CARDIFF, 21 JUNE: India might be entering the Champions Trophy final as the only unbeaten team in the tournament, but captain MS Dhoni (in photo) insists he is taking nothing for granted ahead of the world champions’ clash with England at Edgbaston on Sunday.
India thrashed Sri Lanka ~ the team they beat to win the 2011 World Cup final in Mumbai ~ by eight wickets in Cardiff on Thursday.
After Dhoni won an important toss in overcast conditions, excellent seam bowling from Man-of-the-Match Ishant Sharma (3-33), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-18) and Umesh Yadav put a brake on Sri Lanka’s scoring from the start, with the islanders struggling to 8-181 off 50 overs. India start favourites against the hosts in the final on Sunday, according to UK’s top online betting sites.
While India are unbeaten in this tournament and are the current World Cup champions, England are bidding to win their first major ODI championship.
Almost all online betting sites are tipping India to win the last edition of the tourney.
But there is a weather warning: don’t bet till the toss because the forecast isn’t great.
According to betting-directory.com and Ladbrokes, India are 8/11 odds on to win this weekend’s final. Alastair Cook’s men, who beat South Africa in the semi-final, are at 11/10. England, bidding for a first major One-Day International title, looked in fine form in defeating South Africa by seven wickets at the Oval in Wednesday’s first semi-final.
”England are a very good side,” Dhoni said. ”We have played quite often in the last couple of years so we know the same amount about them and they know the same about us.”
Dhoni warned England that India could get better. ”The bowlers have done really well but still there are a few areas where we’d like to improve,” he said. Yesterday&’s man-of-the-match Ishant Sharma said the Indian attack did not fear an England top order including captain Alastair Cook, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott, known collectively for solid rather than spectacular run-making. Trott, in an interview today, hoped the final can lay the platform for the remainder of a successful season for England.
”If you are bowling in a good area no batsman will enjoy playing you, that is what we have been doing in the last five games and we will do the same thing in the final,” Dhoni said. By virtue of their unbeaten streak and the consistent performances from their batsmen, India seem to enjoying pole position in the batting stakes.
In another development, Kapil Dev says Umesh Yadav needs to bring in more “discipline” in his approach to be a successful strike bowler.