Cricket: Preview India vs. England

Roll up your sleeves, dig in the flag masts, get the vuvuzelas out and get your throats primed for harrowing echoes. India hosts England in a crucial world cup tie at Bengaluru. Hello World Cup. Let the rain be away while the game is being played. England will look to pull the rug from India's feet while India would look to stamp their authority over England. A match on a Sunday makes for delightful viewing, but then all matches barring one that India play are on a weekend so thank you to the organizers.

Sreesanth induces helplessness.

Sreesanth is too earnest a “tryer”. He was touché unlucky though against Bangladesh. He averages 16 per wicket for his ten wickets against England. Dhoni does back his team but then will he get in two spinners for English, who are known for their weakness against swing, seam and spin. He may not make it to the playing eleven. It’s a hope more than a guess. India one would accept with a tacit nod isn’t fool proof. But Dhoni seems to have it control at most times, so that’s cool. Sreesanth is trying to hard but he may come off on his own in some match and lead the charge. I am sure that won’t be happening anytime soon in the near future.

Man for Man contest.

I am looking forward to Chawla vs. Pietersen, Broad vs. Yuvraj. I hope Luke Wright and Tim Bresnan play, they along with Collingwood would offer a lot, we talking for say 25 overs of bowling and batting at a decent rate. Pietersen would look to make some impact in the game. I hope Trott doesn’t go under the radar, he remains virtually un-noticed and doesn’t seem to be an impact player but if you look at the game history and traditions number three and four are one of the crucial batting slots, best stoke players in the history have occupied that slot. So Trott remains the key. Ian bell is always threatening to come but the threat is as potent as white clouds sending down a spell of incessant rainfall. Zaheer will try to get a left handed opening batsman, the opposition’s captain Andrew Strauss. I am not sure Dhoni vs. Prior would fit this billing.

England bowling looks balanced with Broad, Anderson looking to use pace and swing. Swann looking to turn. If Indians corner Swann early they will pull a huge advantage towards themselves. There is a case for sending Pathan early just to have him a look in, wonder if Dhoni would switch roles with Pathan. Yuvraj is way of the boil and needs to make it count on the field and with the bat. The bat has been silent, for some while now but a fluent hitting Yuvraj can find centre stage among the four hitters, Dhoni, Pathan, Raina and himself.

The two teams would be looking to touch 300 runs. I for one think only one ball should last 50 overs that will even out an advantage which the batting team seem to have. I mean seeing bowlers smacked for 10 an over is no joy, especially if are own bowlers seem to have mastered the art of leaking runs at the death. Indians death bowling is an area of major concern; it may cost us a crucial match. Nehra had bowled an awesome spell in 2003 and shot out England after Sachin had hooked, line and sinker Caddick out of the park for a huge six. England have pressure of sorts, don’t know how well they have prepared but its been a while since they have done well in ODIS, they come as defending champions of a tough T20 format but then the ODIs are a different format and things cannot be super imposed. England way want to go beyond the semis and wining this match in India would set them into a right tone and rhythm and loads of confidence.

Bengalluru gets two-two matches.

I think the mad rush for tickets is justified, lathi charge, one cannot say. Bengalluru got lucky with two cricket matches. I mean if Eden has already hosted a match it could host one of either Netherlands or England match there. It is a shame that there is no India match there. This is what happens when political big wigs slug it out in a centre of a sports field. It is one of the uglier episodes of Indian cricket which is being swept under the carpet. You know who are the big wigs and for once I wont take names, but people slugging it out have to do with top jobs in BCCI and ICC and this is a delta more than a mere coincidences. The world delta was learnt which struggling with calculus in maths while it meant slightly more/less one understood that slightly less/more is a big deal. But then there is no love affair/romance then with maths and at times cricket. Both are alluring, both excite and reflect life both are insatiable and you want more even if you had enough.

On the other most front.

The national games went without trace, The Athletes who have done us proud in CWG and Asian games were missed, I didn’t even get a whiff off it and I am kicking myself for it. But then when cricket is on, people in offices delay board meetings,road are deserted and people ump up and down in front of the Telly as the match has its twists and turns.

May the best team win. May we all say a good match befitting a big game.

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