England v India, women's World Cup, Group B, Sydney March 9, 2009

India and England aim for top spot in Group B

Cricinfo staff


Sarah Taylor will be looking to give England a solid start in their World Cup match against India © Getty Images
 

India and England will battle for the No. 1 spot in Group B of the women's World Cup when they meet at the North Sydney Oval on Tuesday. After their surprise win against Sri Lanka, Pakistan are likely to be the third side to make it to the Super Sixes from the group. Since points from this stage will be carried over to the Super Sixes, being group leaders will make a difference.

India and England started out the tournament with wins - India beat Pakistan by 10 wickets and England won against Sri Lanka by 100 runs. England will surely have the psychological advantage having beaten India 4-0 at home last year. Also, several players in the England squad have spent between four to six months training and playing in Australia ahead of the World Cup. But India have quality fast bowling and depth in their batting which will be difficult to overcome.

Anjum Chopra, who is playing her fourth World Cup, said England would be a tough opposition since they had performed well as a unit over the last year. "Their batsmen have been doing especially well, but the whole England team have being doing well in the last year - the batsmen, the bowlers, everybody," Chopra was quoted as saying on the ICC website. "We know their players, they know us and everybody will be aware it is a World Cup game and you will be carrying points through to the Super Sixes."

India were finalists in the previous World Cup but are not favourites this time since they had a poor 2008, losing to England and Australia. "We ourselves know that we haven't done that well this year so we can't claim special treatment from anybody, but once you get to the World Cup there is always pressure and you have to deal with it," Chopra said.

Chopra, who made a comeback to the side in October after being out for over a year, was happy with her own batting form and glad to have got some runs in the warm-up matches.

Sarah Taylor, England's opener and wicketkeeper, who is playing her first World Cup, said her side had to improve their fielding after a poor show against Sri Lanka. "That is something we want to step up even more especially as we are live on television," she said. "Hopefully there'll be people back home watching us and we want to put in a good performance for them. We know we can play much better than we did and that's what we're all aiming for tomorrow."

Taylor has had a successful opening partnership with Caroline Atkins and India will look to part them early to put pressure on England. Taylor and Atkins added 103 unbeaten runs together in a ten-wicket win against India in Taunton last year. Taylor said she would concentrate on the delivery and where she wanted to play it instead of the bowler bowling it.

"Caroline and I really enjoy each other's success and since we have started opening together I think we have definitely got to know each other's game really well. This is common throughout the squad - we all know our individual roles and that helps us perform. We just go out and enjoy ourselves."

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