Defending champions team India is on its way to England for a new edition of Champions Trophy. And what can be more bigger than this that its inaugural match will be played against arc-rival Pakistan. With winning 2013’s ICC Champions Trophy India became first country of the world to win all the ICC Titles.
Their last participation in champions trophy match was against England which was also the final match of the tournament. India won the match in a nail biting finish against the English side. Let us relive all the years of Indian participation in Champions Trophy.
It was the inaugural year of champions trophy, it was named as Wills International Cup. A knockout tournament where India was eliminated in the semi finals. In their opening match India played against Australia. Sachin Tendulkar made this match a special one by playing one of his best innings ever. 141 from 128 balls making India’s total 307/8 to win against Aussies by 44 runs. India were promoted to semi final to face their encounter against West Indies.
WI made it look easy and comprehensively won the semis against India to face South Africa in the finals. Later SA won their 1st ever ICC Title.
A new millennium and a new transforming Indian Cricket Team. A tournament where Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh debut their international career. India led by Sourav Ganguly started their event by playing against the host nation Kenya. It was a cake walk for India to win against Kenya. In quarter finals India faced Australia where, debutantes Yuvraj Singh(84) and Zaheer Khan(40/2) led India to win and walk through for semi finals.
India face South Africa in semi final. Proteas not bothered India to won easily and step up for the finals against New Zealand.
Then Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly scored consecutive hundreds both in semi final(141*) and finals(117) to post a total of 264 in finals against Kiwi. New Zealand chased the score to won their 1st ever and till date only ICC title.
It was dada’s era, Sourav on full sound roared India to the top. In 2002 India started their campaign against Zimbabwe and won their first match easily. In their second match India faced England and got a target of 270. It was a chase which humiliated English people, Sehwag in a destructive mood helped India to chase down this score in 39.3 overs.
In semi finals India met Proteas and batting 1st gave them a target of 262 runs. SA riding on Herschelle Gibbs 116 were looking strong on 191/1. Gibbs retired hurt due to heat exhaustion which gave India a big relief. It was more than welcomed by Indian bowlers which restricted SA to 251/6 to step in yet another champions trophy finals.
Their final encounter was against host nation Sri Lanka. The Final was played on two days due to rain, but without any result. At last India and Sri Lanka were announced as co-champions.
This was the worst performance of India in champions trophy. After winning their first encounter against Kenya. India were defeated by their arch-rivals Pakistan. Which also ended Indian journey in 2004 champions trophy.
Host nation India was the favorite for the tournament, India started well against by defeating England in a low scoring game. The next match against West Indies was a set back, as India lost to Carribean side in a close competition. Loss to WI resulted in a must win match against Australia. But Aussies outcast Indians and defeated them by 6 wickets and entered the semi finals.
India lost their first match against Pakistan followed by a rain abandoned match against Australia was enough to minimize their chance to next round. Although India won handsomely against WI but could not make it to second round. It was a small step journey for India in 2009 champions trophy.
The best of the lot was the latest feature. India in 2013 entered champions trophy with World Cup Winner Title. They strengthen their name by some very best of performances. Led by captain cool Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India started their journey by defeating South Africa.
In the second match India defeated West Indies in a one way battle. Back to back centuries by Shikhar Dhawan (114 v/s SA) & (102 v/s WI) helped India to win their first two contests.
In their third assignment India defeated Pakistan in a rain effected match. Target of 165 in 40 overs was reduced to 102 in 20 overs which was easily done by Indians.
In knock out matches India faced Sri Lanka in semi final. A low target of 181 by Sri Lanka was chased by India in 35 overs by loss of 2 wickets. Shikhar Dhawan with consistent performances scored 114, 102, 48 and 68 before entering to finals against England.
Again rain played its part and reduced the match to each side 20 over match. India was restricted by England to 129/7. They never loss their hope, captain cool with his master stroke defended the score and ended England’s innings on 124/8 from their 20 overs. India won their second champions title.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni became only captain on the planet to lift all the ICC trophies.
With an average of 90.75 Shikhar Dhawan scored 363 runs in 5 matches and won Man of the Series title.
India will go to England to defend their Champions Trophy, men in blue are favorites for 2017.