India overwhelming favourites to win Champions Trophy: Saha

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He had a solid List A and IPL season this year and this might be his last chance to play in India colours.

They could add extra firepower by including Chris Lynn, who shot to worldwide prominence earlier this year with a sensational Indian Premier League campaign, averaging almost 50 for the Kolkata Knight Riders.

World's premier spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are also there to stifle runs. It was one of those days where the bowler and the keeper were playing and I was just standing in between not doing much and getting beaten!

The wicketkeeper-batsman further said, "Whatever is required out of the practices matches, we have got that".

India registered two convincing wins over New Zealand and Bangladesh in the two warm-up matches leading up to the tournament.

The Men in Blue are number one in the Test rankings after series victories over New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia, and would hope to carry that form into the Champions Trophy.

Irfan, who was India's frontline pacer with his swing bowling on the 2004 tour of Pakistan, said he was impressed by the young duo of Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah in One-day Internationals besides hailing Shami for having one of the best seam positions in world cricket.

Former Indian cricketer, VVS Laxman has backed the Virat Kohli-led side to not only beat arch-rivals Pakistan in their Champions Trophy opener but to defend the coveted title as well. I guess the likes of captain and coach are watching me bat, and (for them) seeing where I stand is very important.

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After the clash against Pakistan, India will face Sri Lanka and South Africa on June 8 and June 11 respectively. And in both the games, India managed to bundle out the opposition inside 40 overs. "They were bowling attacking lines and lengths, looking to be aggressive and looking to pick up wickets", he added. "Whichever team handles the pressure in a better way-holds the edge".

Blacks pacemen Tim Southee and Trent Boult are proven performers in England, but Southee said: "We know the conditions, but you can't rely on that".

"This time it is going to be short and crisp, with only eight teams involved so it is going to be a highly competitive tournament and I think there are 4-5 contenders who can win the trophy", he added.

Asked if Roy's place would be under threat if he didn't come good in the first couple of group games, Morgan replied: "I can not see it (Roy's position) changing".

If the beginning of Champions Trophy 2017 required any more recognition, it won't anymore!

Laxman also named his four semi-finalists of the tournament.

By his own admission, Karthik needed the knock against Bangladesh after scoring a nervous nine-ball duck in India's first warm-up match against New Zealand.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.

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