Birmingham: A relaxed England dressing room spent much of Saturday's afternoon watching the Australia versus British and Irish Lions rugby Test in Brisbane. On a rainy morning, when the team trained indoors, this hi-profile rugby clash seemingly grabbed more attention than Sunday's ICC Champions Trophy final against India.
Never having won a major global 50-over event ever, England are quietly confident going into Sunday's grand finale. "I have never seen the dressing room so relaxed. But without a doubt, the boys are hungry, said England skipper Alastair Cook.
Cook said India were favourites but England were raring to go on what will be a big day for the home team. Speaking to the media here on Saturday, Cook said this was England's best chance to win a major 50-over ICC tournament.
England have a poor record in ODI tournaments and Cook said he was aware of this piece of history. 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. It's going to be an achievement," he said.
Cook is leading England for the first time in a global event and is extremely keen to win the Champions Trophy - the current edition being the last. "It's a big final for us. The boys are raring to go and ready to play. It's going to be a one-off day and we will give it all," said the 28-year-old Essex batsman.
But Cook knows the dangers ahead. India have been unbeaten in this championship, having steam-rolled every opposition en route to the final at Edgbaston. The England captain gave the Indians their due respect.
"India are a very strong side. They are unbeaten and playing very good cricket. They are batting well top of the order and getting early wickets. They will go in as favourites," said Cook.
Cook is clearly banking on his fast bowlers and want the troika of James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Steven Finn to do the job against the Indians. "They have the skills and can get the early wickets to put pressure on the middle-order. We have our plans," he said.
The English camp is taking a lot of heart from their home record against the Indians. "We have a good record at home but it's 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, adding "winning the toss can be an advantage but can mean nothing at the end of the day.