England are one from two heading into today’s game against Afghanistan in Delhi. A chastening defeat to New Zealand in Ahmedabad in the opening game of the 2023 Cricket World Cup was followed by a convincing win over Bangladesh in Dharamshala. England know they cannot afford to slip up today against an Afghanistan side that has lost their opening two fixtures to Bangladesh and India respectively.
Afghanistan’s defeat to India on Wednesday by eight wickets came at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi where today’s game is, so they should be slightly more attuned to conditions.
These two sides met at Old Trafford in 2019. Eoin Morgan blasted a magnificent hundred, England’s fastest ever in 50-over World Cups, as England strolled to victory by 150 runs. England’s total that day, 397-6, was their highest ever at a 50-over World Cup.
One of the main talking points going into this World Cup was the trend of home winners. The last three tournaments have been won by the home nation; India in 2011, Australia in 2015 and England in 2019. India were seen as favourites going into the tournament and their emphatic win over bitter rivals Pakistan yesterday made it three wins from three for the hosts.
England seamer Chris Woakes, who was part of England’s 2019 World Cup winning side, knows that familiar conditions will suit sides like India but he wants to knock them off their perch.
“It’s an incredibly tough challenge to win in India. Naturally, I think the sub-continental teams will feel more at home with the conditions.”
“That makes it extremely hard for us to knock them off their perch, so to speak. But we’ve got the squad and the players to be able to compete. People have looked at us for a while and we’ve had a little bit of a target on our back as a white-ball team, around the world.
“It’s a tough competition to win isn’t it? Especially here. But we’ll give it a good crack. We’re taking it each game as it comes. Naturally, people have got expectations of us and we’ve certainly got our own expectations of ourselves.”