ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Five areas of concern for India's squad
India has gone for an experienced side but it is not without its flaws.
After the conclusion of the IPL 2017, all eyes turn to the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, where India will look to defend the crown that they won in 2013. Virat Kohli will lead the side in his first major tournament as limited-overs skipper.
The defending champions have a strong squad to pick from, including a vast majority of the players who lifted the title in 2013 along with some impressive newcomers such as Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya. While India's squad has plenty of experience, it isn’t perfect, which is what might have prompted Kapil Dev to pick England as favourites over India.
Here are five areas of concern for India’s squad:
Lack of variety in the bowling attack
One of the features of the Indian Champions Trophy squad is just how safe it is. While there is little doubt that it has enough experience and quality to win the tournament, what it does lack is a bit of variety, especially in the bowling department.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, and Jasprit Bumrah have been in great form in this year’s IPL but all the pacers are similar in that, they are right-arm fast bowlers, with little to distinguish them barring their actions. But the bigger concern is the lack of variety in the spin department.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are undoubtedly the two best spinners in the country but they are also the only two spinners in the squad. Yuzvendra Chahal, who has been impressive for Royal Challengers Bangalore and the chinaman Kuldeep Yadav were both not picked. Even the experienced Amit Mishra was ignored.
The lack of a wrist spinner might come back to haunt India especially on flat batting pitches where there is little assistance off the surface. Batsmen can just hit through the line and there is no mystery element, leg spinner or a chinaman in the squad to confuse them when they are going great guns.