Dashing India against dogged England | PunterPolls Prediction
Two years ago, India went to England to play the most anticipated set of matches between the two teams. By the time India reached their last game, England was sick of them and they were sick of England. The tour gave them nothing but defeat, and the fans could hardly wait for the end. At the end of this short and sharp trip, however, India are finally up against England, two of the best sides of the tournament and deserving finalists.
India have played sparkling cricket so far, England have been pragmatic, it makes for a good match-up, but it is highly unlikely the fans or the teams will be left asking for more. If England win, they won't even get a day to celebrate; they play New Zealand in a meaningless Twenty20 on Tuesday. If India win, they will most likely be taking the Champions Trophy to the West Indies for an even more meaningless ODI tri-series.
We have been given a brief window then to relish what is at hand, rendered briefer by the role rain is likely to play with no reserve day in sight. And there is enough to relish. India are at their most aggressive: five specialist bowlers, positive batting in a tournament that has left almost everybody else circumspect, sprightly fielding and forceful captaincy. England are at their most practical: the batsmen are doing just enough for the conditions in question, and their bowlers - attaining form and fitness at the right time - are good enough to make a match of any total above 200 on pitches that are not featherbeds.
A day before the final, questions arise that classically accompany a match between a side that has waltzed its way through to the final and the other that has had to will its way through the roadblocks. Will India be undercooked should conditions and bowlers conspire against them? Suresh Raina has faced 10 balls in the tournament so far, MS Dhoni 26 and Dinesh Karthik 84. Will England's professionalism come second best - as it has tended to happen in big cricket events - to the freer spirits? Will the teams tamper with their trusted philosophies?
If India win through their opening batsmen or if England win chasing 220, it will be well deserved all right, but the real excitement lies in India winning after recovering from 10 for 3 or England gunning down 320. And in the rain staying away.
Look at the Indian team performance and even a novice of cricket can tell you the better team so far in the world. Indian teams middle order yet to come in to the play, their bowlers are surprisingly doing better than what Australian, South African or in fact England bowlers have done in the tournament.
If England have to win this game they need to score 340+ batting first, or restrict India under 300 while fielding first. Another scenario when India can loose is if their all department failed badly.
So for us, India should win this game.
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RESULT ICC Champions Trophy 2013 - Final: India v England, 23 June
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