What’s the story?
Indian Test wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha has termed India as the outright favourites for the 2017 Champions Trophy, stating that the Virat Kohli-led side had it in them to retain the crown they won in 2013.
“My first choice is India, second choice is India and third choice is also India,”
“There is no pressure on India. If they take pressure and play, that will not be good. If they don’t take pressure and play (with the confidence) as defending champion, it will be good,” Saha said on Saturday.
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India are right now in the United Kingdom and began their Champions Trophy defence in positive fashion on Sunday when they defeated New Zealand by 45 runs under the Duckworth Lewis-Stern method in their 1st warm-up match at the Oval.
Mohammad Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were the chief destroyers for the Men In Blue with the ball, picking up 3 wickets apiece and then led by a half-century from Virat Kohli, India reached 129 for 3 before the rain arrived and eventually, led to an abandonment.
The heart of the matter
Saha further expressed no regret in not featuring in the touring party for the quadrennial event and expected Kohli to return back to his run-scoring ways after enduring a mediocre IPL with the bat.
When asked about the crunch India-Pakistan game on Sunday, the 32-year-old said that it serves teams well, when they don’t look at the opposition and focus on doing what is required on the field for the results to follow.
For Saha, his next Indian assignment is likely to be in August, when the team tours to Sri Lanka for a full-fledged tour of 3 Tests, 5 ODIs and 1 T20I. The Bengal gloveman has made the spot in the Test side, almost his own, with some consistent showing in recent times and would look to carry that forward in Sri Lanka as well.
While India surely begin as one of the strong contenders for the title, to state them as the only side who can win the title is being biased on his home side. While Saha is entitled to his own opinion, it would be interesting to see whether he is proven right on the 18th of June.Published 29 May 2017, 10:32 IST