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ICC Champions Trophy, Group B preview: India to defend title amid powerhouses

15 Juin 2017

Wonder why? To mark the commencement of ICC Champions Trophy 2017 today, Google has launched a doodle where you can play cricket.

Both teams had lost their first warm-up matches.

Beating higher ranked teams in the Champions Trophy will also boost Bangladesh's hopes of direct qualification into the 2019 World Cup.

Such is the global and commercial appeal of the fixture, as the ICC has effectively admitted to "doctoring" the draw to make sure the teams are paired together in the group phase of major tournaments rather than run the risk of them not meeting later on.

Dinesh Karthik and Hardik Pandya - two players who will probably be fighting for a place in the team at the tournament in England and Wales - led the scoring for India with knocks of 94 and 80 not out respectively.

India beat both New Zealand and Bangladesh in the two warm-up game. However, they hold a strong chance of qualifying for the semis along with favourites India.

He added: "England are a very good side".

It sparked laughter during a press briefing at The Oval yesterday, the day before Bangladesh's Champions Trophy opener against hosts England. He was asked to open the bowling against New Zealand, which was perhaps an experimental step in trying to find the right balance in the side.

India are placed in Group B along with Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka, and will start their campaign on June 4 against arch-rivals Pakistan at Edgbaston.

"The last lay-off I had was about seven months, this one is about six weeks and even coming back to the nets it didn't take long to get the rhythm back".

Semifinalists: India and South Africa (yes, yes it's predictable, but these two teams do look likely to go through).

"I am very confident that India will do well in the Champions Trophy and will defend the title", Laxman said.

"We were bowled out for 84 in that practice game against India. If they do well, we can definitely win the Champions Trophy". And if this tournament doesn't work out then Taylor said his next target was the 2019 World Cup "and after that, we'll see".

But India's left-arm seamer Irfan Pathan, who had been successful against Pakistan in all formats, said no matter what the players say, the pressure and tension of an India-Pakistan cricket match, is "always there at the back of the mind".

ICC Champions Trophy, Group B preview: India to defend title amid powerhouses