Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Final Call, Champions Trophy 2013 - Sparkling India take on Tenacious England

India Vs England, Champions Trophy Final 2013, Edbaston

A dominating Indian team will slug it out with the dogged hosts, England, to decide the winner of the Champions Trophy. Throw in the unpredictable English weather and the fact that this probably is the last time that this trophy is being played for will add extra spice to the affair.

The Top 3

While the top three of England, Bell, Cook and Trott have been criticized for being too slow and lethargic with their run scoring rates the Indian top three of Rohit, Dhawan and Kohli have been powering and bulldozing opponents with supreme positive power-play. But the fact remains that the English top order has laid the platform perfectly for their middle order power hitters. They have all been in good form and all of them have good scores under the belt in the Champions Trophy. Cook, Bell and Trott have all scored half centuries in either the league stage or in the semi final stage. The Indian troika has had a great time as well as the makeshift opener Rohit has done decently well stitching hundred run partnerships with a rampaging Dhawan who seems to be in the form of his life right now. Kohli has been, as always, scoring runs at a fair clip and has been consistent as well.
The Middle Order

Root and Bopara have played good hands for England right through the Champions trophy. Root has been incredibly consistent with the run scoring and has been getting them at a good strike rate as well. While Morgan and Butler were expected to do most of the damage late in the innings, the fireworks have been provided by Bopara who had replaced Pietersen in the side. Both of them have proved handy with the ball as well, Root providing a reasonable spinning option while Bopara with his nibblers has managed to sneak in a few good overs as well! In a big game like the final, expect a strong comeback from Morgan who is a terrific player of spin. The Indian middle order has not had any time out in the middle and they are practically untested as the top order has been scoring all the runs. Karthik has hardly done anything significant although he was in scintillating form in the recently concluded IPL. Raina, Dhoni and Jadeja have all been sitting with their pads on in the pavilion rather than be out there in the middle. It will be a huge test for the Indian middle order if India loose early wickets in the all important final.

The Bowlers

England have probably the best attack for swinging conditions right now in world cricket with Anderson who seems to thrive if the conditions offer even remote help. With Finn and Broad to complement him the Indian batsmen will surely be tested like they have never been before in this trophy before. Then, is the curious case of James Tredwell who has done remarkably well in few appearances that he has made in the absence of the injured Swann. It will be interesting to see who England goes with if Swann is fully fit. In a refreshing change, the Indian bowlers have not been carted all around the ground by the opponent batsmen. They have not looked hapless and hopeless. They have been sharp and have played their part in the victories. They have not just made up the numbers. Bhuvi has got the ball to move and talk, Umesh has bowled with a Lions heart and bowled with accuracy and pace, Ishant seems to have remembered how to bowl and Ashwin has bowled few good spells too. Amidst all this Jadeja has picked up important and cheap wickets with his faster, flatter deliveries.

The Fielding

England has been good in the field, nothing spectacular but they have not dropped any important catches and have not been shabby. India, on the fielding front, seems to have turned a corner. They have been unexpectedly sharp and have shown agility and anticipation that you would normally associate with Australia or New Zealand. In fact Dhoni has said that his team is the best fielding unit in the world right now but I personally feel, that is taking the whole issue a bit too far!!!

The Weather

Rain is expected and it will be a stop start affair at Edgbaston, Birmingham. With no reserve day, fans will be hoping that the weather stays fair and everyone can witness a good game of cricket.
What it Means

For England this is another shot at winning a major tournament at last that has always eluded them. For India it is a chance to put aside the disappointment and controversies of last few weeks and get the confidence of the supporters back and for MSD to try and add another trophy to his already burgeoning trophy cabinet!!


Anonymous said...

and it is still raining :( very sad...

Nice post and hope India wins today and play a 50 over match.

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