India play England on Sunday in one of the big matches of this World Cup. India are one of the favorites and will have massive crowd support in Bangalore. England, on the other hand, are a very good side of late and even though they lost the one day series in Australia recently, have a potent bowling attack and a bunch of reliable batsmen. It should be a good game. Here are my thoughts about the upcoming game.
The clash this time is clearly between the might of India’s batting and the potency of England’s bowling attack. On paper, it has the makings for a mouth-watering matchup. Even though India’s batting looks very strong, the England bowling has a lot of weapons and the batsmen can find it tough if they let their guard down even for a bit.
If India win the toss, they should look to bat first and put runs on the board. The reason for this is the dew in the evening session that could help England’s fast bowlers to move it around for the first few overs atleast. To nullify that, India should look to bat first and put up a huge total. One line of thinking can be, India should let England bat first and look to stifle them with the spinners. That would have been a good strategy if the Bangalore track would have been like the Bangladesh or Sri Lankan tracks or like the one Delhi where the ball did not come on to the bat. But Bangalore is usually a good track with good bounce and carry and should be even-paced throughout the match. So win the toss and bat first is a good strategy to follow here.
England team – Strengths and weaknesses
England are carrying a team this time that is a little like the traditional sides of yesteryear. They possess a solid middle order with batsmen who like to build an innings. The minus point, in my opinion, is that they lack a game-breaker like Yusuf Pathan or Kieron Pollard in the middle order. After KP, the next real basher is Matt Prior at number 7. The other batsmen – Trott, Bell, Collingwood, Bopara (to an extent) – are all classic batsmen who like to score at a strike rate around 80-85. In that aspect, they will miss Eoin Morgan who had become a very good finisher who could turn things around quickly.
In the bowling department, the key man in my opinion is Swann. He is a very dangerous bowler in all formats of the game and troubled Indian batsmen recently when he played against them. Anderson, Broad and Bresnan/Finn are also good bowlers who are quite dangerous when the conditions favor them. But I would like to see them perform against this Indian batting lineup with little or no help from the conditions. I think they can be handled, but the Indian batsmen do need to be watchful in the first 8-10 overs and ensure that England bowlers don’t get early wickets. England are also a very good fielding side of late and surely score over India in that department. Lets also not forget that in Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss, they have a very good leadership team who can extract the best out of their players at all times.
Indian team selection
As I mentioned in my earlier post, India should look to leave Sreesanth out and bring in Piyush Chawla for this game. Chawla has some good performances against England, in India and in English conditions, so his confidence will be high against the England team. So he should be played over Ashwin for this game.
Opening the bowling with spin is not a bad option for this game, particularly against KP who could struggle to force the pace initially against the slower bowlers. So I would open with Zaheer and Pathan. Zaheer likes bowling to left-handers, so in the perfect-world scenario, Zaheer would take out Strauss and Pathan would account for KP J
Yuvraj is the only batsman I am worried about at this stage, since he is coming off an ordinary series in SA and did not get a hit in the middle. But hopefully, the sight of his favorite bowler Stuart Broad will help him to get his confidence and form back J
Overall, I think India has the firepower to beat this England side and should be able to emerge victorious. I am going to stick my neck out and predict that the highest scorer for India would be Sachin and the highest wicket-taker for India would be Piyush Chawla.
So lets hear it from you guys. There are 2 days to go for the match, so lets get warmed up for the game by discussing about it here.
Here’s hoping for a good game of cricket and an Indian win.