Chennai: After an upset against Bangladesh, England will take on West Indies in a crucial group B match on Thursday requiring an outright win to keep their World Cup hopes alive. England: Andrew Strauss (capt), Eoin Morgan, Jonathan
England have endured a roller-coaster World Cup so far having won just two games out of five. Their loss to minnows Ireland and Bangladesh have made this one a must-win bout even to be able to think of quarterfinal qualification.
Presently they are in the fifth position with just five points. With four teams competing for the three quarterfinal places from the group after South Africa booked their berth with a clinical win over the Ireland on Tuesday, even a win will not suffice for England and they have to await the results of the match between India and West Indies and then pray South Africa defeat Bangladesh.
India, with seven points, are in the second place while the West Indies and Bangladesh have six points apiece.
But English cricketers are insisting that the team always brings out the best in crunch games and can still win the World Cup.
Coming into the tournament as underdogs, the West Indies, led by Darren Sammy, have a slight edge having won all their last three games after the loss to South Africa, but they have not yet been fully tested in the ties having played against lowly-ranked opponents. They have their last big match against India at Chennai on Sunday.
Batsman Jonathan Trott, however, has expressed hope that they will be fit for the vital match tomorrow. Any setback on that front will badly hit the English as the side has already suffered two pull outs (hernia-hit Kevin Pieterson and Stuart Broad) midway.
Caribbean’s second left-arm spinner Nikita Miller and all-rounder Chris Gayle, who bowls off-breaks and is said to be fit for Thursday`s tie, add more zing to their spin attack.
However, the England batsmen have done well in other matches with Strauss and Trott, who has four half centuries in five games, leading from the front.
Bowling has been a major worry for Strauss as the team has conceded 1,351 runs, second-highest after Canada`s 1,370 in its five matches, with James Anderson bearing the brunt.
Tim Bresnan shone against India, but the English have to be more accurate to stop the likes of big-hitting Kieron Pollard and Gayle.
England might be tempted to go with two spinners and drop Anderson, who has given away 282 runs in 43 overs for an uneconomical 6.55, taking just four wickets at an average of 70.50 in the five games.
Trott, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Ravi Bopara, Matt Prior, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Michael Yardy, Ajmal Shahzad, James Tredwell, Luke Wright, Chris Tremlett.
West Indies: Darren Sammy (capt), Chris Gayle, Devon Smith, Darren Bravo, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kieron Pollard, Devon Thomas, Sulieman Benn, Nikita Miller, Kemar Roach, Kirk Edwards, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Devendra Bishoo.
Umpires: Asoka de Silva (SRI) and Steve Davis (AUS). TV umpire: Shavir Tarapore (IND). Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (SRI).
Chennai: After an upset against Bangladesh, England will take on West Indies in a crucial group B match on Thursday requiring an outright win to keep their World Cup hopes alive.
England: Andrew Strauss (capt), Eoin Morgan, Jonathan