Preview: Imran Tahir could trouble beleaguered England

Imran Tahir’s leg spin will trouble England

By Vinay Anand


Chennai: Mar 6, 2011

Another Super Sunday beckons! India plays a resurgent Ireland in a day-night game in Bengaluru. Before the nation get enveloped in this game, England and South Africa will go head-to-head in a thrilling Group B clash in Chennai, with both the teams needing a win to fancy their chances of eventually topping the table.

The intriguing battles to watch would be Kevin Pietersen vs Dale Steyn, Graeme Smith vs James Anderson and AB de Villiers vs Graeme Swann.

England s form hasn t been much to brag about. Against Holland in their first group game, they were taken for a ride by the upcoming Ryan ten Doeschate who scored a hundred, which helped Holland score 296 on a sluggish Nagpur pitch. The bowling looked jaded and the body language on the field was a pitiful. Even against India, the bowling took a spanking, and despite Tim Bresnan picking up 5 wickets, England had to chase 339. The match ended in tie and thankfully because of the in-form Andrew Strauss. If England has to win tomorrow, Strauss will have to give a good start again. Kevin O Brien s onslaught, which led to the shock defeat, in the last game means England have their work cut out tomorrow. They will have to rely on their batting to win and that would be difficult considering the quality of the Proteas bowling attack.

Meanwhile, South Africa has been outstanding so far. Clearly one of the favourites to win the title, South Africa is going from strength to strength as seen by their performances with both bat and ball and on the field. They beat West Indies comprehensively in their first group match and walloped the Netherlands by 231 runs in their last match. Debutant Imran Tahir has been impressive and he could be South Africa s trump card especially in this game as England are not the best players of spin in world cricket. Despite not having a strong lower order, JP Duminy has provided good finishes for South Africa and alongside the in-form AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla, South Africa s batting seems to be impeccable.

South Africa should resist the English challenge. But England s new outfit has this admirable quality to come back after upset defeats. Besides, Chennai always produces good batting tracks, so expect some fireworks from both teams. So, folks, tomorrow s game is no waste of time as two heavyweights will clash for pride and points.

England (Probable): Andrew Strauss (c), Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior (wk), Michael Yardy, Graeme Swann, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, James Anderson

South Africa (Probable): Graeme Smith (c), Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers (wk), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Robin Peterson, Johan Botha, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir

Match time: 09:30 hours local (04:00 GMT)

Umpires: Simon Taufel (Australia) and Amish Saheba (India)

(Vinay Anand, 17, has an uncanny eye for detail. He revers cricket – looking beyond the glamour into the heart of the game where true passion, perseverance and grit meet. To him, there is no greater joy than coming closer to the sport while exploring its intricacies through his writing and treading ahead to establish himself as a writer and presenter)

Pictures Getty Images

(Vinay Anand, 17, has an uncanny eye for detail. He revers cricket – looking beyond the glamour into the heart of the game where true passion, perseverance and grit meet. To him, there is no greater joy than coming closer to the sport while exploring its intricacies through his writing and treading ahead to establish himself as a writer and presenter)

Pictures Getty Images