Cricket World Cup 2019: KL Rahul confident of India victory against England

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India opener KL Rahul.

KL Rahul asserted India will “end up most probably on the winning side” against England by maintaining the standards that have seen them maintain an unbeaten run to the World Cup.

India moved up to second in the group standings, ahead of New Zealand on net run-rate, after hammering the West Indies by 125 runs at Old Trafford.

Confidence is flowing in the Indian camp ahead of this weekend’s showdown against the tournament hosts, who they replaced as the world number one ranked side on Thursday.

India will seal their passage to the semi-finals by beating England at Edgbaston but Rahul insists denting Eoin Morgan’s side’s own hopes of progressing to the knockout stages is not a motivating factor.

He said: “I don’t think any team goes in with that kind of mindset. We all want to do and perform the best we can as individuals and as teams.

“If we play the best cricket and if we play the kind of cricket that we’ve been playing in the last four or five games, we’ll end up most probably on the winning side.

“Winning and losing isn’t what we’re focused on right now. Everybody individually and as a team, we’re focused on getting our plans right, executing our skills right.

“It’s a big game against England, so hopefully the confidence and the momentum that we have, we can carry that to Birmingham and it will be great to get more wins.”

As against Afghanistan at Southampton, India occasionally laboured with the bat on a slow pitch that offered a hint of movement off the seam and appreciable turn.

Virat Kohli’s 72 from 82 balls underpinned a total of 268-7, which was swelled by late acceleration from Hardik Pandya (46 from 38 balls) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (56 not out off 61 deliveries).

Rahul fell two runs short of a half-century and the opener insists the pressures of the tournament means a gung-ho approach in the first powerplay is unsuitable.

He said: “In one-day internationals over the years, we’ve seen that kind of approach because it’s bilateral series and it’s a different ball game. This is a World Cup and each game, the pressure is really high.

“As a batsman you can’t really go out there and play that kind of innings with that kind of freedom fully. We don’t mind taking that little extra time when it’s a slow wicket. We need to be flexible in our heads.”

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