India would be under pressure: Strauss

England take on India in Bangalore on Sunday

By CricketCountry Staff

Bangalore: Feb 26, 2011

England captain Andrew Strauss said that the pressure would be more on India playing in front of a jam-packed M Chinnaswamy Stadium when the two teams clash in a World Cup Group B match here on Sunday. “We need to focus on playing smart cricket. In some ways, perhaps there is more pressure on India than us in this game. We want to play according to our plans and put them under pressure,” Strauss said at the pre-match press conference in Bangalore on Saturday.

He said the match would be a big chance for England to show the other teams that they are strong favourites to win the marquee tournament. “Playing against India on their own turf is a great opportunity for us. Potentially, it is huge day for us because we need to send out pretty strong signals to other sides on Sunday,” Strauss said.

Strauss, however, admitted that it won t be easy getting the better of India, who are a formidable side at home. “There is no doubt that they (India) are a strong side in home conditions. We played well against them in England but in India we have not played well enough,” he said.

He is banking on the side to do well in high pressure games. “We played a lot of good cricket in the last 24 months or so and we are proud about that. In big high pressure games we can perform well and this is one of such high pressure games. We are very confident of doing well,” he said.

He sees champion batsman Sachin Tendulkar and explosive Virender Sehwag as big threats to England’s chances on Sunday.”Sachin Tendulkar is one of the mammoths of world cricket for the last two decades. The fact that he has been doing the same thing for so long and with so much consistency is a great testimony of his preparation for a game. He is absolutely a great legend.”

“A player like Sehwag will score quickly if he stays at the wicket for more time. If we can get couple of wickets early, we can put their batting under pressure.”

He is optimistic that Kevin Pietersen, in his new role as opener, would be at his best against India on Sunday. “I think it is sort of a match that brings out the best in him (Pietersen). He has performed well in the sub-continent before and obviously, he knows this (Chinnaswamy) wicket well having played IPL here. As I said in big matches and big tournaments, generally we see the best from him,” the skipper said.

The England captain feels that the match would be much more than just a duel between key off-spinners Harbhajan Singh and Graeme Swann. “It’s always easy to make these mini-battles in a game. But the side that wins is probably the one that has the majority of the players doing well, rather than just one or two.”

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