Weather permitting there will be a keen contest:
Umpires will have to keep a hawk-eye on the balls:
England hungry for the trophy, but India can upset
Believe it or not, the country that gave the wonderful game of
cricket to the world, England has never won a global one-day title in 17
attempts over 38 years. England entered this final in 2004, but lost to
West Indies by 2 wickets at the Kennington Oval. And in attempt to break
that hoodoo as an incentive, Englandís cricketers will share 1.3 million
pound jackpot if they beat the high-riding Indians in the final of the
final ICC Champions Trophy at Edgbaston, Birmingham, today in a day
The tournament winners will receive the bumper prize money and it
will all be handed to the 15-man squad if England wins Sundayís match at
Edgbaston. That means Alastair Cookís squad could each pick up almost
England have done well
England has done well in this tournament. Except for the thrashing by
Sri Lanka in a group match, they have performed well and deserve to
contest the final. But whether India will allow them to be 18th time
lucky remains to be seen.
This is how the prize money of US$ 4,000.000 will be shared, Winner
of final $ 2,000.000. Runner-up $ 1,000.00. Third and fourth 400.000
Third in the group $100.000 each. Thatís helluva lot of money. It is
the wish of the organizers the ICC and all cricketers and
cricket fans that the fickle England weather will not play the role
of spoil sport, but will relent and be a sport and allow a 50-overs a
side final to be played.
Teams evenly matched
England and India are evenly matched. The only edge that England
holds is that they will be playing in conditions and on a wicket that
they are well versed in. The Indians are used to sub continent
conditions, but the cold English conditions will not unduly worry them.
Having said that, with cricket being a funny game anything is possible.
Unless the conditions are overcast, the side winning the toss will
want to strike first, put up a match winning score and put pressure on
the side chasing. Unless the bowling side can restrict the batting side
to a gettable score, the chase could prove difficult.
England will look to Cook and Ian Bell to lay the platform for other
batsmen of the calibre of Eoin Morgan, Joe Root and Ravi Bopara to build
on. The most impressive and aggressive batsman has been Joe Root.
Strong in bowling
Englandís strong point is their bowling with James Anderson and
Stuart Broad to make early inroads in the Indian batting using the two
new balls. Both are masters of seam and swing.
But the England attack has come under suspicion which is not good for
them, the game and the England and Wales Cricket Board. First to make
the allegation that England were scratching the ball to obtain undue
advantage and make it reverse swing came from former Captain Bob Willis.
Even South African captain Abraham de Villiers lashed out saying he
has noticed how England has managed to gain reverse swing more quickly
than other teams. Umpire Aleem Dar asked for one of the balls to be
changed during Englandís defeat to Sri Lanka Ė although the ICC insisted
that it was because the ball went out of shape.
Match officials for final
The Match Officials for the final are Ė Kumar Dharmasena and Rod
Tucker on field umpires, Brian Oxenford and Aleem Dar third and fourth
umpires and Ranjan Madugalle, Emirates Panel of ICC match referees. A
big onus will be on Dharmasena and Tucker. In addition to their other
duties, they will have to keep a hawk eye on the ball and see that
nothing untoward has been done to it by England to gain reverse swing.
As for the Indians, they are a strong all round side, brilliant in every
aspect and captained by arguably the best Captain that India ever had
Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Dhawan batsman to watch
In Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Dinesh Karthik, Suresh
Raina and Dhoni they have batsmen who can take any attack apart.Dhawan
especially has been the batsman of the tournament with big runs under
his belt and would like to give continuity to it.
They are well served in bowling with Bhuwaneshar Kumar, Umesh Yadav
and Ishant Sharma to use the two new balls and Ravi Jadeja and Ravi
Ashwin for spin.
In fielding, India are much sharper with the brilliant slip catching
of Suresh Raina to inspire them.
The ground will be packed with Indian supporters baying for an Indian
victory. With India having shared the trophy once with Sri Lanka and
England not having won it, a rousing game is on the cards, weather