The squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
The fixtures: June 1 v Bangladesh, The Oval; June 6 v New Zealand, Cardiff; June 10 v Australia, Edgbaston
Best result: Runners-up (2004, 2013)
The talking point: This is the big test for England who are a rejuvenated white-ball force after crashing out of the group stage of the 2015 World Cup at the hands of Bangladesh. In a twist of fate, the hosts open their Champions Trophy campaign against the Tigers and will be desperate for smooth sailing from ball one, having declared themselves deserving of the ‘favourites’ tag. Under Eoin Morgan, England have cut a swathe through ODI teams since the World Cup embarrassment, employing an attacking brand of cricket through young players who hold no fear.
However, despite their 50-over resurgence, England have failed to record series victories over Australia, India and South Africa in that time, perhaps their three biggest threats in this tournament.
The one to watch: There is no hotter player in the world than Ben Stokes. Think Hansel, 2001. After breaking the bank at the 2017 IPL auction, Stokes backed up his hefty pay packet with a stunning tournament where he was named the Most Valuable Player for runners-up Pune. He looms over this tournament like the Supergiant he is, to the point where Mike Hussey called him the 2017 version of 1999 World Cup destroyer Lance Klusener. If he comes off three times for England the hosts probably win the Champions Trophy. He’s that good. But with expectation comes pressure, and Stokes won’t be the only one under the microscope.
The pressure is on: England. They’re the form team having won five of their past six ODI series. They possess the hottest player in the world (see above). And they’re playing at home. In many respects, it’s their tournament to lose. Which means the tag of favouritism is with the hosts, a label coach Trevor Bayliss would undoubtedly hate, even if some of his players are happy to claim it. English teams in the past have not handled this kind of pressure well, but the 2017 iteration is a new breed, so you never know.
Mike Hussey’s verdict: They’ve got a really good team. Obviously, they’ll know the conditions really well playing at home and they’ll have plenty of hometown support. They’ve got some dangerous players all the way down their list. There’s the class of Joe Root, but guys like Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Jason Roy, Sam Billings – they’ve got some young, exciting talented cricketers that if they hit their form and they’ve got their confidence up they will be very hard to beat. They will be well led by Eoin Morgan and Trevor Bayliss, who will bring a calmness to the team which is really important in one-day cricket.