Bangalore, Feb 27: Mettle will be tested and expert opinions verified when title contenders India take on resurgent England in the 11th match of ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. While players from both the sides will be eager to put their best foot forward and win the match, fans in India will be waiting to boo an English cricketer, a former one though.
Every loyal Indian fan must by now be remembering the comments made by Darren Gough, the former England fast bowler. Intoxicated by the highs of Ashes triumph and other victories by England, Gough had infamously said, "For me, we're the best team in the world at this moment. I've watched the South Africa-India series and I see nothing to worry about. India are fantastic in their own country and have some great individuals but I'd fancy this England side to beat them every day of the week."
Though Harbhajan Singh, the feisty Indian spinner was quick to retort back saying that the comments reflect ignorance, but the Indian fans are yet to forgive Gough. And this time they will come hard at the English cricket team to silence Gough and show the difference between the teams.
But it all boils down to the result. If India win the match, expect Gough to search for a hiding, because media and former players alike would be gunning for him to eat his own words. But if it goes the other way around, then expect a backlash for the Indian team from all possible quarters.
While there is no intention of creating any additional pressure on the Indian team, but they will do well to give their fans a chance to hit back at Gough. The anticipation is huge, and the room for acceptance of failure nil. At the moment, for the Indian fans it is not the English team, rather Darren Gough who is much vilified.
Let's see if Gough stands vindicated or were those words by him uttered in a moment of whim and not a study of reality.