Lara's tip for Champs Trophy glory

West Indian likes the look of 'one-day oriented' England ahead of tournament opener on Thursday

West Indies legend Brian Lara has tipped hosts England to take out their inaugural ICC Champions Trophy title.

England are warm favourites heading into the tournament – a tag they've claimed they're deserving of after a transformative two years under new coach Trevor Bayliss that has seen them develop one of the most feared batting units in ODI cricket.

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To underline their rejuvenation, England smashed a world record total of 3-444 last August, while eight of their all-time 10 highest ODI scores have come since June 2015.

And Lara, whose Windies team beat England in the final of the 2004 edition of the tournament, said it was their fearsome batting unit that prompted him to declare the hosts likely champions.

"I think in these conditions, England will be my firm favourites," the Trinidadian said.

"After losing out to the West Indies in the World T20 (final in 2016), you look at the team now and they have some exciting players.

England snatch series after Stokes slams ton

"England, in the past, would have maybe an Ian Botham or a (Andrew) Flintoff, but now you can look at the entire team and it's very one-day cricket oriented.

"Today, you look at the England team and you've got players playing in the IPL, and players who are astonishing with both the bat and ball."

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England added to their credentials with victory over South Africa on Saturday to claim their eighth-straight ODI victory and secure a series triumph against the world's No.1-ranked nation.

Paceman Mark Wood conceded just four runs from the final over against set batsmen David Miller and Chris Morris to pull off a remarkable escape.

"That's a brilliant series win and on the brink of a major tournament in this country it's a fantastic win from that situation," former England off-spinner Graeme Swann told BBC Sport.

"South Africa can't believe they haven't won that.

"England have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat."

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Eoin Morgan's side face Bangladesh at The Oval on Thursday to begin the tournament, before coming up against New Zealand (June 6) and Australia (June 10).

The Australians are just one of two sides – together with India – that England have failed to complete a series win over under Bayliss, though tellingly they have only faced those two nations in Australia and India respectively.

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"England are a big chance to win it all," Mike Hussey told "They’ve got a good all-round team.

"They’ll be well-led and well-coached.

"They know their home conditions so well and will have that home-ground support."

Champions Trophy 2017 Guide

Squads: Every Champions Trophy squad named so far

Group A: Australia, New Zealand, England, Bangladesh.

Group B: India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan.


Warm-up matches

26 May – Australia v Sri Lanka, The Oval

27 May – Bangladesh v Pakistan, Edgbaston

28 May – India v New Zealand, The Oval

29 May – Australia v Pakistan, Edgbaston

30 May – New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Edgbaston

30 May – Bangladesh vs India, The Oval


1 June – England v Bangladesh, The Oval (Day)

2 June – Australia v New Zealand, Edgbaston (D)

3 June – Sri Lanka v South Africa, The Oval (D)

4 June – India v Pakistan, Edgbaston (D)

5 June – Australia v Bangladesh, The Oval (D/N)

6 June – England v New Zealand, Cardiff (D)

7 June – Pakistan v South Africa, Edgbaston (D/N)

8 June – India v Sri Lanka, The Oval (D)

9 June – New Zealand v Bangladesh, Cardiff (D)

10 June – England v Australia, Edgbaston (D)

11 June – India v South Africa, The Oval (D)

12 June – Sri Lanka v Pakistan, Cardiff (D)

14 June – First semi-final (A1 v B2), Cardiff (D)

15 June – Second semi-final (A2 v B1), Edgbaston (D)

18 June – Final, The Oval (D)

19 June – Reserve day (D)

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