MS Dhoni and his ‘Men in Blue’ look almost impossible to beat as they take on hosts England in the ICC Champions Trophy final at the Edgbaston Cricket ground today. After a spectacular fortnight of cricket,the two best teams have qualified to take on each other in pursuit of the coveted trophy. It won’t be wrong to call this contest ‘The Clash of the Titans’ as both the teams are playing their best cricket assuring us of a nail-biting encounter.
The cloudy Birmingham sky is ready to witness the battle between the formidable Indian batting and the elusive English pace attack. For India,the opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma has proved to be their USP. They cruised almost effortlessly against every opposition they played in the tournament. Virat Kohli seems to have found his touch as he blasted an unbeaten half-century when India thrashed Sri Lanka by eight wickets to reach the final. MS Dhoni has left no stone unturned to make it work for his team and he has led his team quite brilliantly,to say the least. Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik have fared well for whatever little chances they got. And as far as Ravindra Jadeja is concerned,all we can say is that he is MS Dhoni’s whizkid,we just hope that the magic continues in the final as well.
To every one’s surprise the Indian bowling needs a pat on the back for the magnificent performances. The bowling unit did not fail the team and came out all guns blazing in almost all the games. Ishant Sharma might not be the spearhead of this brigade,but he was just unbelievable in the game against Sri Lanka. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar is a great find oozing with confidence,and with this impressive record so early in his career,we can anticipate that he’ll go a long way. R Ashwin and Umesh Yadav have been the silent warriors and as a whole they have provided great support to this awe inspiring bunch.
Now,if we talk about England here,the only team they lost to is Sri Lanka. But more importantly,there were a lot match winning performances from Alastair Cook and his Three Lions. Ian Bell made a promising start to the tournament with a thumping 91. Ravi Bopara played his role well with a brief cameo of 37. James Anderson made crucial strikes for his team and now he is England’s highest ODI wicket-taker,surpassing Darren Gough. Captain Cook might have scored in a losing cause against Sri Lanka but that was truly a captain’s knock. Jonathan Trott and Joe Root played belligerent innings too. James Tredwell and Stuart Broad are capable of causing havoc as they reduced SA to 80 for 8 in the semi-final.
All in all,this contest is worthy of a Champions Trophy final. It will be very interesting to see if England would make the best of their home advantage to put India’s winning streak at a halt or,will it be India who’ll blow away their opposition to lift the trophy by winning their 5th game on the trot to conclude the tournament.