indian squad for Champions Trophy 2017: Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (WK), and Kedar Jadhav

Read: Part 2 of the probable Indian squad for Champions Trophy 2017

Have your say in the comments: Who should be Rohit Sharma’s opening partner?




54 comments

  1. I highly doubt the inclusion of Dhawan, Mandeep Singh. And I see Kedhar Jadav has a better chance over Hardik pandya.

    1. I hope you are talking about the playing XI.

      I would be really surprised if Shikhar Dhawan doesn’t get picked in the squad for the Champions Trophy, first and foremost. Kedar Jadhav is a certainty in the Indian squad and will likely be India’s No. 6 in the eighth edition of this tournament. Hardik Pandya too, is likely to make the squad. Whether he plays depends on the composition of the side which the team management covets: do they want an out-and-out pacer instead of a seam-bowling all-rounder or vice versa.

      1. I am sort of not in line with your thoughts over Dhawan. Hardly he had opportunities to play any recent games, And I dont know if he kept himself busy in any of the domestic tournaments either. But lets see how the list could shape up. Ofcourse we need bowling all rounders for a tournament like Champions Trophy.

        1. Shikhar Dhawan is currently playing for Delhi in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2017 and the two ODIs he played against England last month, were the first he played since January 2016, when he had a good series against Australia Down Under.

  2. Suresh Raina should be given a chance
    to prove himself and he makes a good combination with Dhoni.he is a handy fielder too.He has proven his worth in the T20’s against England now its time for him to showcase his skills in the one dayers.

    1. I understand where you’re coming from, Karthik.

      But in place of whom can you accommodate Suresh Raina?

      Kedar Jadhav has cemented the No. 6 position in the Indian batting line-up. Yuvraj Singh struck his best one-day score in the second ODI against England and he too showed that he can still contribute to the Indian limited-overs side, with some lusty hitting in the third T20I against England in Bangalore. So, he is pretty much a certainty too, to be picked in the Indian squad. Another batsman who is likely to be stuck with is Ajinkya Rahane. Amid so many names, I do not see Raina making India’s Champions Trophy squad, despite as you say, his commitment, athleticism on the field and the strong partnership he has shared with the former Indian captain, MS Dhoni, throughout his career.

      Let us wait and see if the Indian selectors think differently.

    2. Karthik, I agree with the attributes you’ve mentioned about Suresh Raina: handy fielder and makes for a good combination with MS Dhoni in the Indian middle order.

      Raina did excel with the bat in the T20Is against England, but success in one format does not always guarantee success in another. And the UP batsman last played an ODI for India nearly 18 months ago. In that time, the players who have had a chance, the likes of Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey and Hardik Pandya, have done well and proved their value to the team.

      The time Raina has spent outside the Indian one-day side might well work against him.

  3. Suresh raina also should be given chance in champions trophy he is good batsman in Indian team he is best combination to msd

    1. Not to forget that Suresh Raina is a great fielder too, and on the big grounds in England (Edgbaston and Oval, where India play their Group B fixtures), he will be an asset to India with his safe pair of hands and fleet-footedness.

      But unfortunately for the UP batsman, he hasn’t played One-Day International cricket for more than a year now. And the players who have replaced Raina, have done well, particularly Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya.

      If Raina has to be included in the 15, Ajinkya Rahane will probably have to make way, as another middle order batsman. Otherwise, no other player who could potentially be picked in the Indian squad for ICC Champions Trophy 2017, can be left out for Raina.

  4. Rohit Sharma has got more than enough opportunities in the side but he is not consistent at all. I am surprised why selectors still prefer him into the side. Can anyone remember Rohit or Rahane (too) both have won the matches for India while chasing a target under pressure, like Virat, Yuvi, Raina or Gautam did in the past regularly. Why selectors are not showing any faith now a days on Gautam, Raina, or Yuvi even Shikhar? Few young players like Sanju Samson, Nitesh Rana, Krunal Pandya, Rishabh Pant, Karun etc. deserves the place into the side. Champions trophy is the good tournament to insert young blood into the side with experienced men like virat and company. But now plz don’t go again to Rohit and Rahane.

    1. Yogesh, MS Dhoni’s decision to get Rohit Sharma opening the batting for India has paid rich dividends.

      Rohit started making hundreds once he started to open the innings in ODIs and truth be told, Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan have been a great opening partnership for India in ODIs in the last couple of years.

      I do not know how you say Rohit “is not consistent at all”: only a little more than 12 months ago, in Australia, Rohit scored a couple of hundreds and made more than 400 runs in a five-ODI series. Before this series, against South Africa at home, Rohit once again excelled with the bat, amassing over 250 runs in a five-ODI series.

      After being rested for India’s tour of Zimbabwe in June 2016, he returned to action against New Zealand and didn’t actually enjoy a good one-day series with the bat against the Kiwis, but isn’t he, like any other player, bound to have one bad series?

      With Rohit, what you get is solidity at the top of the order. One of the reasons I say that Rohit and S Dhawan should open for India in the Champions Trophy is these two batsmen complement each other really well. Rohit the anchor looks to play a bulk of the 50 overs and Dhawan is the enforcer at the top of the order for India, collecting runs in a hurry in the mandatory powerplay and putting the opposition on the back-foot.

      So, no, Yogesh, I don’t agree with your opinion that Rohit isn’t consistent.

      You’ve said Ajinkya Rahane hasn’t won many matches for India in ODIs, I agree, but Rahane and Rohit cannot be compared because the former has yet to establish himself in the Indian ODI side. He’s one of the indispensable batsmen in Tests for India, but in ODIs, due to reasons aplenty, he has yet nail down a spot.

      Rohit isn’t having a great IPL and didn’t score runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy either. But after a four-month layoff, you are bound to feel rusty and anxious. I hope, for the welfare of Indian Cricket, that Rohit starts to score runs for Mumbai Indians and finds form ahead of the Champions Trophy. Because India will prosper with Rohit in the side.

      You’ve mentioned a good set of youngsters, Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant, Krunal Pandya, and Karun Nair, who might go on to play for India in the near future, but I doubt the selectors picking them for the Champions Trophy. Yes, if Lokesh Rahul doesn’t recover from the left shoulder injury, then someone like Pant might replace the Karnataka batsman. But we still have about five weeks to go before the squad for the Champions Trophy is announced, so the injured players have time to recover.

  5. Shikhar Dhawan, Gautam Gambhir, K.L. Rahul even Murali Vijay can open the innings easily. Rohit Sharma is not doing well even in I.P.L. matches. But still it looks like no one from selection committee or team management is concerned about that factor.

    1. Yogesh, though performances in IPL have been and will be considered by the Indian selectors for picking players for the national side, the current scenario is a little different.

      The selectors will not be unaware of which players are doing well and which players aren’t in the IPL this season. But in my opinion, the selectors are unlikely to make too many changes to the side they picked for the ODI series against England.

      Rohit Sharma will be back and despite his failures in that series, Shikhar Dhawan is likely to be picked because of his performances in the 2013 edition of the ICC Champions Trophy and the successful partnership he shares with Rohit at the top of the order. Lokesh Rahul, if he recovers in time from the left shoulder injury, he will make the squad too… despite his three failures in the ODIs against England.

      But the reason the likes of Gautam Gambhir and Murali Vijay might not get into the side for the Champions Trophy or in future ODI series is the time they’ve spent outside the Indian ODI setup.

  6. i think rohit opening partner should shikhar dhawan and kl rahul should be third opener. i am not satisfied any of your comment because dhawan plays extremely well in last champions trophy in england and this tournament also going to happen in england. dhawan scored 363 runs from five inninngs with two hundreds and one fifty. kedhar jadhav and hardik pandya both should be included in squad.

    1. Adarsh, if Shikhar Dhawan is picked, he will partner Rohit Sharma at the top of the order and Lokesh Rahul will have to wait for his opportunity. In case S Dhawan isn’t picked, however, then KL Rahul will partner Rohit.

    1. Right, Adarsh!

      And, India v Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy has been a different story from India v Pakistan in an ICC Cricket World Cup or World T20.

      Pakistan have won their last two meetings with India in the ICC Champions Trophy and in 2003, they beat India at the Edgbaston in Birmingham, where the two sides will lock horns on June 4 (Sunday).

  7. i think suresh raina should certainly in the ct squad. He is one of the best fielders in world crickt and even he bats pretty well. i think he should be there in place of jadhav or rahane

    1. Adi, Suresh Raina needs to have a very good IPL season if he is to put himself in the selectors’ minds. Also, Raina has to be fortunate, in that if the other players get injured, then the UP southpaw might break into the side.

  8. i think what you are saying suresh raina is a verygood all-rounder that a very good point to make. but what suhith is saying is also truly right word. and i also belive that raina needs a very good ipl to gets back into selectors radar and at in the four matches that he played, he is not that impresive with 136 runs in four matches with a strike rate of just over 128. but lets not forget last time he play in england in a odi series, he hits a hundred.

  9. Please don’t pick up Ajinkya rahane for champions trophy 2017. Please pickup shikher dhawan
    Why does selectors not go for shikher dhawan

    1. Ajinkya Rahane’s place in the Indian ODI side might come under scrutiny, given that he failed with the bat in the three ODIs against England and wasn’t picked for the three T20Is.

      However, the diminutive Mumbai batsman has a good one-day record in England. And, as a squad player, he might be picked because he can bat anywhere the team asks him to.

  10. today is the birthday of kannur lokesh rahul, and prays for him to a speedy recovery of his left sholders to his 25th birthdays. and request to indian selectors please give him a place in squad for champions trophy 2017.

    1. If Lokesh Rahul regains fitness in time, he is likely to be picked. He will keep the two openers on their toes in case he initially doesn’t get to play.

  11. My squard is.
    Kl rahul .
    A.rahane.
    V.kohli
    Y.Singh
    Ms dhoni.
    K.jadhav.
    H. Pandya
    R.jadeja.
    Y.chal \ r. Ashwin.
    U.yadav.
    B.Kumar.
    M.shami \ bumrah.

  12. Hello everyone. Very nice article. i’m really looking forward to the match between India and Pakistan on the 4th of June and i have already bought the ticket to see the match live. Some points i would like to mention.
    1) Although i’m a Pakistani but still i’m amazed by the welter of batting talent that India has right now. Anyone from the likes of Panday, Pant, Super Samson, Triple Centurion Nair has the ability to represent India in the Champions Trophy, but considering the recent performances of Yuvraj and his quintessential hunch of the back while lofting the ball into the stands is shear treat to watch. Dhoni and Yuvraj’s chemistry has always excited me.
    2) Alongside Rohit Sharma i would like to see Gautam Gambhir as he is probably the best indian batsman while it comes to playing spin. I would prefer him over Dhawan who looks elegant against the quickies but appears somewhat out of sorts while facing spin. Hafeez (with his new action) , Malik , Imad Waseem and the new sensacion Shadab Khan vs the likes of Kohli and Gambhir would be an interesting contest.
    3) Another battle would be whether the Pakistani pacers would be able to get some early scalps or not. Young Amir ( although now a mere shadow of what he was 6 years ago) and Hassan Ali with the fizzy action can they get Kohli early on and if they do so how would the rest of the Indian batting respond considering in the recent encounters it has been Kohli vs Pakistani Bowling.
    4) Lastly i hope this match would be more competitive as Babar Azam brings some Solidity to the fragile batting line up and other pinch hitters like Kami and company can play around him.

    1. A really top comment, Hassan!

      Your analysis and preview of India vs Pakistan on June 4, are of a high quality as well.

      India cannot take Pakistan lightly in English conditions. Mohammed Amir, Wahab Riaz and Hasan Ali are capable of troubling the Indian batsmen, and I think that in seamer-friendly English conditions, the team who bat better will win.

      On a fundamental level, we should witness a great contest, considering that this will be the first match of Champions Trophy 2017 for these two teams. And of course, India-Pakistan is India-Pakistan, even though this rivalry has not been what it used to be a decade ago.

      Congratulations on getting the ticket for this match at the Edgbaston.

    2. Yes sr I m agree with u that we will see the battle of India vs pak on 4 June.we know it very well that we can see both team battle only in big tournaments like WC & ct

  13. Suresh raia is the first indian player to score a century in debut in test and he is the first player to score a century in t20 international so that’s why he make a chance in 15 man squad in champion trophy 2017.

    1. Sorry sr I m n’t agree with u that he scored century in first match that’s why we should be picked up.nair has scored triple century that’s mean he should also picked up for ct. Ya I m agree with u that raina should be picked but on the basis current form in IPL .

      1. I think that vijay would n’t be a right choice for ct 2015 bcz there are few better option for open than vijay are available right now.you may picked up gambhir ,dhawan &rahane before him.

      2. If you are talking abt the experience then gambhir is better option than vijay.we all know abt that vijay is brilliant batsman but its all abt test cricket.he could n’t proved himself in odi s.

  14. Gautam & raina should be picked for Indian squad in ct 2017.if we look at the performance of both of them in recent ipl.but it will depend on kohli that what he wants abt the welfare of Indian team.we all are familiar with ability of Gautam in big matches.

  15. Gautam gambir,
    shikhar dhawan (rohit sharma),
    Virat kohli,
    Yuvraj singh (suresh raina),
    Ms dhoni(rishab pant),
    Kedar jadhav (hardik pandya),
    Ravindra jadeja,
    Ashwin (chahal),
    Bhuvaneswar kumar (umesh yadav),
    Bumrah,
    Ashish nehra (shami)

    1. I assume that you’ve bracketed those players who you believe should be picked as back-ups. And I agree with your choices to an extent.

      Only to an extent because no way is someone like Ashish Nehra going to be picked as a first-choice seamer. In fact, the senior Delhi pacer is unlikely to make India’s Champions Trophy squad.

  16. Suresh Raina is India’s highest run getter in this year.He’s in good form.As his bowler’s kept disappointed with the ball Raina kept going with the bat as he already passed 400+.He’s a part time spinner and very handy fielder.Moreover 11 yrs of experience.He’s a must play candidate.If selectors miss his name Team India will badly miss his contribution in CT 2017 for sure.

  17. Suresh Raina is India’s highest run getter in this year.He’s in good form.As his bowler’s kept disappointed with the ball Raina kept going with the bat as he already passed 400+.He’s a part time spinner and very handy fielder.Moreover 11 yrs of experience.He’s a must play candidate.If selectors miss his name Team India will badly miss his contribution in CT 2017 for sure.

    1. Yasin, I completely understand where you come from. Suresh Raina has been a fantastic limited-overs player for India in the last decade. However, he has not been a regular fixture in India’s one-day squads, in particular, since the last cricket world cup in 2015. That’s why he has not made the 15-man Indian squad for Champions Trophy 2017.

  18. indian selectors have announced the team for ct 17. the squad is look like rohit, shikhar, viratkohli (c), yuvraj, ms dhoni (wk), kd jadhav, manish, ajinkya rahane, h pandya, ravi ashwin, ravindra jadeja, bhuvneshwar kumar, mohammed shami, jasprit jashbirsingh bumrahand umesh yadav. the indian selectors also said that rishabh pant, dinesh kartik, suresh raina, kuldeep yadav, shardul thakur will keep as stand by.

    1. Biki, Suresh Raina has been a good limited-overs player for India since his debut in 2006. But you cannot always go by reputation and while Raina missed the action due to injuries, viral fever, etc. the likes of Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey came in and took their opportunities.

      With Raina having been excluded from India’s Champions Trophy squad, I think he will struggle to get into India’s one-day side from now onwards.

      If you’re a Suresh Raina fan, I am sorry to disappoint you, but this is the harsh reality.

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