India announce Champions Trophy squad; Dhawan returns, Pant misses cut


Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami have returned to India's ODI squad, named on Monday in a familiar 15-man pool of players for next month's ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales.

India won the tournament last in 2013 after they beat the host nation, England in the highly contested final.

"It is a balanced team, an experienced team and I think we have picked the best possible side", chief selector MSK Prasad told reporters.

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"I was obviously happy to see my name in the India squad for the Champions Trophy but more than that I felt it was a reward for my performances in the shorter formats and in the ongoing IPL", Dhawan said. The team has some dependable all-rounders like Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin.

Defending champions India will take part in the Champions Trophy next month, BCCI said on Sunday, ending weeks of speculation over the team's participation in the premier tournament. Therefore, the onus of holding the innings together will fall on the shoulders of MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh in case the top order doesn't fire. Meaning, Manish Pandey will play as a reserve player. The fans have a lot of expectations from him and we are sure that Rohit Sharma will definitely score big in the ICC Champions Trophy, 2017.

But, there were many players like Nitish Rana, Rishav Pant who have performed well in the IPL but missed on the opportunity to play in the champions trophy.

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"Ashwin's injury was not serious and we wanted to give him a break".

When asked regarding Dhoni's batting position for the Champions Trophy, Prasad said: "That is up to the combination and let the team management decide that".

Virat Kohli (Captain): Even though the Indian captain hasn't been in form in the current Indian Premier League, run-machine Kohli was in a sensational form throughout the home season of 2016-17.

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India have been drawn in Group B and will open the defence of their crown against rivals Pakistan at Edgbaston on June 4, before further pool matches versus Sri Lanka and South Africa.