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ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Michael Clarke predicts India-Australia final

The Champions Trophy begins on June 1 and both teams take on their arch-rivals in their opening game.

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Clarke believes that the defending champions will play Australia in the Champions Trophy final

What’s the story?

Former Australian captain Michael Clarke believes that India and Australia will contest in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final next month. Clarke also added the form of Virat Kohli and co, which hasn’t been impressive will not be an issue and feels the batsmen will not be“ too concerned about their form” going into the Champions Trophy.

The World Cup winning Australian captain believes that India have enough time to prepare for the tournament and will be confident of their chances as the reigning champions going into the eighth edition of the Champions Trophy.

"I see India and Australia in final. The conditions in the UK are going to play a big part. For example, if there's swing and seam on offer, Australian pacers will be tough to face. That will hold us in good stead. The likes of Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins can be tough to face. If it's hot and the wicket spins, there's no better exponents (on those tracks) than Ashwin and Jadeja. That will be in India's favor. In Jadeja, India have the luxury of a quality spinner, who can bat. He is as good a spinner as anybody in world cricket," said Clarke after a promotional event.

Extra Cover: ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Schedule: Full time table with venue ground details, PDF download

The Context

India and Australia are one of the eight teams that will take part in the Champions Trophy that will take place in England and Wales, starting from June 1. Before the tournament, six of the eight teams will take part in a couple of warm-up matches.

The Details

Australia are in Group A along with England, New Zealand and Bangladesh while India are in Group B along with Sri Lanka, South Africa and Pakistan. The top two sides from each group advance to the semi-finals where the winner of Group A takes on the runner-up from Group B and vice versa.

India’s Squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit, Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami

Australia’s squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa

What’s next?

India and Australia will both play in two warm-up matches each before the Champions Trophy begins. Australia begin their campaign against arch-rivals New Zealand on June 2, while India also face their arch-rivals Pakistan on June 4 in their opening match.

Author’s Take

Although India haven’t played too many ODIs, they have an experienced squad and the bowling attack to exploit the conditions on offer. Australia have the likes of David Warner, Chris Lynn and Steve Smith, who are in phenomenal form and are one of the strong contenders for the tournament, so Clarke’s picks certainly make a lot of sense.

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