Sports Mole previews the 2023 Cricket World Cup match between India and England, scheduled to be played at the Ekana Sports City on Sunday.
These sides come into this match at opposite ends of the leaderboard, with the hosts currently in second place with 10 points after five matches, while the visitors are second-bottom with just two points.
India are on the verge of securing a spot in the knockout stages of the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup, having triumphed in all five of their matches so far and only behind South Africa on net run rate, though they do have a game in hand on the Proteas.
It is fair to say that the host nation is gracefully handling the pressure of delivering standout performances in front of their home fans, and not only have they maintained their unbeaten record in the tournament, but they have never really looked troubled in any of their five games.
With their results in this competition, the Men in Blue have secured victory in 19 out of their last 23 ODIs played at home, with their only defeat coming against South Africa and three losses to Australia since the start of 2022.
Rohit Sharma‘s side beat Australia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh in their first four matches before stopping off at Dharamsala to secure a historic victory over a solid-looking New Zealand side, marking their first win against the Blackcaps in World Cup competition in two decades.
If India can pull off a victory here against England on Sunday, it would also mark their first World Cup win over the defending champs in 20 years, echoing their recent success against the Blackcaps last week.
In total contrast, England is currently languishing in ninth spot in the current standings, having tasted defeat in four out of their five matches, which places them in an almost impossible position to make the top four.
They began the competition in the worst way possible, conceding an against-the-odds loss to the Blackcaps, but they made a strong comeback against Bangladesh a few days later, downing The Tigers by 137 runs.
Unfortunately, from that point onward, England’s fortunes and performances took a major downturn as they suffered consecutive losses to Afghanistan, South Africa, and, most recently, Sri Lanka.
As a result, the Three Lions have an absolute mountain to climb from here, while one more loss would officially eliminate them from the tournament and guarantee that a new world champion will be crowned this year.
Still, they are not without a chance, considering that across World Cup encounters, England have faced India a total of eight times and lead the head-to-head standings with four victories to India’s three, while one match ended in a tie in 2011.
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India will be without Hardik Pandya in their starting 11 due to a reported ligament injury he sustained in the match against Bangladesh, which also forced him to skip the clash against New Zealand.
Virat Kohli has been in exceptional form in the tournament, maintaining an excellent average of 118 while scoring a total of 354 runs, and he will continue in the middle order along with Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul.
Dawid Malan has an average of 44, currently leading his team with 220 runs in five innings, which includes a century against Bangladesh, and he will almost certainly keep his place at the top of the order with Jonny Bairstow.
After a solid Ashes series, Chris Woakes has yet to fire in this competition, and having been dismissed for a duck and failing to take a wicket in the last match, Jos Buttler may consider bringing Reece Topley back into the team after he missed out last week.
India squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya (vc), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishan Kishan, Surya Kumar Yadav
England squad: Jos Buttler (c), Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes
Series so far
Match One: India won by 6 wickets
Australia – 199 (49.3)
India – 201/4 (41.2)
Match Two: India won by 8 wickets
Afghanistan – 272/8 (50)
India – 273/2 (35)
Match Three: India won by 7 wickets
Pakistan – 191 (42.5)
India – 192/3 (30.3)
Match Four: India won by 7 wickets
Bangladesh – 256/8 (50)
India – 261/3 (41.3)
Match Five: India won by 4 wickets
New Zealand – 273 (50)
India – 274/6 (48)
Match One: England lost by 9 wickets
England – 282/9 (50)
New Zealand – 283/1 (36.2)
Match Two: England won by 137 runs
England – 364/9 (50)
Bangladesh – 227 (48.2)
Match Three: England lost by 69 runs
Afghanistan – 284 (49.5)
England – 215 (40.3)
Match Four: England lost by 229 runs
South Africa – 399/7 (50)
England – 170 (22)
Match Five: England lost by 8 wickets
England – 156 (33.2)
Sri Lanka – 160/2 (25.4)
We say: India to win
India look formidable in this competition, and it is going to take a special performance to overcome them on their home soil, where they have been dominant over the last couple of years. Based on the performances so far, it does not seem like England have that type of performance in their locker at the moment, and we expect the Men in Blue to keep their unbeaten record intact with another victory in this one.
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