Sports

Champions Trophy 2017: Saha Feels India are Favourites to Win

Champions Trophy 2017: Saha Feels India are Favourites to Win

England suffered an injury blow early in the ICC Champions Trophy as Chris Woakes left the field with a side strain after just three overs of the tournament opener with Bangladesh.

For Bangladesh, Mashrafe Mortaza and Sabbir Rahman took one wicket each.

The right-handed batsman, who recently bid adieu to the Gentlemen's game put all his hopes on Sarfraz Ahmed to lead the team successfully in England.

"We have the advantage of home conditions as well, so it's an exciting team but the Champions Trophy as it is means you've got to win every game and any team is capable of beating any other team", he said.

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England and Bangladesh have got proven set of skills but notably both the teams couldn't fair that well in the last match that they played ahead of the tournament.

Yet England have also made substantial adjustments since being embarrassed at the World Cup and remarkably go into this tournament as favourites on home soil.

All matches of the tournament will be played at three different venues including The Oval in London, Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham and Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. After Bangladesh had beaten England by five runs in Bristol 2010, the scenario changed.

With the bat, Aaron Finch and David Warner provide firepower at the top of the order with world number one Test batsman Smith coming in at first drop.

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This year, the Champions Trophy, which is being hosted in England and Wales will feature top 8 cricketing nations India, Pakistan, Australia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, England, South Africa and New Zealand.

The hosts have the firepower up front with unsafe hitters in Sam Billings, Alex Hales and Jason Roy.The middle order looks well settled with classy and ever dependable Joe Root.

Over the course of the previous seven editions of the Champions Trophy, England has won 11 of their 21 matches and lost 10. The way they are playing, if you look at the last two years, their performance, they win nearly everything.

It was some encouragement for Bangladesh after a 2016/17 tour of New Zealand where they were beaten in all formats. The all-rounder may not participate in the first match against Bangladesh. His struggles were brought into sharper focus by Hales and Joe Root combining after Roy's departure for a second-wicket stand of 159 to help England to an eight-wicket win in Group A. "They have been playing really well", Saha told reporters on the sidelines of Cricket Association of Bengal's (CAB) senior knockout tournament final.

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"It's always a team that backs itself and plays bold cricket", added the Australian, looking to guide England to their first major ODI title.


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