How India shape up ahead of World Cup clash with England
Published by DatabaseBasketball
June 29, 2019 11:41 am
England’s chances of reaching the World Cup semi-finals have been placed in serious doubt following defeats to Sri Lanka and Australia.
Those losses have left Eoin Morgan’s men under pressure to win at least one of their final two group matches against India and New Zealand.
First up are Virat Kohli’s unbeaten India. Here, PA takes a look at the two-time champions.
Unbeaten India out to put seal on top-four spot
India have yet to suffer defeat, winning five of their six matches with their clash with New Zealand washed out, and their form has seen them replace England at the top of the world rankings.
They are all-but through to the semi-finals but can put the seal on their progression with a victory at Edgbaston.
The 1983 and 2011 champions eased to victory in their two biggest matches so far, beating Australia by 36 runs and strolling to an 89-run win over rivals Pakistan on the DLS method at Old Trafford.
India’s biggest threat thus far came from a surprise source, as World Cup debutants Afghanistan came close to a huge upset at the Ageas Bowl, only to lose by 11 runs.
Question marks over the batting
India’s success has been built largely on the strength of their bowling unit. They have scored over 270 just twice in their five matches so far, posting big totals against Australia and Pakistan.
Opener Rohit Sharma started the competition in sensational form, with scores of 122 not out, 57 and 140 in his first three matches.
Captain Kohli has also had a fantastic tournament and is on a run of four successive half-centuries, but many of their other batsman have struggled.
Shikhar Dhawan – who smashed a century against Australia – was forced to quit the tournament through injury – and his replacement at the top of the order KL Rahul is yet to convince.
Keshar Jadhav was forced to brush off question marks over the performance of their batting unit following that tense win over Afghanistan. But England will feel they can put pressure on India’s batsmen.
Bumrah the star of a wicket-taking attack
Mohammed Shami’s match-winning hat-trick against Afghanistan has been India’s most eye-catching moment with the ball, but Jasprit Bumrah is the star of the attack.
Bumrah, ranked number one bowler in one-day internationals, boasts an unconventional action but offers a real wicket-taking threat with his pace and ability to move the ball.
He will be disappointed with his return of just nine wickets so far and will hope to make ground on the leading wicket-takers in the competition.
Bumrah is backed up by Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav – India’s pair of attacking wrist spinners – with Kohli arguably boasting the most threatening attack of any side at the World Cup.
India enjoy Edgbaston
Kohli’s men can expect a huge following at Edgbaston for a match which is likely to feel like a home game for the visitors.
They have a fine record at Edgbaston, winning their last five ODIs there, including wins over Pakistan and Bangladesh in the 2017 Champions Trophy.
Likewise England have a strong record at the home of Warwickshire. Since losing a one-day international to India in 2014, they have won their last nine matches at Edgbaston across all formats – including their last three ODIs.
England have not beaten India in the World Cup since 1992 and need to end that run on Sunday.
The future is orange?
This World Cup is the first international cricket tournament to have sides wearing home and away kits. The ICC made the move for the purpose of television and a number of sides brought out a second kit for the tournament.
Sunday’s fixture will be the first time India have sported theirs, changing from their regular all blue kit with hosts England wearing their powder blue outfit.
Kohli rated the predominantly orange shirt 8/10 at his press conference on Saturday. He might change that number depending on the result on Sunday.