This could be the most explosive match of the entire tournament. A cornered England team, playing on its home turf, in a bit of trouble, take on a rampaging Indian side. The Poms haven't played as per expectations and have lost three of their matches so far in this tournament. In order to ensure their place in the semis, the hosts have to finally show their quality that got them to the no. 1 spot in ODI cricket.
On the other hand, India will look to book their place in the last-4 by winning this game. They did lose a 3-match ODI series to England last year but the Men in Blue were without their main strike bowler Jasprit Bumrah at that time. With him in the team currently and showing great form, the Virat Kohli-led would fancy their chances.
So, sparks are certain to fly in this game. A desperate England and a hungry Indian side would go all out for victory. Let's look at the biggest factors that will decide the outcome of the match.
England's celebrated ability to chase down big totals disappeared with the start of this event. They lost just their second game in the World Cup, to Pakistan, when they had to chase. Their other two losses were also while batting second. So, if they have to chase again, under the pressure of needing a victory, it may lead to another capitulation. The way Indian team have batted, a big target may well be set for them. So, batting first would be a big advantage for the Indians and a big relief for England.
Indian top order
The way Indian batting has progressed in the World Cup, the wickets of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will be most important. These two batsmen have been very consistent in this event but if England pick up their wickets cheaply and expose a vulnerable looking middle order, then they can turn the screws. How much Rohit and Virat score would be a massive factor.
England's opening pair
The absence of Jason Roy has greatly harmed England. His replacement, James Vince, has failed so far and his inability to provide good starts has put pressure on the middle order. Morgan has said that Roy is 'preparing' for the match against India, which suggests that he will be fit in time. If the right-hander is back in the XI, that could just be the boost England need. Getting off to a good start against the Indian pace attack would be very crucial for the hosts.
India's selection conundrum
With Bhuvneshwar Kumar likely to be fit, Indian team management has to make a very difficult call regarding which seamer to pair with Bumrah, Bhuvi or Mohammad Shami. The brilliant performance of Shami has meant that he has made a very strong case for remaining in the side while Bhuvi has been a consistent performer over a long time. It won't be easy for Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri to choose either one.
England's performance against Indian spinners
During the limited overs leg of India's tour of England last year, Kuldeep Yadav was causing a lot of trouble to English batsmen. However, England managed to deal with him in the last two matches of the 3-game ODI series and won them easily. The duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Yadav have been bowling beautifully in this World Cup also. It may well be the success or failure of English batsmen against KulCha that may be the decisive factor in the match. Without getting the better of these two, England won't be able to score big.
Archer vs Rohit
This contest would be very important. Jofra Archer has genuine pace and he likes to test the middle of the wicket. Rohit is a highly efficient puller of the ball. So, when these two face off, it will be a fascinating contest. If Rohit gets set, he is unlikely to miss another big hundred. Archer may be England's' best bet to remove the dangerous Indian opener.