Cricket World Cup: England v India Preview
27 October 2023
In pre-tournament preparations both sides would have had this pegged as a key game. The two favourites facing off in the group stage, likely as a preview for a second match either in the semi-finals or the final itself.
However, things have turned out ever so slightly differently. India have more than lived up to the hype which saw them at 3.1 on the outright before a ball was bowled. They are the only team that has won all five of their games and they have barely broken a sweat in doing so. England, on the other hand, have lost four of their five matches, and are basically out. They have gone from odds of 4.8 to 280 to win the tournament.
India were always going to benefit from home advantage, but so far the hosts have well and truly revelled in it. They have beaten Australia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and New Zealand comfortbally.
Their batting line-up is firing. Skipper Rohit Sharma has been getting them off to lightning fast starts scoring 311 runs at an average of 62. He has been more than ably supported by the King, Virat Kohli, who has been in staggering form with 359 runs at 118. Kohli is the master of the chase, when India bat second in ODI’s he has hit 27 hundreds at an average of 65.49.
India’s bowling hasn’t been bad either. The highest a team has got against them is just 273. Jasprit Bumrah has returned from injury to lead the bowling attack taking 11 wickets at an average of 16, and impressively only going at 3.16 an over.
England have looked a shadow of their former selves. They have lost to Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and were smashed in record fashion by South Africa. A solitary win against Bangladesh in the second game gave them a bit of hope, but they’ve lost every game since.
They have lacked any cutting edge with the new ball, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran have been very disappointing. The only glimmer of hope was Reece Topley, who is now out for the rest of the tournament through injury.
They have also been hopeless with the bat. Dawid Malan is the only player to score a hundred and England have only passed 300 once.
Their team is ageing and you have to wonder if that is playing a role in their downfall. For the embarrassing loss against Sri Lanka, the whole team was north of 30.
Unsurprisingly, given the above information India come into this one as overwhelming favourites. I am backing India to win and officially dump England out of the tournament.
Back India to win @ 1.55
27 October 2023