England v India - First ODI Preview

Number one-ranked ODI side England are all set for a much-anticipated clash with number two-ranked India, in a three-match series that has ramifications beyond the trophy that is on the line. India will be grateful for another opportunity to turn out in 50-over cricket in the country that will host the World Cup in less than 12 months from now. Read our preview below.

England v India
First ODI
Thursday, 12 July
Trent Bridge, Nottingham

To Win Match 
England 72/100
Tie 35/1
India 23/20

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The home side didn't quite find the kind of form they needed to get past Virat Kohli's troops in the shortest form of the game, but will no doubt bring boatloads of confidence into this series after enjoying an extraordinary run of form in the 50-over game.

There is unlikely to be too much experimentation when it comes to the batting, which has been the driving force behind England's march to the top of the ODI rankings - but Eoin Morgan will be keen to sort one or two things out in the bowling department.

Leg-spinner Adil Rashid and pacemen Liam Plunkett and David Willey will form the base of the attack in England's best XI, but Mark Wood, Tom Curran and Jake Ball will duke it out for places between themselves.

Rashid is one of the best white-ball leg-spinners around, Plunkett's form has seen him establish himself as the lead bowler in white-ball cricket and Willey's versatility and lower-order heroics complement his swing bowling up front.

Match-winning jack of all trades Ben Stokes is back in the frame, having made his return from injury in the third T20I, which means England are likely to make at least one change to the top six that faced Australia. It isn't too clear if Stokes has a full 10 overs in his legs just yet.

Trevor Bayliss and Morgan will be scratching their heads when it comes time to pick the team, with each of the possible XIs on offer to them excluding a player who could singlehandedly win a match for England.

One of the biggest reasons behind this selection conundrum has been Jonny Bairstow's brilliant form with the bat since being asked to open in 50-over cricket. Despite his heroics in the T20I series and century in the ODIs against Australia, it still seems as though Alex Hales will make way for Stokes.

Just as India have an opportunity to assess conditions in England ahead of the World Cup next year, so too England will relish the chance to get a good look at one of their main rivals for the biggest prize in cricket. The Trent Bridge pitch is expected to offer little for the bowlers as we saw when England posted the highest ODI score in history in Nottingham just a few weeks ago.

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India are a very good ODI side, but it would be a huge surprise if they attain the kind of dominance enjoyed over their hosts in the shortest format, especially without paceman Jasprit Bumrah.

Bumrah's deadly swing colleague Bhuvneshwar Kumar remains in the squad, with Umesh Yadav likely to step into the role of opening bowler alongside him after impressing in the T20Is.

The presence of seam-bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya means that India can afford to field spin-bowling all-rounder Axar Patel, should conditions suit, ahead of reserve seamers Siddarth Kaul and Shardul Thakur.

Axar gives the Indians an extra batting option down the order should they find themselves in trouble, but he would also need to justify his selection with a decent shift of his left-arm orthodox bowling.

The opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma should remain in place right up until the World Cup, provided both stay fit but the number three role will be contentious. Suresh Raina earned a recall to the squad after Ambati Rayudu failed a fitness test and has shown himself to be in decent nick, but his rival, Lokesh Rahul, has been in sublime touch.

Raina does, of course ,offer an extra option with the ball, something that may prove handy if the aggressive England top-order get stuck into the specialist bowlers. Any side that features Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni will be a force to be reckoned with and India will want to fire a warning shot off to their World Cup rivals.

Verdict: England 72/100
As good as India are, it is hard to envision them trumping England, especially at a ground that has become synonymous with the swashbuckling style that has made the hosts early favourites to claim a maiden World Cup title next year.

Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets.

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