Dean Jones backing Australia to lift the Champions Trophy

Dean Jones backing Australia to lift the Champions Trophy

Dean Jones said that he prefers Smith to lift the coveted trophy on June 18 rather than Virat Kohli.

Dean Jones
Dean Jones. (Photo by Mark Tantrum/Getty Images)

The ICC Champions Trophy will commence within a week when hosts England will take on Bangladesh in the tournament curtain-raiser at Kennington Oval in London on June 1. Both teams are placed in Group A alongside Australia and New Zealand. This will be the second consecutive time that the tournament will be played in England after resounding success in the last edition in 2013.

The tournament will be the eighth edition of the event and only India and Australia have won it twice before. Both teams will be led by captains who haven’t led their teams before in an ICC tournament. Steve Smith and Virat Kohli are great leaders and the pressure of playing in an eight-nation tournament will define them as leaders for the years to come.

Smith will lead a talented group of cricketers. Former Australia cricketer Dean Jones has picked Australia as the favourites to win the tournament. It is not a bad shout at all especially considering the talent available in the group. Australia played an ODI series last in September 2015 and they emerged victorious as they won the 5-match series by a 3-2 margin.

An Indian fan posted a picture of Virat Kohli holding the trophy ahead of a media interaction and said that he wanted the same set of hands around the trophy after the conclusion of the final on June 18.

Dean Jones replied to the tweet and said that he prefers ‘Smudge’s’ hands instead of the other way round. Australian skipper Steve Smith is popularly known as Smudge.

The likes of Smith, Warner, Henriques, Finch, Lynn, Head, Maxwell, Stoinis, Cummins and Zampa are all fresh from their stint at the recently concluded Indian Premier League. The participation in such a big tournament means that they are match-fit and are in some form leading up the Champions Trophy.

The Australian pace battery will ultimately hold the key and the likes of Mitchell Starc, James Pattison, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins will be critical in pace conducive conditions of England. Starc will lead the attack for Australia and have a wealth of experience behind him too as he has won 65 ODI caps for his country.

Australia begins their campaign with two warm-up games against Sri Lanka and Pakistan on May 26 and 29. They will play their first game against New Zealand on June 2 at Edgbaston in Birmingham.