After a superb three-wicket win in Pune last week, India will be keen to keep the English under their thumbs as the sides prepare to clash in Cuttack.
Will India’s dominance continue or will the English get their first win of their tour of India? Let’s take a look:
India vs England | Thursday 19 January | Barabati Stadium, Cuttack | 09:45
To Win Match
India 9/20 | Tie 35/1 | England 18/10
The Indians were full value for their three-wicket win in the first ODI in Pune. Having been set an intimidating target of 351 to win before losing their openers cheaply - KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan - the home side had it all to do.
Up stepped Virat Kohli and Kedar Jadhav who manged scores of 122 and 120 respectively to help set-up the win. Even more remarkable was the fact that the home side were 63-4 after 11.5 overs. The newly installed Indian captain’s 120 was brilliant. His stroke play was nothing short of spectacular while his wristy style ensured that he plundered runs through the mid-wicket region.
Jadhav wasn’t half bad himself. Although he went down with cramp on several occasion, he managed to play a match-winning innings, grabbing 122 runs at a strike rate of 157.89. He took a particular liking to Adil Rashid, hitting him out of the attack. Rashid would finish the match having only bowled five overs, not good considering he would have been considered their main bowling weapon on this tour.
It’s also worth mentioning that Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja did some excellent work with the ball. Both men only conceded around five runs an over while the rest of the specialist bowlers were tonked around at eight to the over.
Looking ahead, the Indians are in an excellent headspace going into the next ODI. They have the single best limited overs batsman in the world in their squad along with the sort of world class spinners that can win you matches on the Sub-Continent. Anil Kumble will be eager to see what his side can do in Cuttack on Thursday.
Where to now for England? They were outstanding against India with the bat and played without the fear that crippled them in the last World Cup. Jason Roy and Joe Root managed solid knocks of 73 and 78 respectively while Ben Stokes provided the fireworks down the order with a cracking 40-ball 62.
It wasn’t enough though, as they would fall short following a magical innings from Kohli and Jadhav. Having said that, I don’t think that Trevor Bayliss’ charges will be too concerned with the loss. They played some excellent cricket and were undone by a freakish 200-run partnership in the end.
The one person who disappointed me the most on the side of the English was Alex Hales. He was sensational in limited overs cricket last year but ended up scratching and battling his way to an 18-ball nine before being stumped after excellent bowling from Jadeja and some smart glove work from MS Dhoni.
As mentioned earlier, Rashid struggled on a deck that many thought he’s proved dangerous on. He was hit out of the attack on two separate occasions. He’ll need to put that behind him now and back his ability on these sort of wickets – expect a Rashid backlash come Thursday.
I wouldn’t tinker too much with the side if I were Bayliss. This group proved themselves in Pune and were unlucky not to grab the win.
Verdict: England 18/10
These two teams are more evenly matched than the betting suggests. Unlike the Indians who rely so heavily on Kohli to get their runs, the English bat right the way down to 11. If the English can get rid of Kohli early on, they’ll have every chance of levelling the series. Back them to do just that at a massive price of 18/10.
Value Bet: Virat Kohli to top score for India at 9/4
How can you not back Kohli to top score for the Indians? He’s streets ahead of everyone in world cricket at the moment. He loves batting in home conditions and should be backed to top score for the hosts – good little bet if you’re keen to cover on the England win.
Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets