World record bid taunting Cup batsmen
KEVIN Pietersen says Australia or Pakistan could steal England's thunder by scoring a world-record 500 runs in front of a capacity crowd of just 8000 in the tiny town of Taunton on Wednesday night.
But that prediction looks unlikely due to inclement weather and boundaries that have been extended to almost match the MCG's.
The hype over a 500-run game is fading with batsmen led by Glenn Maxwell declaring World Cup pitches are much trickier to bat on then they anticipated. England's 6/386 against Bangladesh is the highest score after 15 games.
A forecast of 13C and rain tonight threatens to deliver a third - or potentially fourth - washout in less than a week. Rain is also expected for the Bangladesh-Sri Lanka clash.
Pietersen said Taunton County Ground, which has hosted just four ODIs, was so small when he last played there it was easy to clatter sixes.
"The straight boundary is about 3m away from where the bowler is," Pietersen said.
"If it was the old ground I would say yes, you could get easily get 450 or 500 at Taunton, but I don't know. I think they might've spun the wicket around since I've played there."
The ICC confirmed that dimensions similar to the MCG would be used.
Pending sign off from match officials, both straight boundaries measured from the middle of the wicket will be 62-63m. The square boundaries will be 63-65m.
The MCG said its straight boundaries were 66m while its square boundaries ranged from 69-82m, depending on which wicket was used.
Australia isn't even staying in Taunton, instead bunking in Bristol and travelling back and forth for training (on Tuesday, most likely indoors due to rain) and game day (Wednesday).
The Aussies will spend 8 ½ hours on their team bus in four days, commuting between Bristol, Taunton and London this week.
England has declared 500 runs a "realistic target" this World Cup, with Indian captain Virat Kohli sniggering that the host nation had become "obsessed" with the runs record.
New Zealand chased down Afghanistan's target of 173 in 193 balls at Taunton on Saturday.
Rain in England this week brings back dreary memories for Australia, which was washed out of the 2017 Champions Trophy with two abandoned games.