It wasn’t meant to be like this. After a crushing defeat to Australia on Tuesday, England’s chances of reaching the World Cup semi-finals are hanging on a knife-edge.

It was England’s third loss of the group stages, in a tournament which they were backed heavily as favourites. England must now win at least one, but probably both, of their remaining games against India and New Zealand, to progress to the semi-finals.

With the likes of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh waiting in the wings for another slip up, it’s going to be a tough ask, especially when England’s next match against India is at Edgbaston on Sunday.

India have arguably been the best side in the tournament so far, having beaten South Africa, Australia and Pakistan , whilst their match against New Zealand was abandoned due to bad weather.

They have plenty of firepower at the top of the order with the likes of Rohit Sharma and the imperious Virat Kohli, whilst their attack is a fine mix of talented spin bowlers and the excellent Jasprit Bumrah whose death bowling has been exquisite so far.

It will be interesting to see how the Edgbaston pitch plays, with it tending to be a venue where spinners thrive in limited overs cricket. If so, it is likely to suit India and the likes of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali will need to step up for the hosts.

There are some positives for England, however. It has been close to two and a half years since England last lost back-to-back One Day Internationals and they will be hoping this run doesn’t come to an end on Sunday. They also have the likes of Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes in fine form so far in the tournament and they will be hopeful that one of those two can be the talisman to re-ignite their World Cup campaign.

England will also give Jason Roy, working his way back from a hamstring tear, until the very last moment to prove his fitness for the match. The hosts have missed his prowess at the top of the order and if there was ever a time England needed Roy back fit and hitting boundaries it is now!

On paper, England and India are arguably two of the strongest teams in the whole tournament. However, with England struggling with the expectations and pressure of being pre-tournament favourites, this match will prove a real test for Eoin Morgan’s men.

It’s sure to be an electric atmosphere, with Birmingham’s Asian community providing plenty of away support and there will be no better stage for India to cement their status as real World Cup contenders.

England will look to draw inspiration from previous World Champions who have bounced back from similar situations to go on and lift the trophy.

Who can forget the Pakistan side of 1992 who were within a whisper of going out earlier in the tournament, or when Australia wouldn’t have made it to the final in 1999 but for a calamitous run out between South Africa duo Lance Klusener and Allan Donald…


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