West Indies and England will play the most important game of the tournament. The game that has the capability to seal fate of four teams and Group B.
The fortunes have changed in Group B more than a river can change its course in a decade. When Ireland defeated England, it appered that England can be out of the tournament. Bangladesh almost confirmed their elimination. Now West Indies needs to seal the belief by knocking them out. The match has future of England and West Indies at stake, and the hosts India and Bangladesh who would love to be in the Quarters without sweating out in their last match.
If England win, the Quarter final spots will remain open till the last group B match of West Indies and India, and West Indies, India, England and Bangladesh would remain in contention for the remaining 3 positions of
quarters from Group B.
If West Indies wins, the quarter-final berth awaits them. But, they need to win any one of their remaining two matches. While for England this is a must-win match.
South Africa with 4 wins in 5 matches have earned 8 points and become the only team from Group B to qualify for the quarterfinal. India, with one match against West Indies remaining, are at the second place. West Indies and Bangladesh are on 6 points each. England with just 5 points in 6 games must earn 2 points to reach at par with India and leave behind West Indies and Bangladesh. If they win, they will have to wait for the two matches between South Africa-Bangladesh and India-West Indies match to decide the final four quarterfinalists of Group B.
Pitch and Conditions
The stadium in Chennai has been notorious for low scores and has kept intact its reputation even in this World Cup by providing low scoring matches. A score of 200 or above is considered difficult to chase on this ground. The pitch helps spinners more than the seamers.
Considering the pitch helps spinners, both West Indies and England are equally matched. If England has dangerous Swann, West Indies has the man-in-form Benn. Roach and Sammy have their counterparts Anderson and Bresnan or Tremlett, who may play in this crucial match.
Strauss and Trott are one of the top five leading scorers of this tournament. Their innings will define England’s fate. Ian Bell has also performed exceptional. Bopara and Morgan look good to strengthen the strong batting line-up that can play complete 50 overs and score more than 250 runs een on slow pitch, considering they have consistently achieved that in the tournament.
For West Indies, there are two batsmen who does not follow the pitch and conditions on their day. Gayle and Pollard rule the pitch and create their own conditions on their day. If it’s their day West Indies will run through the game. But, if England’s bowlers can wean some magic around these two, they would do themselves a big favor in their effort to reach quarterfinal.