England sneaked into the World Cup quarterfinals, when they were expected tobe the top contender. Yet, the way they have played, winning, losing and even playing a tie, they have made World Cup 2011 one of the best tournaments ever.
England, a major force and a top contender of the World Cup before it started, was the main source of all drama underlying the World Cup. In fact by their defeat against Ireland and then Bangladesh they made the World Cup of 2011 the most competitive World Cup ever. They did win 3 matches. Against Netherlands they chased the score, when all thought it would be tough to chase a total of 292. Against West Indies in the must-win scenario they won after almost losing the match. Against South Africa their bowlers surprisingly bowled them to victory in the low scoring match. Probably, they returned the favor to batsmen, as in previous matches batsmen have saved them the red-face by chasing whatever score they conceded while bowling. Against India they provided the biggest tie of the World-cup ever.
If England were not so volatile, fragile and tough, World Cup 2011 would never have been so memorable. It is not about Bangladesh and Ireland creting upsets. The Group Stage Results of World Cup completely belongs to England, who made a dramatic entry to Quarterfinals with their 6 nail-biting matches and support from South Africa at the right time.
After being almost knocked out, they have reached quarter-final as 3rd placeholder from Group B. They will play tournament favorite and host Sri Lanka at Colombo in the Quarterfinal. Considering their past 6 matches, nobody can predict their performance. Yet, defeat against Bangladesh have showed teams that on spinner friendly pitches, England can be tamed better. Sri Lanka have the best spinner club and at home they may look for using the advantage.
If England wins, it will be an upset. After that in semifinal they may face South Africa or New Zealand.
Pietersen provided some good opening partnerships till he opened in the World Cup with Strauss. With his departure opening partnerships have sufferred. Broad was the key in their victory against South Africa in the low scoring match. His replacement may be tough.
Jonathan Trott and Strauss are among the top 3 successful batsmen of current World Cup. Morgan, Luke Wright, Bopara and Bell can get the team into strong position if two of them perform.
Bowling is their weakness and Swann is the leading wicket taker for them. Still, oVerall bowling has won them 2 matches. Swann and Bresnan would be their key bowler, going by past matches.
Although now it is tough to predict England’s fortune, yet the way they have survived ‘somehow’ gives a feel they will create the upset and reach semifinal.