Overall: Will England be able to win again?
One of the most anticipated matchups of the 2023 ODI World Cup was India vs England. Ultimately, the hosts and pre-tournament favorites are facing the reigning champs. But by the time this game came along, nobody could have predicted that England would be clinging on by the thinnest of threads.
England is squatting close to the bottom of the points table after winning just one of their last five games. Every particle in this cosmos must work in their favor if they are to advance to the knockout stages from here. There are just too many possible outcomes.
It appears that England has already taken the necessary actions. They have experimented with every one of the original squad’s fifteen players, played carelessly, and even started three of the five games without their vice captain. It’s not worked at all.
Conversely, India appears to be the most well-rounded team. They are the only team in the competition that has won five straight games. Even though they were without their most valuable two-in-one player, Hardik Pandya, they managed to defeat their archenemy, New Zealand, at the ICC tournaments.
The way India gets started is crucial to their success. Jasprit Bumrah has been imposing his will with the ball, registering an astounding economy of 2.90 in the first ten overs, while Rohit Sharma has been setting the tone in the powerplay with a strike rate of 134.01.
India will take the top slot back if they win tomorrow, putting England even closer to elimination. Hardik, however, is currently sidelined as he heals from an ankle injury. And that means, once more, entering the game with just five elite bowlers. Maybe that’s the reason Suryakumar Yadav, Virat Kohli, and Shubman Gill were flailing their arms in the nets.
Mohammed Siraj was one of the most deadly ODI bowlers in the world going into the World Cup, having taken 30 wickets in 14 matches in 2023. He was hitting the ball every third over and had a 4.91 economy rate. But he hasn’t looked well thus far in this World Cup. In his five appearances, he has taken just six wickets at an economy of 5.90. When Hardik returns, Mohammed Shami will be a fierce rival for his spot if he keeps playing this way.
This World Cup, Buttler has only managed to score 95 runs in five innings.
This World Cup, Buttler has only managed 95 runs in five innings (Associated Press).
Jos Buttler has also fallen short of the standards, much like his squad, and he has come to terms with it. Buttler, who is regarded as one of the most potent white-ball hitters, opened the competition against New Zealand with 43. However, his subsequent scores have been 20, 9, 15, and 8. His leadership has also come under scrutiny, particularly the choices he made to bowl first against South Africa and Afghanistan. Does he still have it in him to spur a change of heart after all the unwelcome attention and criticism?
Team news: Nothing to expect from India
India can choose to play three spinners and put in R Ashwin. However, that would only leave them with two seamen. So, anticipate seeing the same starting lineup.
Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, 4 Shreyas Iyer, 5 KL Rahul (wk), 6 Suryakumar Yadav, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Kuldeep Yadav, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj are the probable players for India.
There isn’t much need for Moeen Ali’s offspin because there isn’t a left-hand batter in India’s top six. Thus, it is likely that he will miss out once more, with Harry Brook taking his place. Gus Atkinson could be added by England in place of Mark Wood.
England (likely): 1 Jos Buttler (capt, wk), 2 Dawid Malan, 3 Joe Root, 4 Ben Stokes, 5 Jonny Bairstow 6 Liam Livingstone, 7 Harry Brook, Eighth Chris Woakes Adil Rashid, 10 Gus Atkinson, and 9 David Willey
Pitch and circumstances: a surface of red dirt
Spinners have recorded an economy of 4.79 in three World Cup matches played at the Ekana Cricket Stadium thus far, compared to seamers’ 5.63. However, the game on Sunday will take place on a red-soil field with few grass areas. Thus, anticipate a greater voice for the seamen.
It will be about 31°C in the afternoon, but it will cool off by five degrees in the evening. There isn’t a rain predicted.