England v India: Morgan's men can edge key clash between old enemies

Joe Root England Cricket World Cup
Joe Root is England's top scorer and hugely important to their World Cup hopes

England are near the World Cup cliff edge and India will be keen to see them fall, but James Buttler thinks the hosts can strike back in the biggest game of the tournament so far...

"Joe Root remains crucial and there was no coincidence that he experienced relative failures in the recent defeats. Jos Buttler is required to return to the party and Jonny Bairstow needs to stop bleating about the English nation being against their national side and score some runs!"

England v India
Sunday June 30, 10:30 Edgbaston
Live on Sky Sports Cricket and on Betfair Live Video

England face test of title mettle

It's been four years in the making and the measure of all of that effort could boil down to how England perform on Sunday. Eoin Morgan's side have planned for this World Cup since their ignominious exit in 2015 but their quest for glory has suffered a serious setback after successive defeats to Sri Lanka and Australia. They control their own fate as wins against India and New Zealand takes them to the semi-finals. Anything less and they leave their destiny in the hands of others.

News reports suggest that opener Jason Roy has recovered sufficiently from his hamstring injury to replace James Vince. Joe Root remains crucial and there was no coincidence that he experienced relative failures in the recent defeats. Jos Buttler is required to return to the party and Jonny Bairstow needs to stop bleating about the English nation being against their national side and score some runs!

Jofra Archer has 16 wickets and Mark Wood has 13 but Wood could be left out in favour of Liam Plunkett who may return to provide a threat in the middle overs. Moeen Ali should cling on to a starting place with the Edgbaston surface taking spin. The performances of Moeen and leggie Adil Rashid could prove key.

Eng Moeen Ali high five 1280.jpg

India could take a big hand in eliminating key rival

India are unbeaten in their five completed matches and are now 3.1511/5 tournament favourites. World number one side England have slipped in the betting and Virat Kohli's men will fancy their chances of making one of their major rivals' route to the last four extremely tough.

Edgbaston has so far provided slow, sticky, spin friendly wickets and India will be hoping that plays into their hands. It is also expected that Edgbaston will be packed to the rafters with a pro-India crowd.

The worry for India is in the batting. Shikhar Dhawan's withdrawl from the squad due to injury has put pressure on Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to deliver as, with a long tail, early wickets have led to sustained periods of caution in the middle overs. The experienced pair have been magnificent, but Rishabh Pant may replace Kedar Jadav for this game.

India's main weapon has been their bowling attack which seems capable of defending almost any total. Mohammed Shami has been superb with the ball since replacing the injured Bhuvneshwar Kumar and has taken 4-40 and 4-16 in two games. Add in the world number one ODI bowler Jasprit Bumrah (nine wickets in the competition) and the spin of Kuldeep Yadav and leading wicket-taker Yuzvendra Chahal (10) and England are going to find it difficult to muscle the Indian attack to all parts of Birmingham.


Can England stand up when it really matters?

England have been the best side in the ODI world over the last few years and are justifiably the world's number one ranked side in this format. The only question that remained unanswered was 'do they they have what it takes to be champions?' The jury remains very much out on that one, but it isn't too late for the tournament hosts to seize back control.

Overall, India lead matches against England by 53-41 with two ties and three no results along the way. England were inspred by two Joe Root centuries to beat India 2-1 in last year's series and at 2.0421/20 could still provide a winning bet to take the 100th ODI played between these sides.

Root the glue in England batting

Joe Root is crucial to England success. At number three he is the Sheffield steel that runs through the batting lineup and allows other batsmen to play more attacking roles. Root outplayed India in last year's 2-1 series win as he scored two hundreds. He is England's leading tournament scorer with 432 runs, two centuries and three fifties and his country need him to drop the mic again. The 3/1 is big enough for me to invest.

Sharma to strike back

Virat Kohli boasts an ODI average within a whisker of 60 and has hit four fifties on the bounce (82, 77, 67 and 72) and ominously has such an impresive coversion rate to a hundred that if he gets in again he is unlikley not to go even bigger. Rohit Sharma began the tournament with two centuries but has not delivered in the last two games. The only other candidate to be leading run scorer is MS Dhoni who hit a careful half century against West Indies. It remains hard to back against Kohli at 9/4 but I'm taking Rohit Sharma at 3/1.

Take best of both in Man of the Match markets

This game could go either way. No result would surprise me and with two top sides it's worth taking a couple from both sides as half-stakes plays to be Man of the Match. Virat Kohli landed me a bet in India's last game so I am taking him again at 6/1 and adding in Jasprit Bumrah 10/1, Joe Root 8/1 and a bigger priced Adil Rashid at 16/1.


Follow James on Twitter @cricket_badger

James Buttler P/L CWC19

Units Staked 42.00
Units Returned 52.80
Profit/Loss: +10.80 units

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