Following a comprehensive win against England in the Test segment of the series, Virat Kohli and his Indian charges will be hoping to get their ODI campaign off to a solid start.
Can the English replicate what the South Africans achieved last year at this time by claiming the ODI series following a Test walloping? Or will Kohli claim a win in his first match as India’s full-time limited overs captain? Let’s take a look:
India vs England | Sunday 15 January | Maharashtra Cricket Stadium, Pune | 10:00
To Win Match
India 52/100 | Tie 35/1 | England 15/10
India will look to build on their Test performances with a dominant display in the ODI segment of this series. They would have taken lessons from last year’s limited overs defeats against South Africa following what was an utterly dominant display in the Tests.
The biggest news coming out of the Indian camp is MS Dhoni relinquishing the ODI captaincy to Kohli. It’s a move that was always going to happen and could possibly work in India’s favour. Kohli is a far more tenacious individual than Dhoni and his captaincy is likely to reflect this.
Don’t expect defensive use of the spinners in the middle overs, the new captain will be gunning for the English jugular throughout the first ODI. Attacking fields, aggressive lines and lengths from seamers and attacking use of Ashwin, Jadeja and Mishra could see the Indians run through the English in no time at all.
Of course, the flipside to this sort of captaincy could see England post a massive total if the bowlers aren’t able to pick up wickets. The last thing that Kohli will want to see is Jason Roy and Alex Hales settling at the top of the order and setting the kind of platform that Ben Stokes, Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler can launch from later on. This match will certainly make for interesting viewing.
The English will be relishing the chance to play on India’s batsman-friendly ODI wickets after enduring a torrid time against Ashwin and Jadeja in the Test segment of the series.
England’s biggest strength lies within their batting depth. David Willey who batted at 11 for England in their warm-up match against India A has two First Class as well as two List A centuries and a single T20 hundred to his name.
Trevor Bayliss will be hoping that his outrageously powerful top and middle order get the job done before the likes of Willey and Adil Rashid are needed. Things didn’t go quite to plan in the abovementioned warm-up match against India A.
Although England won by three wickets, they’d have been looking for a more dominant display against a side with very little international experience. Bayliss will know that a similar performance against the full international Indian side simply won’t be good enough.
Verdict: England 15/10
England are in much better shape to pose a threat to India in the shorter formats of the game. Their top order is as destructive as any in world cricket. Add the fact that they bat incredibly deep as well as the leg-spin of Rashid and look perfectly equipped to silence what will be a boisterous Pune crowd. Get on England at 15/10.
Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.