Champions Trophy – Dhoni’s Last Frontier
Skipper MS Dhoni, who is the most successful captain in Indian cricket history, has added almost all feathers to his cap, but the ICC Champions Trophy is still missing in that glory. As the defending World Champions and No. 1 team in the ICC ODI rankings, India will be raring to go at the Champions Trophy that commenced in England on June 6.
Dhoni, who led India to win the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup, also helped the team to win the ICC Test Championship in 2009. He also added Indian Premier League (IPL) title twice to his list. The big moment for Dhoni came when he lifted the ICC World Cup Trophy in 2011.
The consistent performance under Dhoni’s leadership, Team India managed to end the 2012-13 season as the No. 1 team in the ICC ODI rankings and win the Shield. This is for the first time India received that honour. Dhoni would be looking forward to conquer the last frontier – ICC Champions Trophy.
Dhoni’s team look solid without the likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh. Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Virat Kohli, Suresha Raina, Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik have boosted the batting line-up, while Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin and Bhuvnewswar Kumar will lead the bowling attack.
In the last six editions of the ICC Champions Trophy, India won the tournament once in 2002. However, they had to share the trophy with Sri Lanka after both teams were declared joint winners. Rain played spoilsport here and the result was not possible even after two days’ cricket. In 2000, India had reached the final, but lost to New Zealand.
In the run up to the ICC Champions Trophy, India defeated Sri Lanka bu 5 wickets in the warm-up game. Virat Kohli made 144, while Dinesh Karthik remained unbeaten on 106. In the second game, India thrashed mighty Australia by 243 runs. India scored 308, while Australia managed to score just 65. Dinesh Karthik yet again played a superb knock of 146*, while Dhoni made 91. Umesh Yadav too played his part by taking five wickets.