What is it?
Very bloody important is what it is. A crucial World Cup group game for both these sides, as well as Pakistan, Bangladesh and possibly New Zealand. An England win puts them right back on the front foot for semi-final qualification but a defeat takes things out of their hands and would also guarantee India’s top-four spot (as well as New Zealand’s). You can check out the latest standings here and all the current semi-final permutations are here.
When is it?
Sunday June 30 at 10.30am in what is belatedly a sweltering British summer.
Where is it?
Edgbaston. Normally a ground where touring sides fear to tread, but India will have huge support in the ground and a pitch likely to help their spinners. That England appear to have the absolute fear about playing at Edgbaston of all places shows precisely how messed up things are right now. Anyway, get more details on the ground here.
Where can I watch it?
It’s on Sky Sports Main Event (ch 401) and Sky Sports Cricket (ch 404) in the UK.
What are the odds?
They’ve flipped. Just. England have been slight favourites for this one since the first show but the form of both sides and the mountain of pressure piling up on the hosts means India are now the most marginal of favourites at 5/6 to England’s 10/11.
England at the 2019 World Cup
May 30: England (311/8, 50/50 overs) beat South Africa (207, 39.5/50 overs) by 104 runs
June 3: Pakistan (348/8, 50/50 overs) beat England (334/9, 50/50 overs) by 14 runs
June 8: England (386/6, 50/50 overs) beat Bangladesh (280, 48.5/50 overs) by 106 runs
June 14: England (213/2, 33.1/50 overs) beat West Indies (212, 44.4/50 overs) by eight wickets
June 18: England (397/6, 50/50 overs) beat Afghanistan (247/8, 50/50 overs) by 150 runs
June 21: Sri Lanka (232/9, 50/50 overs) beat England (212, 47/50 overs) by 20 runs
June 25: Australia (285/7, 50/50 overs) beat England (221, 44.4/50 overs) by 64 runs
India at the 2019 World Cup
June 5: India (230/4, 47.3/50 overs) beat South Africa (227/9, 50/50 overs) by six wickets
June 9: India (352/5, 50/50 overs) beat Australia (316, 50/50 overs) by 36 runs
June 13: India v New Zealand – Match Abandoned
June 16: India 336/5 (50/50 overs) beat Pakistan (212/6, 40/40 overs, target: 302) by 89 runs (DLS method)
June 22: India (224/8, 50/50 overs) beat Afghanistan (213, 49.5/50 overs) by 11 runs
June 27: India (268/7, 50/50 overs) beat West Indies (143, 34.2/50 overs) by 125 runs
England v India betting preview
The favourites might have flipped, but India still have to be the bet here at anything close to even-money. The current prices make this essentially a pick ’em contest and it just doesn’t feel remotely like that. England have lost their last two games in pretty desperate fashion while India’s only dropped point in six games is a washout against New Zealand.
At full power, this match pits the best batting line-up in the contest against the best bowling attack. Right now one of those two units is performing way in excess of the other. Australia’s 316 back on June 9 is the only total in excess of 230 India have conceded, a remarkable stat in ODI cricket in 2019. And even Australia’s total flattered them, with India’s 352/5 never under any kind of threat at any stage of the run-chase.
Given England have struggled to reach 200 in their last two games, India’s bowlers should be relishing this chance to open those wounds further.
Ben Stokes delivered for us in the top England batsman market at 15/2 against Australia and even at 11/2 now he’s still worth a second look. He has top-scored in all three games at this tournament where England’s batting has come under any kind of sustained pressure – South Africa, Sri Lanka, Australia. When conditions are toughest, Stokes is England’s most reliable performer.
More speculatively, Moeen Ali might be worth a look at 20/1. If Jason Roy is still not fit then England surely won’t persevere with James Vince – it would be bordering on cruel to do so – and might see shoving Moeen up to open the batting as a way to get Liam Plunkett back in the side as they surely must.
And even if he is still down at seven, the evidence from the last week unfortunately suggests he could still be very much a live runner at that price.
Paddy’s Power Prices
Jonny Bairstow (England)
He’s had plenty to say since England’s defeat to Australia at Lord’s, but the more important fact is that Bairstow is having a slightly underwhelming tournament. It’s not been disastrous by any stretch, and indeed the fact it’s been so underwhelming is testament to just how good he has been for the last couple of years.
There is literally no other ODI side in England’s history where an opening batsman who has scored 245 runs at 35 with a strike-rate of 91.76 would be a cause for concern, but that’s where we are. The problem is that Bairstow is the best individual personification of England’s problem – perceived or otherwise – with major tournaments. In bilateral series over the last couple of years he has made opening the batting in ODIs look almost indecently easy, helping himself to an average north of 50 at better than a run a ball like it was normal. It is not normal; indeed, nobody else with more than a 1000 runs in the position has ever come close to matching that average at that strike-rate. The man closest, with an average of 41 and a strike-rate of 106, is someone England desperately need back in their side…
But under the glare of tournament pressure, Bairstow has been found ever so slightly wanting by his own sky-high standards. He was dismissed from the very first ball he faced at this World Cup and has never looked fully at ease since. Facing a high-stakes game against the tournament’s best bowling attack England desperately need Bilateral Bairstow back on Sunday.
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