ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Michael Hussey puts England and Australia as favourites

ICC Champions Trophy

ICC Champions Trophy

The 28-year-old batsman felt that the tournament will be more competitive this time around with the top eight teams in action but also asserted that the men-in-blue are up to the challenge.

"Given all these facts, I am very hopeful that the Indian team can repeat the performances of the 2013 edition of the Champions Trophy".

"Last time, the biggest takeways from the tournament was the opening of Rohit and Shikhar, It was a massive factor plus Ashwin and Jadeja, the way they bowled".

"This year the team is a lot fitter, the cricketers are a lot more mature because that was a very young group four years ago".

"It has gained a lot of experience in the last three or four years". Hopefully these two practice games [against New Zealand and Bangladesh] will give me an indication about how well I go in this tournament, and how well my variations will come to fore.

England have got the home advantage in addition to a very balanced squad which includes the likes of skipper Eoin Morgan alongside ODI stalwarts like Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jason Roy, Alex Hales, and Jos Buttler.

Kohli, however, dismissed talk of the Champions Trophy being a redemptive opportunity after he managed only 134 runs in 10 innings during India's Test tour of England in 2014. "From that team as well, there have been a few changes", Kohli said during the a media interaction before the team's departure for United Kingdom for the tournament, which begins on June 1.

Former England batsman Jonathan Trott was a member of that squad who just missed out on success at Edgbaston, but, like Lara, is confident the 2017 team can right the wrongs of years gone by.

"We have a better record against India in the Champions Trophy, not in other competitions, but we did well in this. For me, it is a game of cricket played anywhere in the world", Kohli said.

"I think they have got a chance of winning the tournament".

Reporter:- Considering the present Indo-Pak relations, do you think India should be playing against Pakistan, or you think a cricket match can become a platform to improve relations and cut down tensions? "I love the tournament because it represents a challenge from the (word) go".

Williamson, who's played plenty of county cricket in England with Yorkshire, was voted player of the series when New Zealand blew a 2-1 lead.

The two will meet again this summer after being drawn with Australia and Bangladesh in Group A - and Williamson is adamant his side will repeat the attacking brand of cricket it displayed when last on English soil.

"But you don't tend to look too much into it in tournaments like this, it is a one-off game and both teams will be playing with freedom and hope it comes off". But they have managed to continue that mindset pretty well, I don't see anyone taking a backwards step at any stage of the game, and that is pretty fantastic to see.

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