James Taylor, Nasser Hussain pick their England XI for Champions Trophy 2017

James Taylor, Nasser Hussain pick their England XI for Champions Trophy 2017

Nasser Hussain
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Team England recently completed a comfortable 3-0 win over West Indies. They look well on course for a good campaign at the upcoming ICC major, the Champions Trophy 2017. They had lost the finals of the tournament’s previous edition and will look to get an inch better this time. The team looks balanced with skipper Eoin Morgan leading from the front. The openers have been in a prolific form and so has been the middle order.

The spin department boasts of Adil Rashid, England’s leading wicket-taker in ODIs since ICC World Cup 2015. The pace attack is powerpacked and the management has a problem of plenty when it comes to that. England will take on Bangladesh in the tournament opener on June 1. While the playing XI is mostly pre-determined, popular sports commentators Nasser Hussain and James Taylor recently picked their starting XIs for the first match of Champions Trophy for SkySports.

Nasser Hussain went in with Alex Hales and Jason Roy at the top. Roy has been a consistent performer with his 40s and 50s. Hales recently made a comeback to the side with a thunderous ton at Bridgetown. The middle-order sees the modern day English batting stalwart Joe Root followed by skipper Eoin Morgan. At number 5 is wicket keeper Jos Buttler. Among all the batsmen in the playing eleven, Buttler is the only one who has struggled to be among the runs this season in limited overs cricket.

Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes look solid as all-rounders of the team. Moeen Ali provides the second spinning option and plays the long handle when needed towards the slog overs. Adil Rashid is the frontline spinner of the English bowling attack. Nasser went in with two pacers in Liam Plunkett and Mark Wood. Wood has not been a regular member of the side in the recent times. Plunkett, on the other hand, has been a consistent player.

Justifying his picks in the pace department, Hussain elaborated, “I took an eternity to pick my No 10 in the team. Everyone else pick themselves, but I couldn’t decide between Liam Plunkett and David Willey. Willey gets wickets with the new ball and is a big-match player – he likes that stage. Plus, he is a left-arm option and the best sides generally have that option, such as Mitchell Starc with Australia,” quoted Hussain.

“But there can be a tendency for him to bowl five overs up front, after which you don’t really see him, so I’ve gone for Plunkett on the basis that he offers a little bit more across a 100-over match. If Mark Wood is fully fit, he has to play, because he’s got pace, and is a wicket-taker. When you come up against those gun batsmen in the bigger teams, you need someone who can take wickets in the middle overs,” he added further.

Nasser Hussain’s England XI for Champions Trophy 2017:

Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Liam Plunkett.

James Taylor
James Taylor. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Investec)

James Taylor, the former English player, went in with predominantly the same side as that of Nasser Hussain. The only difference in his picks were among the quicks. He went in with Jake Ball and David Willey in his line up. He had his words of praise for Ball and at the same time noted the lack of experience that Wood has in international cricket.

“Jake Ball is perhaps a bit of a surprise selection in my team but he is an exceptionally good bowler – he has all the variations to make a fine one-day bowler. He hits hard lengths, has a good bouncer, a good yorker. He ticks all the boxes, and he can bowl at the death alongside Chris Woakes,” quoted Taylor.

“Willey makes it in as he is a big-match player and offers a bit of variation with the left arm. He takes wickets upfront with the new ball, swinging it back into the right-hander. Mark Wood is one of those X-factor players, he has got raw pace – he is a quality international bowler – but for me, he hasn’t played enough ODI cricket in the last year or so to push out Ball or Willey,” he added further.

James Taylor England XI for Champions Trophy 2017:

Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Liam Plunkett.