Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming feels that India’s skipper Virat Kohli and Co. might have an edge arch-rivals Pakistan when they face off in their opening of the Champions Trophy at Edgbaston on Sunday at 3 pm.
Former Black Caps captain Fleming said to PTI that, “India have quality players with experience, whereas Pakistan are probably on the way up. Pakistan are a very talented side, but they are unpredictable. Pakistan are a little inconsistent given the young nature of their side and that’s where India have an edge. India are most settled and played together a lot.”
The former Black Caps left-handed batsman said that India was one of the favorites to lift the Champions Trophy. “India are one of the favourites. There are four teams in particular which stand out for me. They are England, South Africa, Australia, and India. They are definitely in the top bracket.”
When asked who will be the two finalists of the Champions Trophy 2017, Fleming named England vs South Africa.
Praising on the Indian players, Fleming said “I watched these players recently in the Indian Premier League. (Jasprit) Bumrah and Hardik Pandya, in particular, are outstanding players.”
“They have also got great experience in senior players like Shikhar Dhawan, (Virat) Kohli, (MS) Dhoni, (Ravichandran) Ashwin and (Ravindra) Jadeja. You have got players all the way through, even Rohit Sharma.”
Fleming said that Indian middle order batsman a “technically sound”. “Ajinkya was mentally and physically tired after the summer. He played a lot of cricket for India during the home series and after he finished the home series, he was fatigued and we saw some signs in the last 3-4 games in IPL. But he was starting to come back to form.”
“He will be a key part of the side. In England, without knowing the overhead conditions, weather it’s going to swing or seam, he is a type of player who you can base your innings around and he is not far away from good form.”