A time to look back at a great win and time to look forward to big challenge

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Virat Kohli (ANI Photo/IPL Twitter)

India in England As the Indian team heads to England for a Test, some bits of action on and off the field

Our Bureau
London

On June 23, 2013, India captured their first ICC Champions Trophy title, defeating England by five runs in the finals at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham.

Heading into the match, India was undefeated in the tournament, having won all three of their group stage matches and defeating Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the semi-finals. England had won two of their three group stage matches and had defeated South Africa by seven wickets in the semi-finals. The rain had reduced the contest to a 20 overs per side match.

Put to bat first by England, India did not have a very good start, losing opener Rohit Sharma for just 9 at the team’s score of 19 in the fourth over.

Later, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan tried to rebuild the innings, but their promising 31-run stand ended with Dhawan falling for 31 to batting all-rounder Ravi Bopara. Afterwards, Dinesh Karthik, Suresh Raina and skipper MS Dhoni fell in quick succession, sinking India to 66/5.

Kohli and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja took in their hands to rebuild things for India, stitching a 47-run stand. Pacer James Anderson took the breakthrough, dismissing Kohli for 43 off 34.

Jadeja took India to 129/7 in their 20 overs.

Ravi Bopara was the pick of the bowlers for England, taking 3/20 in four overs. James Tredwell, Anderson and Stuart Broad got a wicket each too.

Set 130 run target to take the trophy home, England got off a bad start, captain Alastair Cook fell for 2 in the second over, being dismissed by pacer Umesh Yadav. Afterwards, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott attempted to rebuild, but Trott fell for 20 to spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.

Spinner Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin continued dominating the English batting, with Joe Root (7) and Ian Bell (13) being their next wickets, sinking England to 4/46.

With England in trouble, Eoin Morgan (33) and Ravi Bopara (30) stepped up and stitched a 64-run stand that drove their side out of trouble. When pacer Ishant Sharma broke the partnership by dismissing Morgan, England was 5/110 in 17.3 overs.

The equation was down to 20 runs off 15 balls. Ravi Bopara, Jos Buttler and Tim Bresnan fell in quick succession and England sunk to 113/8 in 18.4 overs.

England needed 17 runs in 8 balls. India displayed an excellent display of death bowling, leaving the English five runs of the title, with their innings ending at 124/8 in their 20 overs.

Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (2/15) and Ravindra Jadeja (2/24) dominated the English batting and emerged as the best bowlers for India. Ishant Sharma also took two wickets while Umesh Yadav took one.

Jadeja took home the ‘Man of the Match’ award for his crucial 33* and 2/24.

India clinched their maiden ICC Champions Trophy and skipper MS Dhoni became the first skipper to win all the major ICC titles, having won ICC World T20 2007 and ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.

Brief Scores: India 129/7 (Virat Kohli 43, Ravindra Jadeja 33*, Ravi Bopara 3/20) defeated 124/8 (Eoin Morgan 33, Ravi Bopara 30, Ravichandran Ashwin 2/15) by five runs.

Rohit Sharma (ANI Photo/Mumbai Indians Twitter)

Rohit Sharma completes 15 years with Team India

Indian batter Rohit Sharma took to social media to share a heart-warming message on completing 15 years in international cricket.

“Hello everyone, Today I will be completing 15 years of international cricket since I made my debut for India. What a journey it has been, surely one that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I just want to thank everyone who has been a part of this journey and a special thanks to the people who helped me become the player that I am today. To all the cricket lovers, fans and critics your love and support for the team is what gets us over those hurdles we all inevitably come across. Thanking you, RS,” said the star Indian batter in his message.

Rohit Sharma has completed his 15 years in international cricket for India. He made his ODI debut for the national side on this day in 2007 against Ireland in Belfast.

Though he did not get an opportunity to bat in that match, he would go on to become a mainstay of Indian batting in the coming years. Starting off as a primarily middle-order batter for India, he did impress on numerous occasions and won some games for India but it was his elevation as an opener in 2013 that changed his career.

Following his elevation to the opening position, he went on to become one of the greatest and most consistent batters of this generation, hitting three double centuries in ODIs, becoming the only batter to do so. He formed a highly successful opening pair with Shikhar Dhawan.

In 230 ODI games, Sharma has scored 9,283 runs at an average of 48.60. His highest score in the format is 264. He has hit 29 centuries and 44 half-centuries in the 50-over format. He won the ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year Award in 2019. He is part of the team that won the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013.

In 45 Tests, Sharma has scored 3,137 runs at an average of 46.13. His best score in the format is 2012. Eight centuries and 14 half-centuries have come out of Sharma’s bat in the longest format of the game.

In the T20I format, Sharma has featured in 125 games for India. He has scored 3,313 runs in the shortest format of the game at an average of 32.48. His best individual score in the format is 118. He has scored four centuries and 26 half-centuries in this format for India. He is part of the 2007 T20 World Cup-winning team.

He was also named among Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year in their 2022 edition. In the same year, he was named India’s all-format captain.

A warm-up game to watch

Ahead of the fifth scheduled Test match against England on July 1, team India will lock horns with Leicestershire in a four-day warm-up match beginning on Thursday.

The rescheduled match is a part of last year’s five-match Test series that had to be delayed after the fourth Test due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the Indian camp. The warm-up fixture will be an opportunity for the Men in Blue to get into cement themself in the new condition after a long time for the all-important fifth Test.

The series is in favour of the visitors, who are leading 2-1 after defeating the hosts in the fourth Test at the Oval last year by 157 runs.

Meanwhile, star players of the Indian team Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna have been added to the rival Leicestershire County Cricket Club (LCCC) squad. They will play under county captain Sam Evans.

Captain Rohit Sharma will be leading India for their warm-up match against Leicestershire as well as in rescheduled Test match against England, starting on July 1 at Edgbaston.

LCCC, BCCI and the ECB have all approved allowing the four players from the visiting camp to be part of the Running Foxes side, in order to allow all members of the travelling party to participate in the fixture (subject to fitness).

The match will be played with 13 players per side to deliver further variations and help manage bowling workloads.

India: Rohit Sharma (Capt), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav.

Leicestershire CCC: Sam Evans (Capt), Rehan Ahmed, Sam Bates (wk), Nat Bowley, Will Davis, Joey Evison, Louis Kimber, Abi Sakande, Roman Walker, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna.

Kohli getting set for the game

India batter Virat Kohli on Tuesday shared a glimpse from his training session as he was seen preparing for the upcoming rescheduled fifth Test against England at Old Trafford starting on July 1.

India will lock horns with England for the rescheduled fifth Test next month but before that the visitors have started training upon arriving. Kohli, the former India captain, on Tuesday shared pictures from his training session on the Koo app.

“Practice well. Stay happy,” Kohli captioned the post on the Koo app.

Kohli was the skipper of Team India when the five-match Test series against England was originally played in 2021.

Meanwhile, Indian all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin could not board the flight to England after being tested positive for COVID-`19. The off-spinner came to Mumbai to travel with the Test team on June 16 but now he is in quarantine.

The 35-year-old will only join the Test squad after meeting all protocol requirements. The rest of the members of the Indian Test squad are already in Leicester and training has begun in Leicestershire County Ground where they will play a 4-day practice match from June 24.

India currently leads the Test series 2-1. The fifth Test match, which was supposed to be held in Old Trafford, Manchester last year, was cancelled due to COVID-19.

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