New Delhi: India's limited overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has stressed that the defending champions' key to success in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy would be "consistency".
The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday released the fixture for the eight-team One-Day International tournament which will be held from from 1 to 18 June 2017 in England.
Dhoni, who inspired India to the title in 2013, a couple of years after guiding his side to World Cup victory, said he was aware of the challenges the event poses.
“Having won the event in 2013, we know how intense this event can be and we are under no illusion that it will be any different next year,” he told Dhoni told icc-cricket.com.
“In the ICC Champions Trophy, it doesn’t matter which other sides are in your group or who your semi-final or final opponent is. You have limited time and the key to success is consistency, and being on top of your game each time you step out on to the field. There is very little room for error," the 34-year-old wicket-keeper continued.
“I am sure the ICC Champions Trophy, like any other ICC event, will be well organised and the team and I are looking forward to a lot of crowd support, which was one of the factors that helped us across the line in 2013,” he added.
India are in Group B with Asian rivals Pakistan and Sri Lanka, as well as 1998 (then known as ICC KnockOut Trophy) winner South Africa. India will open its campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan at Edgbaston, Birmingham, on June 4.
Australia, Bangladesh, England and New Zealand are the other teams, in Group A. Surprisingly, two Full Member teams — the West Indies, which won the recently concluded ICC World Twenty20 in India, and Zimbabwe failed to make the cut.
The eight top ranked sides as on September 30, 2015 will feature in the 18-day tournament next summer.