India to be tested when they clash with England

R Eswar

Bangalore, Feb 26 (PTI) Brimming with confidence aftertheir emphatic win in the tournament-opener, India''sresilience and ability to handle pressure in crunch situationswill be tested when they take on England in a high-voltageWorld Cup group-B league match here tomorrow.

A win tomorrow will more or less guarantee India a placein the last eight stage with two victories from as manyoutings after having thrashed Bangaldesh by a 87 runs in theiropening match of the mega-event in Mirpur last week.

Even though England too stand in a similar position witha win from their only outing, going by the present form andtrack record in the World Cup, Mahendra Singh Dhoni''s menclearly hold an edge over their English rivals.

While it was a superior performance by India againstBangladesh, the same cannot be said about England''s win overthe Netherlands.

Riding on Virender Sehwag''s explosive 175 and ViratKohli''s unbeaten 100, India avenged their 2007 shock loss toBangaldesh, by piling up 370 for four on the board and thenrestricted the hosts to 283 for nine to start their campaignon a rousing note.

Skipper Dhoni would be hoping for a repeat performancefrom Sehwag and Kohli tomorrow but it won''t be easy for theduo as England possess a potent bowling attack, which would beeager to make up for their shoddy showing against the Dutch.

Champion batsman Sachin Tendulkar, who in all probablityis playing in his swansong World Cup, and Gautam Gambhir bothgot starts against Bangladesh but failed to capitalise on themand would be desperate to score big against England.

Also, the fact that the famed Indian batting line-up hadcompletely dominated the English attack in the Tests as wellas ODIs during the latter''s tour in 2008 will act as aconfidence booster for the home team.

However, going by head-to-head record in the World Cup,there is little to seperate the two sides with both winningthree matches each against the other.

Overall, India have won 33 of their 59 World Cup matches(25 loss and one no result), while England recorded 37 wins(22 loss) from 60 matches.

Against England, India is expected to go with the samebatting combination but a few changes are definitely in theoffing in the bowling department, which continues to cause afew worries to skipper Dhoni, particularly the pace attack.


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