England vs. India: ICC Champions Trophy Final 2013 Date, Start Time and Preview
After coasting to an eight-wicket win with 15 overs to spare against Sri Lanka on Thursday, India set up a mammoth championship match against England on Sunday.
The Indian Express tweeted the result:
England advanced to the final with a dominant victory of its own. The hosts earned a seven-wicket victory over pre-tournament favorite South Africa.
Former England test captain Ian Botham has certainly been inspired by England's run:
Brilliant England .....!! Who will England play In the Final ?? Does it matter ?? #comeonengland— Ian Botham (@BeefyBotham) June 19, 2013
Botham's confidence aside, it most certainly does matter. With the opponent being India, we are set for an outstanding match.
This final sets up a fascinating matchup. England's bowlers have been fantastic, while India's batsmen have been on a tear. As a result, this will be a true test of strength against strength.
India will be looking for its second title in this tournament, while host England is still looking for its maiden championship—having finished no higher than second, which it did in 2004.
Let's take a look at everything you need to know leading up to this final showdown.
Where: Edgbaston in Birmingham
When: Sunday, June 23, at 5:30 a.m. ET
What They're Saying
Jaideep Vaidya, on CricketCountry.com, offers some useful insight about England. He knows it has been India stealing the majority of the headlines, but that England deserves this hard-earned trip to the final.
With their all-round show in the Champions Trophy, England have given themselves the best chance to take the cup on Sunday. While the entire spotlight has been on India, England have quietly gone about doing their work and getting themselves within touching distance of a maiden ICC ODI crown after four failed attempts in finals (1979 World Cup, 1987 World Cup, 1992 World Cup and 2004 Champions Trophy).
England's Players to Watch: James Tredwell and Graeme Swann
Graeme Swann has been inactive for England for all but one appearance in this tournament. He's struggled with back and calf problems. As GulfNews.com's K.R. Nayar notes, he's also "a major doubt" for the final.
However, even if he is able to go, he still may not get the nod over James Tredwell.
Tredwell has been fantastic, and as Sky Sports Cricket tweeted, he was Man of the Match in the semi:
England spinner James Tredwell (3-19 off seven) is today's man of the match. Would he have been your choice? #ct13— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) June 19, 2013
Nayar notes that England captain Alastair Cook said, "It would now be difficult to drop Tredwell."
India's Player to Watch: Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan has been red hot. He entered the semifinals as the tournament's highest scorer with a whopping 264 runs, and he was brilliant against Sri Lanka in the semi.
For the third time in the tournament he passed 50 and did so off 73 balls with six fours and a six.
India will certainly be leaning on him in a touch matchup in the final.
Prediction: India Wins
England has been impressive in this run, and it will undoubtedly have a raucous crowd supporting its efforts on Sunday. However, India's bats are on too big of a hot streak for me to pick against them.
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