CricInfo at World Cup 1999
[The ICC Cricket World Cup - England 1999]

England v India, 29 May 1999

by John Houlihan

Why you should watch: A tantalising encounter is in prospect as a win for either side will see them sweep clean through into the Super Six stage. This game hinges on the battle between England's seam attack and the might of the resurgent Indian batsmen.


England come into this match on the verge of qualification and despite their dismal performance against South Africa, can otherwise be considered to have had a fairly satisfactory tournament. Nasser Hussain has performed well at the top of the order, providing some stability against the swinging white ball, while Hick has been in prime form and Graham Thorpe has also made a good contribution. Ironically their main concern will be a middle to late order which has scarcely been tested, but appeared fragile when exposed by the South Africans. Strike bowler Darren Gough has looked dangerous without always reaping just reward, but Alan Mullally has been the cream of the attack, picking up important wickets at a miserly rate, with all-rounder Mark Ealham providing dependable medium pace support. England's unsettled fourth and fifth bowlers are more of a concern, with neither Ian Austin or Angus Fraser yet making a clear case for the bowlers slot, while Adam Hollioake and Andrew Flintoff continue to contest the all-rounder's role. The Management will have to settle on what they consider their best team for this encounter and England will be hoping for cloudy conditions, Alex Stewart's toss winning run to continue and a chance to get amongst the Indian batsmen early on.


After a disastrous start to their campaign with defeats against South Africa and a nail biting loss to Zimbabwe, the Indians have come back with a vengeance, brushing aside Kenya and annihilating the Sri Lankan bowling at Taunton. Sachin Tendulkar is the heart beat of their team and after a tragic bereavement, the Little Master has returned to the tournament with a renewed sense of purpose which the Kenyans were unfortunate enough to witness at first hand. Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly's epic triple century partnership was magnificent with Ganguly in scintillating form and skipper Mohammed Azharuddin is never a man to underestimate with the bat. Venkatash Prasad and Javagal Srinath head a decent new ball attack and wrist spinner Anil Kumble is always dangerous, but the Indian bowling does appear to lack a little depth and there may be problems with support the frontline trio, although Robin Singh made a case by picking up five wickets against the Sri Lankans. The Indians need to win to qualify and will be relying on their frontline batsmen to dominate this game and they'll back themselves to win any run-chase.

England player to watch: Alan Mullally
Indian player to watch: Sachin Tendulkar

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