England will be aiming to head into their Ashes campaign this summer with silverware already in the cabinet and will achieve this if they can beat India in the ICC Champions Trophy Final on Sunday.
The Ashes begins on July 10th but a victory in the final at Edgbaston this weekend would prove that the Lions really are a force to be reckoned with.
Understandably, there will be a lot more pressure when it comes to the Ashes but nevertheless victory in the One Day tournament would send confidence even higher in the England camp ahead of the series with Australia.
It’s fitting that the final will be contested between England and India as both sides topped their respective groups and the two nations fill the top two spaces on the ICC One Day International Ratings, India just ahead of England.
England in Good Form
Hosts England have had a good tournament so far and finished their group with two wins out of the three games.
They began the tournament with a convincing 48-run win against defending champions Australia which was overshadowed David Warner’s alleged attack on England player Joe Root at a bar after the game.
Next up came a seven-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka with Kumar Sangakkara the star of the show. But England bounced back and won a tense rain-affected third match against New Zealand and won the game by 10 runs.
A one-sided seven-wicket over haul of South Africa came in the semi-finals which secured England a spot in the final.
India have been even more impressive in their ICC Champions Trophy having won all four of their matches so far.
Their campaign began with a 26-run win over South Africa in Cardiff with Shikhar Dhawan making 114 from 94 balls. They then cruised past South Africa with a winning margin of 67 runs at Edgbaston.
They finished their group with an even more dominant win over Pakistan, who they beat by eight wickets. They needed just 19 overs to match the target of 165 set by Pakistan. A similarly dominant victory came over Group A runners-up Sri Lanka, again winning the match by eight wickets.
Head to Head
Both sides have yet to win the ICC Champions Trophy, the closest both came was finishing as runners-up.
India were defeated by South Africa in the 1998 final in Bangladesh when the tournament was known as the ICC Knock-Out Trophy.
England’s reached the final when they last hosted the tournament in 2004 but they were beaten by the West Indies in the final.
India have won the last two one-day series between the nations although both of those took place in India. England won the last ODI series that took place in England back in 2011 3-0.
India’s excellent unbeaten record in the tournament so far means they go into the final as 8/11 favourites with Ladbrokes.
England head into the final as second choice with bookies and Paddy Power provide the best prices of 6/5 for an English victory.
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