In the second big clash of the day, India will take on the defending champions England in the final Group A encounter at Colombo in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup. Both teams have qualified for the super eight stage after winning their matches against Afghanistan, but by no means will this match be a dead encounter.
The tournament will soon enter its business end and every team will be hoping to enter the knock-out stage on a high. On papers, India look a better side, but England played flawless cricket against Afghanistan whereas the Indians struggled against the Asian minnows.
Both India and England have some quality cricketers in their ranks. Let’s have a look at some of the players who can make the difference in today’s encounter.
Virat Kolhi: There is no stopping this man at the moment. Kohli has been devastating in all three formats for India and is arguably the best batsmen in the Indian team. He is playing match winning knocks innings after innings and one will have to get him out of the way if they want to do well against the Indian team. He always looks in good touch and is dangerous against both spin and pace.
Gautam Gambhir: Gambhir has not been in the greatest of form of late and he will be looking to make a decisive contribution in this match. Gambhir is a big match player and India need him to be in top gear. Gambhir will be looking to force the issue right from the first ball and can be quite dangerous against Swann and company.
Zaheer Khan: Zaheer Khan is not in the best of form and that has affected Indian bowling performance. He is a key performer for India and the Indian team always does well when Zaheer is picking wickets. Dhoni in a press conference said that he is not overly worried with Zaheer’s form and it is time that the senior pro lives up to his captain’s expectation.
R Ashwin: He has been the best Indian bowler in recent times. Ashwin is best suited to this format and he had a good start to the tournament against Afghanistan. It won’t be a surprise if Dhoni asks Ashwin to bowl with the new ball today.
Luke Wright: He played a tremendous innings against Afghanistan and he will be a real threat to the Indians. He has the ability to hit sixes and can punish the faster bowlers with his long range of shots. He is very effective with the ball as well.
Eoin Morgan: He is probably England’s best batsmen in the squad in the absence of Kevin Pietersen. He is a good maneuver of the cricket ball in the middle overs and can finish the innings on a high. Morgan plays a lot of sweeps and reverse sweeps and can dictate terms to the spinners, he will have to be cautious against Ashwin though.
Stuart Broad: Broad will always remember the six sixes that Yuvraj hit in the inaugural T20 World Cup, al lot of things have changed since then, but things can get really interesting if the two guys meet once again on the same stage. Broad is one of the most improved bowlers and will lead the Indian attack. He bowled very well against the Afghans and will be looking to lead from the front.
Graeme Swann: Swann is a world class performer no matter what format he plays in. He doesn’t mind tossing the ball up and can beat batsmen in the air. His art is unquestionable and it will be interesting to see how he bowls against the Indian left-handers.
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By Gaurav Jha
Indian Sports News Network