As the Champions Trophy (CLT20) is coming close, the countries are announcing their final squad of 15 and yesterday, India also announced that.
The Sandeep Patil & co. is known for taking daring decisions. So, a few surprises were anticipated and those were certainly there. A couple of senior players (Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh) got axed, while, a few players got selected purely on the basis of what they have been doing in the IPL.
Vinay Kumar, Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma are the names who have been blazing in Pepsi IPL 2013 and they have got their rewards.
Irfan Pathan has been picked considering the conditions in England, while, Umesh Yadav was an automatic pick once he was fit.
Amit Mishra was in the squad for the series against England as well and he has retained his place. He didn’t do any harm to his chances with his IPL performance.
For opening, the selectors have shown their belief on two players who are very inexperienced in ODI cricket. Shikhar Dhawan has so far played only 5 ODIs, while, Murali Vijay has played 10 odd.
Dinesh Karthik has been picked as the backup wicketkeeper, but, he can play as a specialist batsman too and can open as well.
MS Dhoni is the skipper as expected. His deputy hasn’t been named though.
Ravindra Jadeja had done alright against England and Pakistan and he was persisted with by the selectors. However, the conditions in England might force Dhoni to play Irfan Pathan ahead of him.
The selectors have their reasons to drop Yuvraj and Gambhir. Yuvraj hasn’t played any remarkable ODI inning since coming back from illness, while, Gambhir had been struggling in ODIs since the last 12 months.
With five batsmen, two wicketkeepers, five pace bowlers and three spinners, this team is looking balanced.
India’s final squad for the Champions Trophy is as follows-
MS Dhoni (captain), Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Amit Mishra, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Irfan Pathan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma
Mumbai Indians lifted the Champions League T20 2011 this season by defeating the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final of the tournament. Mumbai Indians won the game by 31 runs to win their first ever competition.
Bangalore seemed to have looked good when after fielding first, they bowled well to reduce the opposition to a paltry 139. However, after they got a decent start from Chris Gayle and T Dilshan, they failed to get going in the middle order on a rather slow, turning track and went down in a hurry.
Mumbai’s spinners bowled rather well, with Harbhajan Singh ending with 3/20 and Y Chahal picking up 2/9 in his three overs to ensure that the Bangalore team were never in hunt after the initial loss.
Earlier, the Mumbai Indians doled away wickets to run-outs, and after they had been rescued by James Franklin in the middle overs, failed to build on. From 105/3 they collapsed to 109/7 and in the end, they were helped to 139 by Lasith Malinga.
Mumbai Indians will not be allowed to play five international cricketers in their Champions League T20 game semi-final against the Somerset side. So far, in the tournament, the side had been able to play five foreign cricketers instead of the four that all the IPL sides are allowed.
This was done because of their injury issues, which meant that they were left with only seven Indian players left. The decision had led to a lot of controversy.
However, more controversy followed when it was revealed that the one Indian player who was said to be injured for the CLT20, was playing in an under-22 game for the Mumbai side.
After having a look at the case, the CLT20 council has decided to revoke the five foreign members allowed and the Mumbai Indians will now have to choose between their foreign players.
Royal Challengers Bangalore have advanced to the final of the Champions League T20 by defeating the New South Wales in another high-scoring thriller that was played in Bangalore last night.
Bangalore were able to chase down a total of more than 200 and they did that thanks to the broad batting capabilities of both, Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli, who guided the side to a win.
On the other hand, the New South Wales were earlier propped by a superb century from the bat of the opening batsman, Dave Warner, who got to his second successive century. This meant that the side got off to a good start and his partnership with Daniel Smith ensured that the side would be getting to 200 runs.
Fortunately for the Bangalore side, they were able to get going too, through Chris Gayle, who went on to score 92.
Now, the Bangalore side will take on the winner of the game between Mumbai and Somerset in the final.
The second semi finals of the Champions League T20 will see the Mumbai Indians play Somerset at Chennai. The game will be played on October 8 and will see the two sides trying to out baffle each other in a bid to get to the final.
Somerset have had some good form going for them in the tournament. Apart from losing to Bangalore, they have not lost a single game and that includes two wins in the qualifying and two in the main tournament.
Mumbai Indians, to be frank have been lucky to get to the semi finals. They have not looked good with the bat and hardly been a potent force with the ball either. This has meant that they have been here, after a win against Chennai which they should have never got and one against Trinidad and Tobago which was the foolishness of the opponents than their own stars.
They have a new opener in Sarul Kanwar, who the side will hope will go well against the Somerset side, after having given a good start against Cobras. That game was washed away.
Between the two, Somerset not only look favourites but also deserve a win.
Royal Challengers Bangalore will play New South Wales Blues in the first semi-final of the Champions League T20. The game will be a home match for the Royal Challengers, who have comeback from behind to win the semi-finals berth.
Bangalore have had a good couple of last games. They easily routed Somerset thanks to the batting of Chris Gayle and then chased down 215 after the pair of Dilshan and Kohli exploded rather well.
On the other hand, the Blues have been more consistent. They started with the loss to Cobras but have gathered steam rather well after that. they beat the Trinidad and Tobago side, then overcame the Mumbai Indians before seeing the end of the Chennai Super Kings in the last game thanks to a century from Dave Warner.
Interestingly, they will be playing for the first time in Bangalore which will be a difficult task given the easy paced wicket. How the Blues bowlers adjust to the pitch will go a long way in deciding the first finalist in the tournament.
Amla has been named the captain of the side for the T20Is and the ODIs. The reason for this is the injury to AB de Villiers, which he suffered while playing for the Bangalore side in the Champions League T20.
South Africa will take on Australia in two T20Is, three ODIs and that would be followed by a couple of Test matches as well, which should make things interesting.
For the test matches, Graeme Smith will still be the captain of the side, after he had given up on the captaincy of the ODIs and T20Is.
Amla had earlier decided not to take up the role of captaincy but had to agree when de Villiers broke his finger in India.
Australia will be led by Cameron White for the T20Is and Michael Clarke will captain the side in the ODIs and Test matches.
The second last game of the Champions League T20 will be played between the Warriors and Somerset and the equation for the two teams is simple – they need to win to qualify. If Somerset lose, they will crash out of the tournament.
On the other hand, if Warriors lose, they could still have an outside chance, but a lot will depend on the other game that will be played on the day.
The Warriors had started off with two wins from two games and were looking good to become the first team to go through to the semi finals. However, they lost their game to the Kolkata Knight Riders, which also took a bit of their net run-rate down with that.
On the contrary, Somerset began with two wins in the qualifying and one in the main series. However, after that, it was followed by the abandoned game against the South Australia side which meant that they had three points from two games.
However, the heavy loss to Bangalore meant that the team has to win this against the Warriors.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore will go into their last game of the Champions League T20 knowing that they will need to only win the game against the South Australians to have a chance at qualifying for the knockouts.
The Bangalore side had gone into the tournament as one of the favourites, but started off with two losses from two games. This meant that the side was left with no option but to beat their opponents in the remaining two games.
Bangalore have now started off by defeating the Somerset side rather easily – by 51 runs – which means that the net run-rate has also improved for the side. However, now, if Bangalore do not defeat the South Australians in this last game, they will crash out.
Interestingly, the situation is the same for South Australia as well – they lose and they will have to fly back to Australia.
It is interesting to see how things go, but if Gayle get going, the side should go into the game as favourites.
The Kolkata Knight Riders will take on the Warriors in the second game of the day on October 1 in the Champions League. The equation is simple of the Kolkata Knight Riders, who have won one game out of the three they have played – if they lose this one, they are definitely out of the tournament. that will also put the warriors into the semi-finals.
However, if they win the game, then the Knight Riders will be left with two wins from four games and the Warriors will have two from three. It will mean that they will have to wait for the results from the other sides to ensure that they can go through to the CLT20 knockouts.
The Kolkata Knight Riders will look to ensure that they can get going with the batting, which had been their bane. The last game finally saw Gambhir and Kallis get going and they will hope for the same from them. Warriors will depend on their pace bowlers and Johan Botha to stall the opposition.