Jason Roy and Liam Plunkett come in for James Vince and Moeen Ali. Eoin Morgan says Roy “is not a big risk”.
India bring in the potentially devastating Rishabh Pant for Vijay Shankar, who has a toe niggle (sic). Virat Kohli says he would have batted first but that it’s “never a problem chasing … I love chasing”. Yes, sir, yes you do.
England Roy, Bairstow, Root, Morgan (c), Stokes, Buttler (wk), Woakes, Rashid, Plunkett, Archer, Wood.
India Rohit, Rahul, Kohli (c), Jadhav, Dhoni (wk), Pant, Pandya, Shami, Kuldeep, Chahal, Bumrah.
England have won the toss and will bat first
That should be a good toss to win.
Always with the Smiths
“Last night I watched Johnny Marr play This Charming Man at Glastonbury,” says Phil Smith. “This morning all I have on my mind is Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want.”
“Good morning!” says Anand. “As I failed to score at yesterday’s OBOs, I thought I would open my account with a quick single wide of mid-on. I hope we have a great game today. I would like India to chase a tough total to see how the team performs. I am also rooting for our local boy Vijay Shankar (we went to the same school, years apart though).”
I don’t think he’ll play – the word is that Rishabh Pant is going to be unleashed.
Boy, that escalated quickly. Nine days ago, England were cruising into the World Cup semi-finals. Now, one and a half games later, they are fighting for their lives. They’ve been blindsided by Pakistan, who are now the favourites to take the last semi-final spot. The good thing for England is that they will definitely qualify if they win their last two games. The bad news is that the first of those is away to the best team in the world.
If England were meeting India in a semi-final or a final, the primary emotion would be excitement. Today it is fear – not of failure, which is bad enough, but of a traumatic humiliation. That’s a unique psychological burden, and as an England fan it’s hard not to fear the worst.
It’s even harder not to hope for the best. If England win today, and against New Zealand on Wednesday, they will go into the semi-finals with Maurice Mentum as their 12th man, and all this torment will be forgotten. But that – duh – is an Orca-sized if.
There are suggestions the Edgbaston pitch will be a belter for batting, although we’ve heard that before. Given the pressure, the toss feels absolutely crucial: bat first, get a competitive score and field like you’ve never fielded before. And to hell with your hamstrings.
The currency in which elite sportspeople take most pride is not talent, trophies, money or even Instagram disciples. It’s their fight-or-flight response. The way England play today will help to shape how they are remembered. This really is it. Godspeed, gentlemen.
The match starts at 10.30am.