3 time runners up England will look to get back to winning ways when they play Canada in their Group C game in St Lucia on Sunday.
England lost to New Zealand in their opening game by six wickets in a game which was expected to decide the winner of Group C. The loss of Pietersen, Collingwood and Andrew Flintoff in quick succession was probably the turning point in the game, and England will look to avoid another middle order collapse. The Kiwis were reduced to 19/3 for three but Scott Styris and Jacob Oram took them home with 9 wickets to spare. Canada do not have the same credentials as the Kiwis, and this should be an easy game for Duncan Fletcher’s side. The top three- Joyce, Vaughan and Bell will look to get some runs under their belt. Pietersen will look to carry on from where he left in the last game.England are likely to keep their lineup unchanged from the New Zealand game, which means that Anderson and Plunkett will take the new ball. Monty Panesar might spin a web around the Canadians, who aren’t the most accomplished players when the ball turns. Some unnamed English players were fined for a breach of discipline after they headed out to a night club post the New Zealand defeat.
Canada lost to Kenya by seven wickets in their opening game, and Andy Pick’s side will know that a loss against England could effectively mean the end of their super eight aspirations. John Davison may return to the opening spot where he was so effective in the last edition. If Davison continues his trademark hitting in the first fifteen overs, he could unsettle the English. The Canadians also need to work on their accuracy with their bowling, having conceded 28 extras against Kenya.Anderson Cummins and Henry Osinde conceded 6, while Umar Bhatti had 4 to his name. Qaiser Ali is fit for this game after not being able to field against Kenya with back spasms.
Canada need to take inspiration from England’s neighbours Ireland, who sent Pakistan out of the World Cup on St. Patrick’s day. The job will be easier said than done and IMO England are overwhelming favourites for this one. Although winning this game might not see them carry over the points into the super eight, a win here is essential. Panesar and Anderson to shine with the ball, and Ed Joyce with the bat. The likes of Pietersen, Collingwood and Flintoff to do well too.