India head coach Rahul Dravid is looking forward for his team to square off against a “different” England side, who according to him were “a little bit on the back foot” last year but are now “playing really good cricket”.
India are currently leading the five-match series against England 2-1 before the fifth and final Test at Old Trafford, slated to begin from September 10, was postponed abruptly due to a fear of Covid-19 outbreak in the visiting party. The postponed fifth Test will now be played at Edgbaston from July 1 to 5.
In almost 10 months since then, both teams have got new captains in Ben Stokes and Rohit Sharma along with new head coaches in Dravid and Brendon McCullum. While India won Test series at home against New Zealand and Sri Lanka, they had to face a 2-1 loss in South Africa.
England, meanwhile, were thrashed 4-0 in Ashes and 1-0 in West Indies before a change in leadership resulted in them playing a positive brand of cricket and taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the ongoing home series against New Zealand.
“In terms of the Test match, it is going to be exciting. For us it is a one-off Test match, but it’s World Test Championship (WTC) points. It’s a series on the line for the guys who played a part in it (last year), and they are very keen to try and win that series and do well. So looking forward to that,” said Dravid after fifth T20I at Bengaluru was abandoned due to rain.
With the majority of Test squad arriving and practicing in London last week, India’s preparation for the Edgbaston Test comprises of a tour match against Leicestershire from June 23 to 26. Dravid, along with Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer, have left for London after the completion of the T20I series against South Africa.
“It is always lovely to play a Test match in England; the crowds are going to be fantastic. You expect really good crowds in England when you play Test cricket there. And England is playing really well at the moment. I mean they are playing some really good cricket.
“It’s probably a bit different to when we were there last year, when England was probably a little bit on the back foot. But they have played couple of good games (against New Zealand), and we have got a pretty good squad as well. Hopefully it will be a good match. I love watching Test cricket, love playing it, love coaching it. Looking forward to it,” concluded Dravid.
Violent Clash Erupts Between Rival Supporters During Argentina vs Brazil 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers
The 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers has been marred in controversy as the match between Brazil and Argentina saw violent clashes between rival supporters before the start of it. The high-profile fixture had to be delayed by 30 minutes as the Marcana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro witnessed ugly scenes, with disturbing visuals emerging on social media.
With the Brazilian and Argentinian players lining up for national anthems, the camera turned towards the stands as a section of rival fans exchanged blows. The local police officials could be seen beating up a section of Argentinian fans with batons and it did not go well with the tourists. By pointing at the violent scenes, Messi and co. decided to walk off the pitch.
PAK vs ENG, CWC 2023: ‘Broke 25 Crore People’s Hopes In 5 Seconds’, Netizens Troll Pakistan As England Almost Kill The Game At Toss
Pakistan cricket fans were left ruing their luck at the toss as it fell in England’s favour at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Saturday. With Jos Buttler winning the toss marking the end of Pakistan’s campaign at the showpiece event, netizens have relentlessly trolled Babar Azam and his men for losing the contest at the toss.
Coming into the game, Pakistan were facing a near impossible equation as winning the toss was the first priority. After winning the toss, Pakistan had to beat them by a massive 287-run margin. As things stand currently, Babar Azam and co. must do the unthinkable, bowling out for a mere 20 runs and getting those in only 1.3 overs, which would be their best-case scenario.
As things stand, the target for Pakistan will get bigger and the overs will keep diminishing. Pakistan fans were already irked as Babar was excluded among the list of captains during the light show at the Gateway of India in Mumbai on Thursday. It’s worth noting that Pakistan haven’t qualified for the 50-over World Cup semi-finals since the 2011 edition.
Pakistan have also made one change from their last match, benching Hassan Ali for an extra spinner in Shadab Khan. England have gone ahead with an unchanged line-up.
CWC 2023: South Africa vs Australia Semi-Final To Be Shifted To Mumbai If Pakistan Reach Knockouts, Confirm ICC Sources
The ODI World Cup semi-final between South Africa and Australia will be shifted to the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai if Pakistan qualify for the knockouts, sources in the International Cricket Council confirmed to the Free Press Journal on Thursday.
If Pakistan manage to reach the semis then they will face arch-rivals India once again in this tournament. In that case, the semi-final will be played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on November 15.
But if Pakistan don’t reach the semis then India will face either New Zealand or Afghanistan in Mumbai and South Africa will take on Australia in Kolkata as per the original schedule.India are scheduled to play their semifinal match in Mumbai only if they don’t face Pakistan. The Men in Green have refused to play in Mumbai due to security reasons.
Pakistan qualification scenario explained
But Pakistan’s qualification depends on the result of the match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka which is being played at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru.
If New Zealand manage to beat Sri Lanka by a comfortable margin then Pakistan’s qualification will take a hit even if they defeat England in their last league game. A loss against the defending champions in Kolkata on November 11 will automatically knockout Pakistan from the race for the semis.
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