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ICC World Cup: India wary of desperate England

Rohit Sharma-led side is on course to top league stage, while England are looking to survive in the tournament they won four years ago

ICC World Cup: India wary of desperate England

Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill in the nets; right: Rohit Sharma checks the field for dew as coach Rahul Dravid looks on. reuters, PTI



Lucknow, October 28

India and England have played with contrasting approaches at the World Cup so far, producing contrasting results. And that is unlikely to change here tomorrow.

India are on course to top the league stage while England are looking to survive in the tournament they won four years ago.

They are still a dangerous team. We’ll not go by what has happened with them in the last few games. We’ll focus on tomorrow.

— KL Rahul

The Rohit Sharma-led side has hardly put a foot wrong, having chased successfully for five games in a row. England set the benchmark in white-ball cricket with their aggressive style of play, resulting in global triumphs in both the shorter formats.

However, the boom or bust approach has clearly not worked in Indian conditions and the defending champions find themselves on the brink of an embarrassing exit.

43.22 Virat Kohli’s average against England. England are the only side against whom Kohli has played more than one ODI and averages less than 50

5 Mohammed Shami has dismissed Jos Buttler five times in 60 balls, more than any other bowler in ODIs

In three matches so far, spinners have registered an economy of 4.79, as opposed to 5.63 by seamers in Lucknow. But the pitch for tomorrow’s match, with light patches of grass, is expected to help the seamers

Compared to England, India have very little to worry about though they will be missing the all-round services of Hardik Pandya for at least the next couple of games. Pandya continues to recover from a left ankle injury and the hosts may stick with his replacement Suryakumar Yadav, batsman KL Rahul said today. Suryakumar was run out for two in India previous game, against New Zealand.

Playing against India in a World Cup in their own country is a special part of the game. You know there’ll be a big crowd, there’ll be a wonderful occasion.

Marcus Trescothick, England’s Assistant Coach

“Hardik has been a very important member of the team... so not having him is also a bit of a miss for the team,” Rahul said. “Surya will probably get his chance and we know what he can do. So our confidence is in Surya till Hardik comes back.”

Surya will probably get his chance and we know what he can do. So our confidence is in Surya till Hardik comes back.

— KL Rahul

India are looking to leapfrog South Africa and return to the top of the table with their sixth consecutive win and could not ask to face England at a better time, with the holders all but eliminated after four losses in five games. But Rahul said India would not take their opponents lightly and must focus on their own strengths. “They’re still a dangerous team,” he said. “We’ll not go by what has happened with them in the last few games. We’ll focus on tomorrow.”

All of India’s victories have come while chasing and Rahul said it would be good to test themselves batting first. “It’ll be a great opportunity if we get to bat first before the next stage,” he said. “In the next four games if we can get to bat first it’ll be a good challenge for us to just see how to pace the innings and it’s been some time since we’ve batted first.”

Playing for pride

England’s title defence may be in tatters but assistant coach Marcus Trescothick said their sagging fortunes won’t stop them from relishing their blockbuster clash with hosts India.

England came into the showpiece as favourites after also capturing the T20 World Cup last year, but defeats by New Zealand, Afghanistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka have left them on the brink of elimination. Trescothick said England must look at the game against India as an opportunity for the players to regain confidence and the batting unit, in particular, to show their best form.

KL Rahul with Suryakumar Yadav during practice. PTI

“Playing against India in a World Cup in their own country is a special part of the game. You get these opportunities that come around — you know there’ll be a big crowd, there’ll be a wonderful occasion,” Trescothick said. “We’re looking forward to that chance. There’s nothing more we can offer apart from going out and playing. And then hopefully you come out on top at the end of it.”

Jos Buttler’s side must win their remaining four matches and have other results go their way to reach the knockout stages but Trescothick said they were not dwelling too much on that. — Agencies 

#England #Lucknow #Rohit Sharma


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