Hosts can chase without breaking sweat

India v England
Tuesday 23 March, 08:00
TV: live on Sky Sports

India keep going

India are buzzing after claiming the T20 series in the decider in Ahmedabad. They now eye a clean sweep across all formats in a three-game ODI series.

There is no let up from the hosts. One wouldn’t have been surprised had they decided to rest Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma or Rishabh Pant given their involvement from the beginning of the tour. There is no Jasprit Bumrah but left-arm pacer Natarajan, back in time for the final T20, retains his place in the squad.

Strong performances from Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav with the bat may mean that KL Rahul is axed from this XI as well. Shardul Thakar and Bhuv Kumar could also get the nod again with the ball. Washington Sundar and Krunal Pandya audition for Ravi Jadeja’s understudy.

Possible XI Rohit, Gill, Kohli, Yadav, Pant, Hardik, Krunal, Thakur, Bumrah, Chahal, Natarajan

Archer injured

England have confirmed that Jofra Archer is out of the series with a persistent elbow injury. It raises questions as to why he played through the pain in all of the T20s.

There is no Joe Root, either, who is on a well-deserved extended break following exertions in the Test series. Still, one wonders why Archer and Ben Stokes weren’t afforded the same opportunity. Stokes, who must be exhausted, might be asked to bat No 3 here although Dawid Malan has been retained in the squad.

It might not be a bad idea to give Moeen Ali a game. He has been shabbily treated on this tour and one could argue that the narrow 3-2 loss in the T20 series could have been avoided with his participation in at least one of those losses. Liam Livingstone may well feature at some stage, too. He could bat at No 3 or Jos Buttler could be asked to try out there, too.

Possible XI Roy, Bairstow, Stokes, Morgan, Buttler, Billings, Moeen, T Curran, Rashid, Wood, Topley

Pitch report

Rune are expected in Pune. In the four ODIS played there the first-innings scores read: 304-350-230-283. Virat Kohli has two centuries in that sequence. Domestically, there hasn’t been a List A match at the venue since 2013. In T20, India busted 200 on the surface in 2020 against Sri Lanka and 200 was also breached twice in the 2018 IPL edition.

Were the hosts to bat first we would be looking for 310 or 320 or more at around the even money mark.

India chase supreme

India are 1.635/8 against world champions England, who go off at 2.53. We’re not surprised the two are not closer in the betting because England could begin to pine for the departure gate.

Unsurprisingly, India are tough to take on at home. They have lost only one series in the last five years (Australia 2019) and are winning matches at a rate of 63%. The 1.635/8 odds are implied probability of 61% so you’re getting very little edge.

They will expect to squeeze the life out of England with spin. Another non-surprise - this has been a chink in the armour of England even during their World Cup run.

The toss should be important for the tourists at least. They much prefer to chase and it is tough to see this bowling line-up keeping India on a tight leash in a chase. In an ideal world England would bat first, bat well and then go round the park so we will look to book India, who are nerveless going after a target, at 1.804/5 in-play.

Tops value

Kohli is 23/10 for top India runscorer with Sportsbook but Rohit is likely to get most attention at 11/4. Yadav goes off at 7/2 with Pant tasty at 6s.

Sportsbook can’t split Kuldeep Yadav and Yuz Chahal at 11/4. Once upon a time we’d be all over the former but we’re doubtful they will play both, looking to lengthen the batting. Krunal and Washington are 5s and 6s respectively.

There are few standout prices on the England tops. Stokes goes of at 7/2. Billings is a hugely disappointing 4/1.


India v England ODI series preview on Cricket…Only Bettor

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