England captain Alastair Cook reckons that India will start as favourites in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy but said his team would be raring to set the record straight by winning their first ever world ODI title.
India are a very strong side. They are unbeaten and playing very good cricket. They are batting well at the top of the order and getting early wickets. They will go in as favourites, skipper Cook told mediapersons ahead of Sundays high-profile final. Theyre unbeaten arent they,and played some very good cricket. Were happy with that. But our record against India last time we played them in England is a good record. So we can certainly take a lot from that.
Setting the record right
England have not won a major ODI title,losing three World Cup finals and the 2004 Champions Trophy final against the West Indies at home.
I keep getting asked this question in every press conference but yes,I am aware of our record and very keen to set it right this time, he said. Its a big final for us. The boys are raring to go and ready to play. Its going to be a one-off day and we will give it all.
England are taking a lot of heart from their home record against the Indians,having beaten them 3-0 when the two teams played a bilateral series here during the summer of 2011.
We have a good record at home but its going to be a one-off day and the better team will win. We have played each other quite often in the last one and half years and there are no hidden secrets, Cook said.
Asked about plans to counter Shikhar Dhawan,Cook answered,Yeah,obviously their top order have played very well. I think both top orders have played well in this tournament and probably thats one of the reasons that were in the final. Of course,weve got plans. And weve also got very skillful new ball bowlers,as well. Its going to be a good contest out there,a contest in which if we want to win the game,were going to have to try and get the best of them because we know how dangerous those guys at the top of the order can be.
The Duncan Effect
Cook said that he isnt surprised by the positive effect that coach Duncan Fletcher has had on the Indian team.
Yeah,it doesnt surprise me. We obviously know what Duncan did for English cricket,as well,when he came over to England and had a very successful reign with the English cricket team and changed quite a few structures in our game and the way we went about things, he said. So yes,I can see him obviously working the same with the Indian team,and he made some quite big decisions with the way theyve gone.