February 26, 2011

ICC World Cup 2011

Time for England to prove their mettle

Siddhartha Talya

The game against India is going to be England's acid test, writes Duncan Fletcher in the Guardian, and the poor performance against Netherlands will be the kick in the pants the team needs.

There will not be any arrogance about the bowlers on Sunday. As for their shoddy fielding, that is harder to explain. As a coach it is something of a mystery – the fielding drills don't change, the intensity levels at practice don't change, but the performance does. England's error count should be a lot lower against India, because the players will be switched on from the start and will be fully aware of how costly any mistakes will be.

England's bowling will have to be disciplined, else they can expect no mercy from India's openers, says Geoffrey Boycott in the Daily Telegraph.

India's new-ball bowlers and Harbhajan Singh versus Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Strauss is among the head-to-head battles to watch out for in the Bangalore fixture, writes S Dinakar in the Hindu.

Steve James, in the Daily Telegraph, says England would be under no pressure whatsoever in their game against India. Instead, the pressure would be the hosts. Vic Marks, in the Guardian, agrees.

Also in the Daily Telegraph, Anand Vasu says India's perceived weakness against the short ball may not be something England can take for granted, particularly against the hosts' openers.

The India-England fixture is significant for several reasons, with its potential for infusing a bit of excitement into the tournament being one among them. Stephen Brenkely has more in the Independent on Sunday.

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Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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