England’s campaign went from sublime to chaotic in the matter of few games. From a team who were supposed to walk into the semi-final, England has been reduced to fighting for a spot with a bunch of other teams. The biggest problem for England has been their one-dimensional batting and their lack of respect for the conditions. The batters keep on swinging and with the pitches not being conducive to such stroke play, they have been caught out.
The opening combination was dealt a serious blow when Jason Roy got injured but he might be back for England for this game. Jonny Bairstow at the top hasn’t been struggling to convert his starts and his outburst in the media indicates the pressure he is in. The England team in the tremendous pressure from their fans and media. The bowling of England has been good though. Jofra Archer has been bowling well and so has been Mark Wood and Chris Woakes. The biggest disappointment for England has been their spin department as both Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali haven’t done much with the ball. They would need more contribution from the top order with the bat and the spinners to pick wickets if they have to go all the way in this tournament.
For India, though this game isn’t as important as the hosts again they would like to continue their winning momentum. Even though India hasn’t lost a game yet things haven’t been as rosy as it seems. The batting is still top heavy and the middle order has struggled. Vijay Shankar who is batting at number four hasn’t fired yet and the openers in the last couple of games haven’t converted their starts. There is always a question mark over the batting of MS Dhoni’s batting and the struggles of the middle order. Virat Kohli has been in great form but he hasn’t been able to convert his fifties to a big score as well so far. The biggest positive for India has been their bowling as all of them look in supreme touch and will surely trouble any team in their current form.
Head to head:
Despite England being the best side in the world over the past few years India still holds an advantage over them historically in ODIs. In the World, though it has been close and both teams are deadlocked at 3-3 so far but the hosts haven’t beaten India in 27 years in the marquee tournament.
Rohit Sharma (India): The Indian openers in the last couple of games haven’t been able to provide a solid start which has put the middle order under pressure. Rohit Sharma who started the tournament with a bang has had a quiet time since then. He will be important to thwart the English new ball pair and provide India with a good start. Rohit has a good record against England in England and averages 53 with the bat.
Kuldeep Yadav (India): England’s struggle against spin is well documented. Kuldeep Yadav had some success against England in the ODI series last year and with the pitches continuing to be on the slower side, Yadav will be crucial in the middle overs. The pitches have been turning and are not good for stroke play and Yadav is brilliant in exploiting such conditions.
Jonny Bairstow (England): Since the injury to Jason Roy England has been struggling for good starts. The struggle of Jonny Bairstow has been a part reason for the same. With India’s strength being their new ball attack Bairstow would be wanting to stomp his authority in the game. Despite looking strong England’s middle order has struggled against good teams and Bairstow setting the tone at the top is what England need at the moment.
Chris Woakes (England): Even though Jofra Archer has taken lots of wickets it has been Chris Woakes who has been the most impressive of English bowlers. He has swung the ball and also has troubled the batsmen with his accuracy. He mostly will take the new ball again and will be hoping to dismiss India’s strength which is their top order.
What they said?
“No, I can’t fault the commitment or application that the guys have produced in every single game. Where we’ve let ourselves down as a group is adapting to conditions. It’s been a bigger challenge in this World Cup than previous bilateral series that we’ve played. So tomorrow’s going to be the exact same. We’re going to have to adapt to conditions, adapt to playing against a strong side in India” Said Eoin Morgan about England’s predicament in the tournament
“Although we haven’t lost a game until now, we still can’t be complacent as a side. The reason why we won all the games that we’ve played is because we’ve been very professional and precise in pressure moments. It [England’s losses] is a bit surprising, but I expected something like that in the World Cup, where teams are going to be put under pressure.” Said Virat Kohli emphasizing that India will not take the foot off the pedal
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
Both teams have their issues in the World Cup but India have adapted better and are in a great position in the tournament. For England though they would need to shut off all the criticism and concentrate on the cricket and hope that they can pull this one off against a strong Indian side. They were the world number one team until a few days ago and they need to draw from that experience to make one final dash towards the semi-final spot. The confidence and form point to India but again England is a strong side and will be hard to beat in this important encounter.