At times it gets tougher to keep track of which team is having what players in a tournament as big as this one, which will continue for full 36 days.
So what I have done is made a list of Full squad of all the top 8 teams participating in 2006 ICC Champions trophy, written short punchlines about their features, given information on players whom you may not know and tagged five players from each team of 14 players as "The Danger Man", "The Dark Horse", "The Sleeping Giant", "The unknown identity" and "My pick" for the obvious reasons of what the tag means.
I hope it proves interesting to you, or at least updates you with which team is having which players and by what name for the ICC Champions trophy in India October-November 2006.
Group A (India, Australia, England and Qualifier 2).
Rahul Dravid - Captain,
Sachin Tendulkar, (Danger Man)
Virendra Sehwag -Vice captain,
Yuvraj Singh,(Sleeping Giant)
MS Dhoni, ("Not so" Dark Horse)
Ramesh Powar,(Unknown identity)
Harbhajan Singh,(My pick)
R P Singh.
Features :- Home team with best batting line up on papers. Do I need to say anything more about this team??
Unknown identity : Although I don't think a single Indian cricketers is unknown to the World, I feel like adding a little information about Ramesh Powar who is a "fat but fit" off spinner and an OK lower order batsman. The other one similar is Suresh Raina - who is currently the latest batting sensation from India. The left handed middle order batsman is not even 20 years old and have the ability to play great drives and some silly ones as well.
Ricky Ponting Cap.(Danger Man)
Micheal Hussey,(Dark Horse)
Andrew Symonds,(Sleeping Giant)
Brad Hogg,(My pick)
Mitchell Johnson,(Unknown identity)
Features :- The best cricket team in the World. No other words.
Unknown identities :- To me, Mitchell Johnson, Stuart Clark and Shane Watson seem to be the ones whom you may not know but I feel like mentioning little more about Micheal Hussey. So here we go --
Mitchell Johnson :- A tear away left arm fast bowler, with a height of more than 6 feet's, speed of over 140 km/hr and ability to swing the ball. Australian selectors seems to have realized that lack of variety in their bowling has led them to Ashes loss after 20 years and hence they have been including left arm bowlers like Johnson and Nathan Bracken. Mitchell Johnson was the man who picked up 4 for 11 against India at Kinrara Oval in Malaysia in September 2006 and made it to the front of every news paper in the World.
Stuart Clark :- A great Ashes prospect, or I should say a very good test match fast bowler, who is yet to prove his ODI abilities. Stuart Clark is very tall - almost 6 feet's and 4 inches and has a typical line of "just outside off stump" which gets him lots of wickets in test matches. But when it comes ODI cricket, when batsmen are prepared to drive anything outside off, let see how Clark manages.
Shane Watson :- The hope of Australia. Their answer to Andrew Flintoff. And probably the only cricketer in their team who can be tagged as full time "all rounder". With ability to bowl at over 135 km per hour, and capability to hit the ball a long way - Shane Watson has promised a lot to Australian cricket till date. But another fact is that he is a injury prone cricketer and has not really played out of his home country. Someone to watch out for sure.
Micheal Hussey :- 43 ODIs, 18 not outs, 1308 runs, strike rate of 99.09 and ODI average of 81.75, do I need to tell you anything more about Michael Hussey - the middle order batsman of Australia, who is nick named "Mr. Cricket" because of his passion for the game of cricket. Let me tell you one more thing that Hussey has the date of birth as May 27, 1975 and has a height of 6 feet's. It's still debated in Australian media that why this talented cricketer was waiting for so long.
Andrew Flintoff - Capt, (Sleeping Giant)
Ian Bell,(My pick)
Paul Collingwood, (Dark Horse)
Kevin Pietersen,(Danger man)
Ricky Clarke,(Unknown identity)
Features :-Where is Marcus Trescothick?? If you remember correctly, Trescothick went back home without giving any reason when England team were in India last time in March 2006. No body cleared what was the reason of Trescothick's return to England and it was surprising to see him play for his county team when England team were struggling to match Indian teams batting standard in the 7 ODI series.
Believe me, there surely is a specific reason that we cricket lover's are told about. Trescothick was batting brilliantly when Pakistan were in England a month ago, and was probably their second best batsmen in that England vs Pakistan ODI series.... not seeing him in this England team for ICC Champions trophy seems more than strange to me... CAN ANYONE TELL ME THE REASON FOR TRESCOTHICK NOT BEING HERE??
It will also be interesting to see if Andrew Flintoff will bowl in Champions trophy. As far as my knowledge of cricket goes, Flintoff will be bowling very sparingly, whenever necessary for the English team or he feeling like bowling. Because playing in this Champions trophy is no more than "Match Practice" for England team - for whom, only test matches (read Ashes) seem to matter.
See Group B teams and/or The Qualifiers - West Indies and Sri Lanka.