sns & agencies
NEW DELHI/BIRMINGHAM/ LONDON, 24 JUNE: Bishan Singh Bedi today spoke glowingly of the brilliant performance of the Indian team in the Champions Trophy, saying the “nucleus” of the squad that would represent India in the 2015 World Cup was ready.
“This tournament has given us an idea of what the Indian team’s nucleus will be during 2015 World Cup. Shikhar (Dhawan), Virat (Kohli), Jadeja (Ravindra) and Suresh Raina will form the core of Dhoni’s team for the World Cup Down Under,” Bedi said, adding: “Let’s not get carried away by this performance, however. They are deserving winners, no doubt, but we need to build upon this victory.
“We shouldn’t bring the team down if they lose a few matches. The best part was that same XI played through the tournament and it happens when teams are full of self-belief,” the 66-year-old former national captain observed.
The stand-out player in the tournament, according to Bedi, has been Jadeja, who has shown a “remarkable temperament.”
“Jadeja has been outstanding in the tournament. He has improved by leaps and bounds in the past two years. He bowled brilliantly throughout the tournament and contributed with the bat when the team needed him the most. It seems that he has worked a lot on his game,” Bedi said.
For Bedi, the key factor in India’s winning the Champions Trophy has been the performance of their bowling unit.
“Bhuvneshwar (Kumar), Ishant (Sharma) and Umesh (Yadav) should be praised for their performances.
The bowlers made a worthwhile effort and took the bulk of the burden. Such was their performance that there was no place in the playing XI for boys like Vinay (Kumar) and Irfan (Pathan), who were equally deserving candidates,” he explained.
“If you look at how the team performed, the middle order wasn’t tested at all during the entire duration of the tournament until the final, which turned into a T20 affair. I am a firm believer in the theory that T20 is a game of lottery,” Bedi said. “England went into it thinking of a 50-over game and it turned out to be a T20 one. Now the playing XI that they had were not exactly what England needed for the shortest version. Alastair Cook doesn’t play T20, nor does Jonathan Trott. Now the moment it became T20, their plans went haywire,” Bedi explained.
Cash incentive
The Board of Control for Cricket in India today announced monetary incentives for members of the Indian cricket team, including their support staff. Each player in the team will be awarded a cash prize of Rs 1 crore while the each member of the support staff will be richer by Rs 30 lakh.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, Man of the Match of the Champions Trophy final and recipient of the "golden ball" for picking the maximum number of wickets, 12, in the tournament, said: “I did well throughout the tournament and I was very positive. It was quite difficult to rotate the strike, so I and Virat (Kohli) just tried to build a good partnership. I was enjoying bowling on the Edgbaston wicket. My skipper always backs me when I bowl.” 
Shikhar Dhawan, winner of the "golden bat" for scoring the maximum number of runs in the tournament, totalled 363 runs in five matches.
He hit two centuries and a half-century with a highest knock of of 114. “I’d dreamt of this, I’m really happy with it. Bouncy tracks suit my game. I worked hard during practice and in the warm-up games. It makes it more special because I was out of the side for a few years,” said Dhawan, dedicating his award to the people trapped in the Uttarakhand floods.

Shami in Indian squad
NEW DELHI, 24 JUNE: Bengal fast bowler Mohammed Shami was today named as Irfan Pathan’s replacement in the Indian squad for the tri-series in the West Indies. Pathan, who was in the Champions Trophy-winning squad, suffered a hamstring injury and would be flying back to India for rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy. Pathan did not play in a single match in the tournament after participating in the warm-up game against Sri Lanka at Birmingham where he had given away 45 runs in five wicketless overs. The 23-year-old Shami, considered one of the fastest contemporary bowlers in India, has played in five One-Day Internationals, taking four wickets. sns