The Cricketer
Owen Riley Owen Riley

CHAMPIONS TROPHY: GROUP B PREVIEW

Defending champions India face Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka

India

ICC ODI ranking: 3

2013 Champions Trophy: Winner

One to watch: An unorthodox quick whose whirligig action makes him hard to pick, good at the death with an excellent yorker in his arsenal, Jasprit Bumrah arrives having just taken 20 wickets for Mumbai Indians in the IPL. Only two bowlers took more, Jaydev Unadkat (24) and Champions Trophy teammate Bhuvneshwar Kumar (26). In fine form, Kumar - who took three wickets in a warm-up against New Zealand - could be another trump card for India.

A word from the skipper... “I'm personally really excited as captain, the team is much fitter (than 2013), the cricketers are more mature. That was a young group and a lot of them are playing in this squad. They have gained a lot of experience in the last four years. I personally love the tournament because it presents a challenge for you right from the first game. It is only three games and you're either out or you play the semis.” - Virat Kohli.

Squad: Virat Kohli*, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni†, Yuvraj Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami. 

India fixtures: June 4 v Pakistan (Edgbaston), June 8 v Sri Lanka (The Oval), June 11 v South Africa (The Oval).
 
Odds: 9/2

Watch out for Jasprit's yorker

Pakistan

ICC ODI ranking: 8

2013 Champions Trophy: Group stage

One to watch: Pakistan will hope that Babar Azam can produce some match-winning innings batting at first drop. He hit three consecutive hundreds against West Indies last autumn (and another in April) and has scored 436 runs at 62.28 since the turn of the year - including a ton at Adelaide against the Australians. At Perth Babar equalled the record for fastest to 1,000 ODI runs (21 innings), putting him alongside Sir Viv Richards, Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott, Quinton de Kock and Gordon Greenidge.

Squad: Sarfraz Ahmed*†, Ahmed Shehzad, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Fahim Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz.

Pakistan fixtures: June 4 v India (Edgbaston), June 7 v South Africa (Edgbaston), June 12 v Sri Lanka (Cardiff).

Odds: 20/1

Pakistan's No.3 is in fine form

South Africa

ICC ODI ranking: 1

2013 Champions Trophy: Semi-finals

One to watch: Dale Steyn continues to recover from that troublesome shoulder injury which leaves the world's No.1 ODI bowler, Kagiso Rabada, leading the Proteas’ attack. The 22-year-old claimed 6 for 16 on his ODI debut against Bangladesh at Dhaka and has gone on to take 64 at 24.90. His devastating opening spell of 4 for 12 from three overs at Lord’s showed what he can do to top-quality batting orders and set up South Africa’s seven-wicket victory.

Squad: AB de Villiers*†, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock†, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, Keshav Maharaj, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir.

South Africa fixtures: June 3 v Sri Lanka (The Oval), June 7 v Pakistan (Edgbaston), June 11 v India (The Oval).

Odds: 4/1

World's No.1

Sri Lanka

ICC ODI ranking: 7

2013 Champions Trophy: Semi-finals

One to watch: Sri Lanka have some rough diamonds in their ranks. The likes of Niroshan Dickwella and Kusal Mendis are exciting talents and will hopefully shine on the big stage. But if Sri Lanka are to escape the group they will need every ounce of their captain’s experience to anchor the Sri Lankan ship. Mathews warmed up for the tournament with 95 against Australia.

A word from the skipper... "We are happy to enter the tournament as underdogs, but we are confident. We have prepared extremely well. We are not looking to far ahead, we want to taken one game at a time, stick to our basics and do our very best in that game. All the teams are quite even, on the given day the guys that make fewer mistakes will, it can be England, it can be us, it can be anyone, no one can write any team off in this tournament. We just have to go out there and express ourselves." - Angelo Mathews.

Squad: Angelo Mathews*, Dinesh Chandimal†, Niroshan Dickwella†, Asela Gunaratne, Chamara Kapugedera, Nuwan Kulasekera, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Kusal Mendis†, Kusal Perera†, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Pradeep, Seekkuge Prasanna, Lakshan Sandakan, Upul Tharanga.

Sri Lanka fixtures: June 3 v South Africa (The Oval), June 8 v India (The Oval), June 12 v Pakistan (Cardiff).

Odds: 33/1

Mathews has 180 ODIs under his belt

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