First big test for India Sunday

Saturday, February 26, 2011

BANGALORE - India will face their first big test in the ongoing cricket World Cup when they face England in a Group B match at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here Sunday.

Strong contenders India beat Bangladesh in their first match while England wobbled a bit before getting past the Netherlands in their respective first outings.

The high-octane clash Sunday in front of a capacity crowd will provide ample opportunity to both teams to measure each other and get going in the World Cup.

While India enter the match as firm favourites, England are no pushovers and the match against the Netherlands must have helped them to shake off their Ashes hangover.

Indian batsmen put up a massive 370 runs on board against Bangladesh with an explosive Virender Sehwag smashing 175. Young Virat Kohli hit a century on debut while Sachin Tendulkar looked in ominous touch before he was run out.

The bowlers, however, will have to put up a better show as they allowed Bangladesh to reach 283. Munaf Patel was the pick of the Indian bowlers taking four wickets. S. Sreesanth, who proved expensive in the Dhaka match, may have to sit out.

The team management will have to ponder cleverly over the combination. Either left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra, who sat out because of injury, or leg spinner Piyush Chawla, who impressed with his four wicket haul against Australia in a warm up game here, may fill the slot.

The Indians would also have to do better on the field as captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni pointed out fielding was a big concern.

England, too, will face a challenge in their team selection after the rusty six-wicket win over the Netherlands. The associate member made merry against a blunted pace attack and riding on Ryan teb Doeschate’s 119, piled on 291. England fast bowler James Anderson conceded 72 runs in 10 overs.

Slow left-arm bowler Michael Yardy may get the nod to support reliable off-spinner Graeme Swann.

England will also have to lift their poor fielding standard. They made several slips on the field against the Dutch.


India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain and wicket-keeper), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, S. Sreesanth, Piyush Chawla, R. Ashwin, Ashish Nehra.

England: Andrew Strauss (captain), Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior (wicket-keeper), Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Graeme Swann, Luke Wright, James Tredwell, Michael Yardy, Chris Tremlett.

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