Birmingham: Host England on Sunday won the toss and elected to field first against World Champions India in final of International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy played at Edgbaston.
1027 GMT: More from Julian on the advantage England could gain by batting second.
“England, should the match go that far, will know what they have to get either as a straight score or under the Duckworth/Lewis method for rain-affected matches,” he says.
“It’s worth remembering a minimum of 20 overs each innings must be bowled for either side to win this match otherwise the trophy will be shared. The ‘super over’ will only be used in the event of a completed match ending in a tie.”
1021 GMT: As the rain delay drags on, AFP’s Julian Guyer tells us that the disruption might just favour England.
“As yet, no overs have been lost — there’s an hour’s extra playing time allowed,” he says.
“But, somewhat controversially, no reserve day has been schedule for the final of an international tournament held in an English ‘summer’.
“At present, the delay might just favour England, who won the toss and fielded — a decision that still stands despite the delayed start.
“World champions India have the awkward task of batting first in a match where it now seems likely overs will be lost and working out what a good total is.”
1010 GMT: Some of the India fans are entertaining themselves during the rain delay by waving signs with funny slogans.
“Even Prince William has Indian DNA” said one, referring to a recent report in Britain’s Times newspaper claiming that the future British king’s great-great-great-great-great grandmother was at least half-Indian.
1002 GMT: Before the rain came, legendary Australian spinner Shane Warne was backing India to win.
“On way to the champions trophy final, who’s winning today ? I think India have been the best team in the tournament & will win.. ” he wrote on Twitter @warne888.
But it will be interesting to see when we do get under way whether the rain disruption tips the balance in favour of one side or another.
0942 GMT: And the covers are coming back on again. No cricket for now. It’s pretty cloudy at Edgbaston and the floodlights are on.
0939 GMT: AFP cricket correspondent Kuldip Lal tells us: “India will feel at home at Edgbaston. At least 60 percent of tickets have been bought by Indian supporters, according to some officials.
“The Indian tri-colour clearly outshines the Union Jack in the stands. If only the rain stays away…”
0936 GMT: Good news — the covers are now coming off.
0934 GMT: AFP cricket correspondent Julian Guyer reports that England are hoping the overcast conditions will favour their swing bowlers, like Jimmy Anderson, when the rain clears.
And England former captain Michael Vaughan predicts the first hour will be crucial.
“If England bowl well in the first hour it could go along way to winning the game….. Anderson v Dhawan…” he writes on Twitter @MichaelVaughan.
0929 GMT: Oh dear — rain, and the covers come back on, just as the anthems finish. The players leave the pitch just a couple of minutes after they came on.
0924 GMT: The two teams are now coming out on to the pitch accompanied by fireworks to stand by their national flags for the national anthems. Not long now until it all starts.
0922 GMT: This being an English summer, rain has been forecast but there are some contingency plans in place. If there are rain delays, a minimum of 20 overs per side (rather than the usual 50) must be bowled for a result to be declared.
But, as no reserve day has been scheduled, failure to bowl the minimum number of overs required would see the trophy shared.
0913 GMT: Here are the two teams in full:
England: Alastair Cook (captain), Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Ravi Bopara, Jos Buttler, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, James Tredwell, James Anderson.
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Dinesh Karthik, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav.
0909 GMT: The game is a sell-out with over half of the tickets reportedly going to India fans. A great day in prospect with the top two ranked teams in the tournament making it through to the final. It could also be a generous payday for those involved — the winners get $2 million and the runners-up $1 million.
Welcome to AFP’s Live Report on the Champions Trophy final between hosts England and India.
England have never won a major one-day international (ODI) title and winning this match would be a great warm-up for their bid to defend the Ashes, starting next month.
“I’m looking around in the guys’ eyes and I know they’re ready to play,” said captain Alastair Cook ahead of the final.
India, winners of the World Cup at home in 2011, proved worthy of their number one ranking by cruising to the final with four straight wins — the last three by emphatic eight-wicket margins.
England won the toss and will bowl first, with Cook hoping to take advantage of cloudy conditions at Edgbaston in Birmingham to secure an early breakthrough.
England are bringing in Tim Bresnan to their squad in place of Steven Finn, while India field an unchanged side.
Stay with us for all the action.