England vs India | Friday 30 January | Perth | 05:20
With rain scuppering Australia Day and the contest between the hosts and India, England now find themselves in a virtual semi-final situation to keep their Carlton Mid ODI Tri-Series hopes alive. India have done absolutely nothing to deserve a place in the final alongside Australia but nevertheless find themselves one game away from a shot at the trophy. Both India and England are considered long shots for the upcoming World Cup, priced up at 7/1 and 8/1 respectively. However, this type of pressure situation is perfect preparation for the knockout stages of the world’s premier one-day tournament, should they make it that far.
To Win Match
England beat India in the last encounter between the two sides on a pitch that had some extra pace and bounce. It will therefore be welcome news that the WACA pitch in Perth contains just that. There was definitely extra zip on offer in the Big Bash League semi-final at the ground and England will rely on this by playing a pace heavy outfit. James Anderson and Steven Finn scythed through the Indian batting line-up at the Gabba and are in fine form. Stuart Broad has not been at his best but reports are that his knee is holding up well after surgery, and it seems only a matter of time before the lanky seamer has a decent spell. Chris Woakes also has the backing of coach Paul Farbrace, though personally I am not convinced by the medium-pacer. In 27 ODIs his bowling average is still above thirty, despite a spirited performance against the Aussies in the opening match. Chris Jordan waits in the wings. In the batting department, Ian Bell is in fine form and will look to replicate his century
scored against India in the last meeting after an extended lean spell.
India’s chances of making the Tri-Series final were kept alive by a washout in Sydney. The two points means they only have to beat England here to make it through, despite losing both of their previous matches fairly convincingly. They struggled to 69/2 on a tacky pitch before the rain came down, as Shikhar Dhawan’s woes continued. The Indian opener is in an awful patch of form and as captain MS Dhoni alluded, a rest would do him good. However, with too few batsmen in the squad and a lack of out and out openers, Dhawan’s tortured run looks set to continue. Good news in the Indian camp comes in the form of a return to action for both Ishant Sharma and Ravi Jadeja. The two will be integral to India’s World Cup plans and will benefit from a run before the tournament. Rohit Sharma is out injured and being the form player in the top order, leaves India a little light in the batting department.
The WACA will provide the pace and bounce that the English sides will be seeking. India were dismissed for 153 on a similar Gabba pitch, Steven Finn and James Anderson the chief destroyers. However, if the quick stuff can be managed, there are definitely runs to be had. Ian Bell thrives on pitches such as these. There are some thunderstorms predicted for Friday but a full match should still be possible.
VERDICT: England 9/10
The prices released for this match are ludicrous in my opinion. England should be strong favourites on a pitch that will no doubt suit them, against an Indian side dreadfully low on confidence. However, with both at 9/10, get the good value while you can. England to win comfortably.
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