ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Kumar Sangakkara predicts winners of the tournament and it's not Sri Lanka!
Former Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara does not think Sri Lanka have a strong claim ahead of ICC Champions Trophy 2017 starting June 1
Former Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara today said defending champions India were capable of retaining the Champions Trophy title as they were a better-balanced unit with “real firepower in their fast bowling”. “This year we have four Asian teams in the tournament and clearly India is current the pack-leaders in the region. It won in 2013 and it has a team capable of winning this year
too,” Sangakkara wrote in his column in ICC website.
The wicketkeeper-batsman, however, felt that India’s selection was a “little conservative”. “The only slight concern I have for India is that its selection was perhaps a little conservative, but it is still very strong,” he said. The 39-year-old picked India as one of his favourite
teams to make the semifinals of the upcoming tournament, starting on June 1.
“I think picking finalists is too tough, but my favourites for the semi-finals would be Australia, England, India and South Africa,” Sangakkara, who won the Champions Trophy 2002 and World Twenty20 2014 with Sri Lanka, said. Sangakkara, who quit international cricket two years ago having scored a total of 28,016 international runs across all formats, said the competition was going to be very tough with 4 -5 teams having the potential of making it to the final. ALSO READ: CT 2017 IND vs NZ, Warm-Up Game: MS Dhoni’s lightning fast stumping to dismiss de Grandhomme stuns Twitter!
“There was a time, not so long ago, when one or two countries dominated the format, but in the past few years we have seen several teams develop tremendously and now we have four to five teams who are very evenly matched, all with realistic ambitions of winning major tournaments.”
Heaping praise on the hosts, Sangakkara said that English team has been a real revelation. “England ODI team’s progress in the past two years has been a revelation. It used to trail behind other teams in terms of its strategy and approach, but now it is one of the
most progressive teams. “England is playing an aggressive and exciting brand of cricket and it has some world-class players driving that,” Sangakkara said.
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