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ICC World Cup: Self-assured India want to undermine England’s chances of defending their championship

<p>The two sides, India and England, who play each other on Sunday at the Ekana Sports City Stadium in this city, have different fortunes, or maybe better described, performances. The reigning champions have only achieved one victory from their five matches in the ICC ODI World Cup, while India is on a tear with an undefeated five-game run.<img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-257238″ src=”×500.jpg” alt=” icc world cup self assured india want to undermine englands chances of defending t” width=”1397″ height=”931″ srcset=”×500.jpg 750w,×683.jpg 1024w,×512.jpg 768w,×100.jpg 150w, 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 1397px) 100vw, 1397px” title=”ICC World Cup: Self-assured India want to undermine England's chances of defending their championship 6″></p>
<p>For England, it’s a “do or die” scenario as they fight for their life and put championship defense out of their minds. India has an easy challenge ahead of it: keep up the pace and resist the urge to get complacent.</p>
<p>A defeat against the hosts would only make their hopes of advancing to the last four stages even more remote. England is already languishing around the bottom of the net run rate statistics and is almost eliminated from contention to reach the pointy end of the competition.</p>
<p>India, on the other hand, has been deftly making the required adjustments to their strategy and tactics against each opponent, but they must continue to be aware of the danger posed by the English, who have the means to strike back and ruin India’s celebration.</p>
<p>India will be hoping that their well-oiled bowling lineup, which has now removed 46 of the 50 batsmen they have faced so far—including their whole allocation against Australia, Pakistan, and New Zealand—can finish the job come game day on Sunday.</p>
<p>The Indian bowling attack will want to continue their domination in the tournament against an England batting lineup that has failed to score more than 200 in either of their last two outings after hitting 215 but falling 69 runs short in the defeat to Afghanistan.</p>
<p>The Ekana Stadium’s track may provide the spinners an advantage that would entice India, which has already lost all-rounder Hardik Pandya, to add experienced off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to the attack in order to broaden their offensive options.</p>
<p>After warming the bench for the first four games, Mohammed Shami replaced Hardik in Dharamsala and made an immediate impression with a barnstorming 5/54 in a top-of-the-table match against New Zealand. Hardik’s absence has already been well handled. Shami won Player of the Match for his instant impact, which should guarantee the right-arm speedster’s spot in India’s assault against England.</p>
<p>However, after missing their first few games, the reigning champions will be hoping that their top all-arounder and red-ball captain, Ben Stokes, performs well against the two-time winners. Stokes, 32, has been ruled out of bowling throughout the tournament after recovering from a bothersome hip injury, but his strong batting performance might save the squad in tight spots.</p>
<p>After leading England from 68/3 to 137/8 against Sri Lanka, Stokes gave the impression that he may spark another historic comeback, but in the end, he lacked the form and fitness to win the match once again.</p>
<p>This match against India may be the ideal setting for a Stokes special to halt the hosts’ momentum, with England’s prospects of qualifying for the knockout rounds dangling.</p>
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