I’ve heard all last week that this is the final that everyone wanted, and organisers dreamed off. They’ve all got it now, so lets hope it’s a better game than the two semi-finals were, otherwise it could end up being a bit of a damp squib.
I’m not going to try to call this one, as I haven’t a clue. The odds for the Champions Trophy betting see India at 4/6, and England are 6/5.
On one hand India have looked imperious in this competition. They have only been under pressure the once, for a brief period in the opening game against South Africa, when AB de Villiers and Robin Peterson were seemingly coasting to India’s total of 331/4 in a 3rd wicket stand.
Once that partnership of 124 was broken, victory was reasonably comfortable. Since then, India have swatted West Indies, Pakistan and Sri Lanka aside with ease. The wins have been so comfortable that the middle order has hardly had a bat since the opening day of the tournament.
Could that prove to be a problem for India today? Possibly, assuming England can get through to the middle order, that is.
On the other hand conditions at Edgbaston today should suit England. It is a damp, windy, miserable day, and there is rain in the air. England have by far the stronger seam attack, and if the conditions suit Jimmy Anderson and England bowl first, he could well exploit any morning moisture and make the new ball do plenty of talking.
England’s middle order haven’t really fired yet (apart from a couple of brief cameos from Ravi Bopara), and the form of Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan has to be a worry for the England management. Assuming Graeme Swann is passed fit, I’m not sure who will play out of him and Tredwell (I’d go with Tredwell myself), and there is a decision to be made between Steven Finn and Tim Bresnan.
Bresnan’s batting might come into the thinking when making a decision, mainly down to the misfiring middle order.
The toss will be vital with possible swing in the air early on. Rain is due later though, and the prospect of Duckworth/Lewis coming into play will also have to be taken into account when deciding whether to bat first or second.
I hope the rain doesn’t spoil it, as all in all it has been quite an entertaining tournament. It is widely expected that this will be the last ever ICC Champions Trophy, and if it is, at least it has had a good send off. Let’s hope we get a final to finish with.