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England and Wales will be hosting the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 scheduled to run from June 1 till June 18, 2017. The top eight teams in the ICC ODI Team Rankings as on 30th September 2015 have qualified for this eighth edition of the tournament which will feature a total of 15 matches to be played over a period of two-and-a-half weeks.
Since West Indies finished outside the top eight in the rankings on the cut-off date, they won't be competing this year which means this is the first time that a major test-playing nation has failed to make a place in the Champions Trophy (CT). Bangladesh have replaced the West Indies and they will be returning to the tournament for the first time since 2006.
Kennington Oval, Edgbaston and Sophia Gardens will host all the fixtures of the CT 2017. The opening and the final match of the tournament will be played at the Kennington Oval in London.
The eight participating teams have been divided into two groups of four - Group A and Group B. Australia, England, New Zealand and Bangladesh make up Group A while India are joined by Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa in Group B.
The group stage consisting of 12 matches will follow a round-robin format which means that each team in a group will play every other team in that group just once. At the end of the group stage, the top two teams from each group will advance to the knockout stage comprising of three matches - two semi-finals and the final. The topper of Group A will play the second-ranked team in Group B and the topper of Group B will play the second-ranked team in Group A in the semi-finals. The winner of the final will be crowned the champions of the Champions Trophy 2017.
Read on for team previews, betting tips, latest odds and tournament prediction for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017….
They are the defending champions who won the tournament last time in 2013. That edition was also hosted by England where India went on to win all of their five matches to claim their second title. Their first title win dates back to the 2002 edition in Sri Lanka where they were declared joint winners with the hosts. They have reached the semi-finals of the competition three times in the past and are one of the strongest contenders for this year's title.
India are 5.5 with betfair and 6.00 with bet365 to win outright.
Virat Kohli(c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.
England were narrowly beaten by India in the finals of the 2013 edition to finish runners-up for the second time in the history of the Champions Trophy. Interestingly, they have made it to the finals in each of the previous two editions that were hosted by them but have never gone on to win. They topped their group standings last time, winning two out of the three group games. They have played 21 matches in the tournament so far and have won 11 and lost 10.
England are 4.2 with betfair and 3.75 with bet365 to win outright.
Eoin Morgan(c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Alex Hales, Jos Buttler, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
Like India, Australia are also two-time winners of the tournament. They beat the former in the finals of 2006 to win their maiden title and then three years later in 2009, they trumped South Africa in the final to record back-to-back title triumphs. This makes them the only team to have won the competition on two consecutive occasions. 2002 and 2004 editions were also successful for them as they went past the group stage to reach the semi-finals. Last time however, they got knocked out early as they failed to win a single game.
Australia are 4.50 with both betfair and bet365 to win outright.
2002 has been the most successful edition for them when they shared the trophy with India. They are also two-time semi-finalists who made their first semi-final appearance in the inaugural edition in 1998 and then last time in 2013 after finishing second in their group with two wins from three matches. Out of the 22 matches they have played in the ICC Champions Trophy since its inception, Sri Lanka have won 13 and lost 9 which sums up to a win percentage of around 60.
Sri Lanka are 19 with betfair and 21 with bet365 to win outright..
Angelo Mathews(c), Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Chamara Kapugedera, Asela Gunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Kulasekara, Nuwan Pradeep, Thisara Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Seekkuge Prasanna
They won the inaugural edition of the tournament in 1998 which was held in Bangladesh. They were crowned champions after defeating the West Indies in the final at Dhaka. They have made it to the semi-finals three times in the past including the previous edition. Last time, they came second in their group standings with one win, one loss and one tie from their three matches. Their journey came to an end when they were beaten by hosts England in the semi-finals.
South Africa are 5.1 with betfair and 5.00 with bet365 to win outright.
Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers(c), Jean-Paul Duminy, David Miller, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj, Farhaan Behardien, Morne Morkel
They won the ICC CT back in 2000 which was then known by the name ICC KnockOut Trophy. It was hosted by Kenya and New Zealand got the better of India in the final by four wickets to claim their first title. They faced disappointment in the following couple of editions where they were ousted from the competition both times at the end of the group stage. In 2009, the Kiwis went on to reach the finals but had to content with being runners-up after being beaten by Australia.
New Zealand are 8.2 with betfair and 9.00 with bet365 to win outright.
Kane Williamson(c), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Neil Broom, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, James Neesham, Jeetan Patel, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor
Pakistan will want to forget the 2013 Champions Trophy where they ended up losing all their three group-stage games while finishing at the bottom of their respective group standings. They faced West Indies, South Africa and India and were thrashed in every contest. The 2000, 2004 and 2009 editions were the most successful for them when they made it to the semi-finals each time. Pakistan have played 18 matches in the tournament of which they have won 7 and lost 11.
Pakistan are 15 with betfair and 13 with bet365 to win outright.
Sarfraz Ahmed(c), Ahmed Shehzad, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Fahim Ashraf , Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Wahab Riaz, Fakhar Zaman
They will be making a comeback to the CT after pipping the West Indies in the ICC ODI Rankings on the cut-off date of 30th September 2015. They last featured in the tournament in 2006 where they failed to make it to the main round. Out of the eight matches they have played in their four tournament appearances, they have seven losses and a solitary win. However, they have been very impressive in the 50-overs format at home in recent times, beating Pakistan, India and South Africa in consecutive series.
Bangladesh are 42 with betfair and 41 with bet365 to win outright.
Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Mashrafe Mortaza(c), Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Sunzamul Islam, Mehedi Hasan, Shafiul Islam
Australia and England are most likely to top Group A and hence qualify for the semi-finals. Though they were eliminated early from the 2013 Champions Trophy, Australia will still be a very dangerous side having won the tournament back-to-back in 2006 and 2009. Since 2016, they have been involved in eight ODI series and have won five of them. As for England, they have always made it to the finals each time they have hosted the tournament (in 2004 and 2013). They might be having a few problems in test cricket, but they are a formidable side when it comes to white-ball cricket. And this is evident from the fact that they have won four of their last six bilateral ODI series.
Sri Lanka and Pakistan have struggled a lot recently in overseas conditions which is why we don't see them going past the group stage. So this leaves us with India and South Africa as the two teams from Group B who look well set to qualify for the semis. Two-time champions India will begin this edition as title defenders having won the tournament last time in 2013 which was hosted in England. They had also defeated the hosts 3-1 in a five-match ODI series the last time they toured England in 2014. So they have been pretty successful in English conditions of late. South Africa too are exhibiting top form in the 50-overs format having won five of their past six ODI series. This includes the 5-0 bashing of Australia at home in October last year and they are right on track for another 5-0 drubbing in the ongoing home series against Sri Lanka.
With Australia, England, India and South Africa advancing, the knockout phase is sure to get a lot more entertaining, exciting and intense. So who will win the ICC Champions Trophy? One thing worth mentioning here is that no team can have a better knowledge of the English pitches than England themselves and they have proven this many times in the past. They have almost gone on to win the Champions Trophy whenever they have hosted the tournament apart from winning three of their previous four ODI series at home.
And to top it off, England are one of the strongest batting units in the world with a lethal bowling attack that is absolutely threatening in their own conditions. So having missed the opportunity to lift the trophy by a whisker in their earlier two attempts, England will be desperate to go all the way this time around and so we predict them to claim their maiden ICC Champions Trophy title.