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Sunday, 23 June 2013





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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 game.

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 90,000 pounds.

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 each.

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 permitting.

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