Defending champions India will be aiming to shut out off-field controversies when they lock horns with arch-rivals Pakistan in their ICC Champions Trophy opener tomorrow (June 4) – a marquee contest where tension and drama is never in short supply.
A line-up that boasts of Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni can be intimidating for any bowling attack.
But facing Amir and an equally talented Junaid Khan in English conditions, despite Edgbaston showing signs of being a batting-friendly track, will be testing for the Indian batsmen
India have four deserving fast bowlers to choose from to fill two or three spots. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav all have legitimate claims to make the XI. The last time India faced Pakistan in an ODI, Umesh and Shami did the job, but Bhuvneshwar has a great record against them and Bumrah is a special death bowler. There will be a temptation to play all four, and Hardik Pandya as the seam all rounder.
Looking at the current team squad and form team India have an edge over Pakistan and are clear favorites to win the match.
India Team squad : 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9, 10 and 11 three out of R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav
Pakistan Team Squad : 1 Azhar Ali, 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Babar Azam, 4 Mohammad Hafeez, 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Sarfaraz Ahmed (capt & wk), 7 Imad Wasim, 8 Faheem Ashraf, 9 Mohammad Amir, 10 Wahab Riaz/Junaid Khan, 11 Hasan Ali