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CHAMPIONS TROPHY: GROUP A PREVIEW

Tournament opens with England v Bangladesh at The Oval

Australia

ICC ODI ranking: 2

2013 Champions Trophy: Group stage

One to watch: The second-highest ranked seamer in ODI cricket, at 27 the most experienced of Australia’s potentially destructive pace battery completed by Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson. Mitchell Starc has 129 ODI wickets at 19.88 and will be key in restricting opposition batsman and ensuring Australia aren’t totally reliant on David Warner’s astronomical knocks to get them out of trouble.

A word from the skipper... “I’m really excited about this tournament, England is a great place to play cricket and I know all the boys are pumped up for it as well, so hopefully we can start well and have some success. Obviously there are a few things going on back home but these big tournaments only come around every couple of years and you want to win them, so we are very much focussed on that.” - Steve Smith.

Squad: Steve Smith*, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade†, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

Australia fixtures: June 2 v New Zealand (Edgbaston), June 5 v Bangladesh (The Oval), June 10 v England (Edgbaston).

Odds: 7/2

Mitchell Starc holds the record for fastest to 100 ODI wickets (52 matches)

Bangladesh

ICC ODI ranking: 6

2013 Champions Trophy: N/A

One to watch: Mustafizur Rahman stormed onto the ODI stage in 2015 taking 13 wickets in his debut series as Bangladesh defeated India 2-1. Since then he has taken 43 ODI scalps at 16.00 and offers Bangladesh an extra dimension to their bowling unit. Has the potential to cause England problems at The Oval on Thursday.

Squad: Mashrafe Mortaza*, Imrul Kayes, Mahmudullah, Mehedi Hasan, Mosaddek Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim†, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shafiul Islam, Shakib Al Hasan, Somya Sarkar, Sunzamul Islam, Tamim Iqbal, Taskin Ahmed.

Bangladesh fixtures: June 1 v England, (The Oval), June 5 v Australia (The Oval), June 9 v New Zealand (Cardiff).

Odds: 50/1

Fizz: Mustafizur could be key to getting Bangladesh out of the group

England

ICC ODI ranking: 5

2013 Champions Trophy: Runner-up

One to watch: All eight teams have multi-talented squads and none will be made or broken by just one man. Perhaps England were harder than most to choose, though. Buttler, Morgan, Stokes? What about Root? Then, at approximately 6.50pm on Saturday at the Ageas, sat five rows back at deep midwicket, it all became a lot clearer. Mark Wood is crucial to England’s hopes. I don’t think any of England’s other bowlers (no disrespect) could have pulled that off. Seven needed from the final over, these days is almost a gimme. Somehow Wood restricted Miller and Morris to a miserly four. England’s batting, frankly, can do what it wants, when it wants (quite obviously penned before the Lord's disintegration). The bowling on the other hand, has the potential to give up big runs, as they did in India. But if Wood - backed up by Stokes, Plunkett and Woakes - can produce that type of control, England have got every chance.

A word from the skipper... "We've gained a lot of confidence from this (South Africa) series. It's flattering to be favourites, today (Lord's) is a reminder not to get carried away but we'll give it a good crack."

Squad: Eoin Morgan*, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow†, Jake Ball, Sam Billings†, Jos Buttler†, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

England fixtures: June 1 v Bangladesh (The Oval), June 6 v New Zealand (Cardiff), June 10 v Australia (Edgbaston).

Odds: 11/4

How much Wood? England will be praying Mark Wood stays fit throughout the tournament

New Zealand

ICC ODI ranking: 4

2013 Champions Trophy: Group stage

A word from the skipper... "It is such a short tournament that on any given day things can happen that might be out of your control. You have to hit the ground running. We’ve got a very tough pool, both pools are tough. Everyone is a real contender. You have to play with freedom, be prepared to take the game on and hope things fall in your favour." - Kane Williamson.

One to watch: Even with the excellent Kane Williamson and the experienced Ross Taylor, New Zealand’s batting line-up is not on a par with some of the stronger squads in the tournament. They were bowled out for 189 by India inside 40 overs in a warm-up match at The Oval. They will be relying on their bowlers to keep runs to a minimum. Trent Boult - ranked No.6 in the world - is a quality operator and will lead the attack alongside Tim Southee, meanwhile Adam Milne has express pace to call upon. 

Squad: Kane Williamson*, Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Neil Broom, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham†, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Jeetan Patel, Luke Ronchi†, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.

New Zealand fixtures: June 2 v Australia (Edgbaston), June 6 v England (Cardiff), June 9 v Bangladesh (Cardiff).

Odds: 11/1

Lightning Boult: The world's No.6 will be key to the Kiwis bowling unit

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