Predicting the World Cup clash between England and India
What a Clash. England beat India 3-2 in 2018 to wrest the first spot in the ODI rankings. Now, India is the only undefeated side and England, who have lost last 2 matches are on the verge of losing a semifinal spot. To put salt to the wound ,India has dethroned England to become the top-ranked ODI side this week.
Birmingham is the ground that hosted the match between Pakistan and New Zealand. Who can forget the swinging deliveries of Shaheen Afridi, the drift and spin by Mitchell Santner and Shadab Khan.
Quality batsmen like Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme showed that by applying, one can stay on the crease.
In the other match at Edgbaston, New Zealand defeated South Africa by virtue of a scintillating century from Kane Williamson.
The ball will swing, cut, spin and only masterly acts will ensure run making. So look out for Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.
It is unbelievable to accept that Indian bowlers are the best in the world and India is winning matches on the performances of bowlers.
Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal will relish bowling at Edgbaston.
In batting they should bring Rishabh Pant as an opener and drop Vijay Shankar to strengthen a shaky batting middle-order.
India's last ODI at Edgbaston was against Bangladesh in 2017. Rohit hit a majestic century in that one and Kohli made 96 to steer the Men in Blue to a nine-wicket win.
The English bowlers, however, are not to be taken lightly.
India will make a sub-275 score unless some one makes a century. In case Kohli fails, India will struggle to reach 240.
Jason Roy's absence has hit them hard. James Vince is not convincing, due to which Jonny Bairstow is failing. Root is not proving to be a big match player. The so called long middle order, which bats up to No. 9, has failed to deliver.
The bowlers are bowling too short. Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer and Mark Wood are not taking early wickets and that is why England is in a precarious position.
KL Rahul is vulnerable to in-dippers in the beginning. So, Archer will cause problems to him. Rohit tends to edge to the slips, which Woakes will be looking for. Virat needs to be peppered by Wood's short deliveries.
Dhoni doesn't score off length balls in the beginning. Not bowling him back-of-the-length deliveries will prolong the time it takes for him to settle. Hardik Pandya spoons the ball if it is at a distance. Negative bowling induces him to commit mistakes and he concedes his wicket.
If England follows this strategy, they stand a chance of winning.
Batting first is not the recipe to win at Edgbaston as in order to post higher score batsmen are getting out. So, batsmen need to be patient and then play their shots.
If you win the toss, put the opposition in to bat, bowl at the right areas and let the pitch do the talking.
If India posts 270+ or chases 250, they have a better chance to win.
That being said, I feel that England will play to their potential and pose problems for Indian batsmen. So, I tilt the balance in favor of England, 3-2