India have an upper hand going into the tie
If you go by the form book or if you go by the statistics, everything stacks up against England, heading into the World Cup Group B match against India in Bangalore, on Sunday.
England came into the tournament after being thrashed 1-6 in the ODI series in Australia and were pretty unconvincing during their six-wicket victory against the Netherlands, on Tuesday.
And their record against hosts India in their own backyard is not encouraging either. The last time they played here in November 2008, they were blanked out 5-0, while in their previous ODI series in India in 2006, they were routed 5-1.
So their desperation to set the record straight is quite evident as they take on top favourites India in their second match of the 2011 World Cup.
And one man they surely want to dismiss early is India's dashing opener Virender Sehwag, who blasted a match-winning 175 in the tournament opener against Bangladesh
Image: India's Sachin Tendulkar and coach Gary Kirsten during a practice session in Bangalore
Need to stop Sehwag
England pacer Stuart Broad also pointed out that they are planning to stop the Sehwag show to keep India under check with the bat.
"We are going to discuss about it as he [Sehwag] is an amazing batsman. He started the World Cup in amazing fashion. It's up to the bowlers to bowl at areas, which his is not that strong. We have to really work on that and ensure that India doesn't get a flying start.
"We know that with the new ball it's a good time to bat in the sub-continent. In an international sport you always play against the best in the world," Broad said in Bangalore, on Friday.
Image: Virender Sehwag
Photographs: Getty Images
'We have to use the short ball in all the conditions'
Another player who will surely cause the English a few sleepless nights is Yuvraj Singh.
The left-hander has scored 1129 runs in 28 matches against England at an impressive average of 53.76, having hit three hundreds and five fifties.
And at home, Yuvraj has proved unstoppable against the English bowling attack, scoring 589 runs in 12 matches at an average of 73.62.
Broad said the England pacers are planning to trouble the Indian batsmen with short deliveries, a tactics used successfully by a few teams in the past against the hosts.
"We have to use the short ball in all the conditions. Hopefully in the Bangalore wicket there is a little bit of bounce. We have to use the bounce and catch the batsman by surprise. It's something we talk about and I don't think it's not about using it against the Indians and not against the Aussies. If you get the bounce right it causes trouble to anyone in the world," he said.
Image: Stuart Broad during a training session
Death bowling woes
Broad also pointed out that opening the bowling with a spinner may not work against a team like India, who are masters of playing the turning ball.
"No discussion on that yet but it is something we are open to as a team. It depends on what side you are playing against. It also depends whether the openers like pace on the ball or they are better players of spin. It worked for South Africa to use the off-spin against Chris Gayle. But they might not use the same strategy against India or Bangladesh."
England have also learnt from their mistakes in the last game against the Netherlands, claimed Broad.
"The main area to improve is the death bowling. We gave too many extras which we need to cut out. But we have got the win under our belt and we can move forward what can be an exciting prospect come Sunday. Everybody is excited playing in the World Cup. Any England-India battle is always exciting," he said.
Image: Andrew Strauss
Photographs: Getty Images