Tuesday 26 August 2014 

England-India Clash Too Close To Call - Croft

Duncan Fletcher and Ravi Shastri
Robert Croft says the return of Ravi Shastri (right) to Glamorgan adds extra spice to the England-India clash
© REUTERS / Action Images
 
© SSE SWALEC
 

Former Glamorgan captain and England international off-spinner Robert Croft is looking forward to Cardiff hosting England and India for the second One-Day International, but can't predict a winner.

Taking time out from his role as SWALEC Ambassador to preview the match, Croft doesn't want to read too much into the Test series that has just finished.

England recovered from a 95-run defeat at Lord's to win the series 3-1, before the opening ODI in Bristol was washed out.

"India have been absolutely demolished by England in the latest Test series, so there is now a lot of good feeling amongst the England camp and I imagine they will be feeling very confident about the forthcoming one-day series," Croft said.

"That being said, India are the current ICC World Cup Champions in the 50 over format, so to underestimate the challenge ahead would be foolish.

"India must be under immense pressure, from the media, their fans; everyone. It will be very interesting to see what effect that pressure has on them, it could help them turn things around, or crumble them even more. The first two games will be crucial."

Everybody will have fingers crossed that tomorrow's match at the SWALEC Stadium will not be interrupted by the rain, not least Croft, who says there is plenty to look forward to.

"India has visited the Welsh capital four times in the course of the last three years, and that includes three matches in 2013 as part of the ICC Champions Trophy, where the atmosphere was just electric," Croft added.

"Add to that the fact that Ravi Shastri, who used to play for Glamorgan back in the late 80s, has just been appointed India’s Director of Cricket and will be commentating on the match during the day. That should make the whole event even more enjoyable.

"Cricket is to India what rugby is to the Welsh, and that’s why we love having them here. We also have a pitch that India will enjoy as it will provide them with a bit of spin, a bit of bounce - which should make for an interesting days cricket.

"Personally I can’t wait to see what happens and I really can’t predict the outcome. It should be a really exciting match that could go either way."

© Cricket World 2014

Fixtures & Results

9th-13th July: 1st Test, Trent Bridge, Nottingham
India 457 & 391-9 dec. (Binny 78) drew with
England 496 (Root 154no, Anderson 81)
17th-21st July: 2nd Test, Lord's, London
India 295 & 342 (Vijay 95, Jadeja 68) beat
England 319 & 223 (Sharma 7-74) by 95 runs
27th-31st July: 3rd Test, The Ageas Bowl, Southampton
England 569-7 dec. & 205-4 dec. beat
India 330 & 178 (Ali 6-67) by 266 runs
7th-11th August: 4th Test, Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester
England 367 (Root 77, Buttler 70) beat
India 152 & 166 by an innings & 54 runs
15th-19th August: 5th Test, The Kia Oval, London
England 486 (Root 149no, Cook 79) beat
India 148 & 94 by an innings & 244 runs
25th August: 1st ODI, Bristol
Match abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain
27th August: 2nd ODI, SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff
India 304-6 (Raina 100, Woakes 4-52) beat
England 161 (Jadeja 4-28) by 133 runs (D/L)
30th August: 3rd ODI, Trent Bridge, Nottingham
India 228-4 (Rayudu 64no) beat
England 227 (Cook 44) by six wickets
2nd September: 4th ODI, Edgbaston, Birmingham
India 212-1 (Rahane 106, Dhawan 97no) beat
England 206 (Moeen Ali 67) by nine wickets
5th September: 5th ODI, Headingley, Leeds
England 294-7 (Root 113, Buttler 49) beat
India 253 (Jadeja 87) by 41 runs
7th September: T20I, Edgbaston, Birmingham
England 180-7 (Morgan 71, Hales 40)
India 177-5 (Kohli 66) by three runs