Friday, October 13, 2006

Two days to go until the opening England - India showdown in the ICC Champions Trophy, and time to prophecise which eleven players England will field.
There has been talk that Flintoff might open up the batting. England haven't really got to grips with powerplay yet and time to experiment before the World Cup next year is running out. Expect this rumour to be a goer and positions 1 and 2 to be occupied by Strauss and Flintoff.
First wicket down and Bell will probably be walking to the crease. Bell made a brisk 53 in the warm-up game at Jaipur and has shown he has the mettle to dig in a bat through an innings in recent one-day matches. He can find the gaps and plays proper cricket shots to find his boundries. His orders from the dressing room will be: 'don't get out, rotate the strike, hold it together for the hitters'.
Pietersen, Englands best one-day batsman will stride in at number 4 and will be told to play his natural game. If Pietersen fires England will post a big total, Fletcher knows this and will be sitting in the dressing room with his fingers crossed.
Expect Yardy to bat in the number 5 slot. The young left-hander made a classy century in Sussex's innings victory over Notts in September and has been economical with his slow left-armers in the two games he has played. Yardy's orders will be to settle the innings in the event of early wickets or to hit quick runs if coming in at the end.
The number 6 spot belongs to Paul Collingwood. He is Englands most versitile and creative one-day player. Whether playing the singles game in the middle of the innings against the slow bowlers or hitting sixes in a tight run chase he has proved he can hold his nerve.
Jamie Dalrymple has been a revelation coming in at number 7. He made an unbeaten 79 off 69 balls in the warm-ip match and his slow bowling has been effective in the middle of the innings. Chris Read will bat behind him at number 8 and will be looking to prove his worth with the bat in the one-day arena should the opportuntiy arise.
With Flintoff not bowling England will pick three specialist pacemen and they will be expected to bowl 10 overs each. Expect Jon Lewis to miss out to Sahjid Mahmood, Steve Harmison and Jimmy Anderson. Jimmy, argueably our best one-day wicket-taker, will open up with Harmy and Mahmood will be expected to provide 2 spells of fast stuff around overs 10-15 and later with the old ball to see if he can extract some reverse swing.
Dalrymple, Yardy and perhaps Pietersen or Collingwood will be asked to apply the brakes in the middle of the innings. India's batsmen may decide to target Englands inexperienced spin-twins and this will be an interesting battle of nerves.
On paper England look like they have the players to embarrass India at home, the Indians will not be in the mood to lose to 12/1 tourment outsiders in their back yard though. Expect a close game and a real fight from both sides.
If one of Englands batters can make a decent hundred and Jimmy is on song with the new ball, India could end up on the receiving end of the first upset of the tournament. William Hill will gove you 7/4 on an England victory, 10/1 on Yardy to top score, 7/1 on Dalrymple and 6/1 on Collingwood.
Betting advice: a small bet on Yardy at 10/1 will be good value if he does start in the number 5 slot.

4 Comments:

Blogger cov said...

I am quietly optimistic about our chances. i think that the batting line up looks good, and we have some match winning bowlers. The only thing i am worried about is the lack of a tight line and length one-day specialist bowler. Our game against the Aussies is going to make or break our winter....

4:48 PM  
Blogger cov said...

and before you say it. John Lewis is not the answer to our problems...

4:49 PM  
Blogger wes said...

What a disappointing game (and not just because 50 over day stuff is boring).

The batting collapse feels like the old days and I was so disappointed that no one decided it would be a good idea to bat out the full 50 overs rather than go for a couple of risky boundaries and out.

But it was reassuring to see our bowlers in the game. It will be they who will win the Ashes for us.

What do you reckon, Stephen L? I only listened on radio.

3:51 AM  
Blogger Steven_L said...

It was a dreadful result. Will be interesting to see fi they reshuffle the batting order now.

Maybe they should try Dalrymple at no. 3, he keeps getting runs.

7:36 AM  

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