Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 22nd 2013 Contents A53
Saturday, June 22, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
With its national game embroiled in
corruption allegations and its national
team supposedly in transition, India
arrived at the Champions Trophy as the
world s top-ranked one-day side but with
few giving them a chance.
However, just like Italy s football team
emerged from adversity and scandal at
home to win World Cups in 1982 and
2006, India s new-look class of 2013 is
proving a resilient bunch.
Heading into tomorrow s final against
Trophy host England, the Indians have
won four from four, their bowlers have
come to relish unfamiliar English condi-
tions, and bearded opening batsman
Shikhar Dhawan has become the star of
The era of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul
Dravid and Virender Sehwag will long be
revered but their replacements have sig-
naled over the past two weeks that the
future can be bright without them.
Only three players---Virat Kohli, Suresh
Raina and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni---
played in India s victory over Sri Lanka in
the World Cup final in 2011 and will likely
turn out against the English at Edgbaston,
but the inexperience isn t showing.
"If we can bowl to our field and play
to our strengths, we will do well against
any team," India paceman Ishant Sharma
said. "We have not been under pressure
in this tournament so far and we really
don t know where our real weaknesses lie.
"We ll stick to the plans and we ll stick
to our strengths, just carry on doing the
same thing in the final."
While India has been playing against
the backdrop of a spot-fixing scandal
involving players and officials in the Indian
Premier League, England s Champions
Trophy campaign is being seen by its sup-
porters as merely a taster ahead of the real
business of this summer---the Ashes series.
At least in public, England s players
aren t seeing it that way. Their team has
never won a world 50-over event, having
lost in the finals of both the World Cup
and the Champions Trophy over the past
two decades. The Ashes can wait for one
"The past is the past, and we can t
change anything about it. So there is no
point worrying about it," said England
wicketkeeper Jos Buttler. "This is a great
chance to right those wrongs."
If the hosts are to break its 50-over
tournament drought, they will need a bril-
liant bowling performance from James
Anderson and Co in Birmingham.
Dhawan has emerged from the shadows
of Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir and been
a revelation, scoring a tournament-high
332 runs in four innings. That included
centuries in group matches against South
Africa and West Indies and a 68 in the
semifinal victory over Sri Lanka on Thurs-
Light on his feet and punishing anything
outside off stump, the left-handed Dhawan
has played with a swagger to thrill Indian
fans who will be at Edgbaston en masse
tomorrow. Even if he fails, with Kohli,
Dinesh Karthik, Raina and Dhoni to come
in in the batting lineup, India won t be
In the absence of Kevin Pietersen, Eng-
land hasn t been as fluent with the bat---
the team hasn t reached 300 yet---but
Jonathan Trott is the third highest run-
scorer in the tournament and is always a
steadying influence at No 3 in the order,
despite his critics in the English media.
Meanwhile, England s bowlers have been
getting more movement with the ball than
any other team in this tournament but
India s attack hasn t been far behind.
Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and
Umesh Yadav have been disciplined and
bowled a good length, all the time being
ably assisted by spinners Ravindra Jadeja
and Ravichandran Ashwin.
Some feat for a unit used to such dif-
ferent conditions on the subcontinent.
Even Dhoni felt confident enough to strip
off the pads and have a bowl in the semi
against Sri Lanka.
England may be at home but India has
steamrolled allcomers, and will be able to
count on huge support.
It adds up to India being the favourite
to claim the Champions Trophy and
cement its position as the king of one-
day cricket. (AP)
BCB president Nazmul Hassan is not happy
with the pace at which the venues for the
2014 World Twenty20---which will be hosted
by Bangladesh---are being developed.
An ICC consultant visited the four venues
earmarked for the tournament over the past
week and, according to Hassan, didn t leave
the country satisfied.
Work on the facilities at the stadium in Syl-
het---that was built last year---is not complete,
while construction work at the brand new sta-
dium in Cox s Bazar is also still underway.
The World T20 is scheduled to be played
between March 16 and April 6 next year, with
Mirpur and Chittagong being the other two
"The ICC AGM (which will happen in London
next week) is critical for us, because the ICC s
consultant who visited Bangladesh recently is
not satisfied with what he saw at the World
Twenty20 venues," Hassan said. "There is a
proposal to discuss alternative venues [in
Bangladesh] at the meeting. We have to make
them understand that there is no need for alter-
nate venues. We can make do with what we
"The major challenge is with the stadium in
Sylhet. We know that we can finish the Cox s
In April when the stadium in Sylhet was
officially opened, Hassan had said that work
was held up due to bureaucracy.
Work on the floodlights and the dressing
rooms began only recently. Hassan said the
National Sports Council s budget is funding
the work at the stadium. (ESPNcricinfo)
India, England to meet
in Champions Trophy final BCB unhappy with
slow progress at
World T20 venues
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