England and India renew their rivalry on Friday as Andy Flower’s side start a five match ODI series in Deccan. The Three Lions were utterly dominant against India over the summer in both the Test series and ODI fixtures. Duncan Fletcher’s side failed to pick up a single international win against England, although the weather at times proved an extra opponent.
The hosts will be looking to fight back against England on their home soil and live up to their billing of world number one ODI side. Fletcher’s troops will certainly fancy their chances and punters looking to buy India’s win index in Deccan will be pleased to hear that England have not won in India since 2006 – a run stretching eight matches. The Three Lions did tie their most recent game though in a thrilling World Cup match earlier this year.
England head off to Wales for their fifth and final ODI against India knowing they cannot be caught after the tie at Lord’s gave the hosts an unassailable 2-0 lead. MS Dhoni was once again left cursing the English summer as his side saw victory snatched away from them at the death.
The India captain has had a torrid tour, but he has at last found some form with the bat. Dhoni played superbly at Lord’s and his unbeaten 78 lead India to an impressive total of 280. He has now made 147 runs in his past two 50-over matches and that’ll likely have spread bettors looking to buy his player performance at the SWALEC Stadium. His performance make-up last time was only just behind Suresh Raina who contributed 84 runs to India’s efforts last Sunday and he is once again showing his pedigree in this format of match.
England beat India 4-0 in the Test series and followed that with a six wicket victory in the T20 international at Old Trafford – but how much longer can they keep their red-hot form going?
The Three Lions might now boast number one Test status to go with their World T20 title, but there is one form of the game where there is still work to do and that’s the 50 over version.
India are the reigning Wold Cup holders, having won the competition in their own back yard, so they will be looking to make a better fist of things in the five match ODI series.
They may be encouraged by the fact the home team are set to name a number of inexperienced players in their side.
One man hoping to leave his mark is Jade Dernbach. The Surrey man has limited experience of international cricket with just six ODI caps and two T20 appearances to his name, but he has already caught the eye.
In his last two appearances for England he took three wickets against Ireland in last month’s ODI in Dublin and finished with figures of 4/22 at Old Trafford.
England will head into the fourth and final Test with India as the world’s number one Test side. The Three Lions dominance as been such that they have been by far the better side in every Test and have thoroughly deserved their chance of a 4-0 whitewash. Spread punters looking for England to sign off in style with a victory might have seen that the side have struggled against the tourists at this ground.
The Indians have drawn the past five Test matches at the Oval with England, with the two most recent ones coming in 2007 and 2002. Further support for an Indian upset is that England’s last game at the Oval resulted in a four wicket defeat to Pakistan.
With the series sewn up, even England fans will hope that Sachin Tendulkar can sign off a disastrous series with a Test century. The Little Magician remains stranded on 99 Test tons, but he’ll need to bump up his average of 26.50 on this tour to get anywhere near. As it stands, his average is the fourth lowest of his long and remarkable career.
Amidst the unrest around the UK, the England cricket side are just one game away from becoming the world’s best Test team. Following the Three Lions’ dominant victory in Nottingham the action now moves to Edgbaston where they have won 23 of their 45 matches, drawing on 14 occasions.
England have been the far superior side across the opening two Tests and in the process have limited India to fewer than 300 runs in every innings on tour. Further encouragement for those buying England’s win index in Birmingham is their excellent record against India at the ground. The Three Lions have beaten India in four of their five Tests here, although the last was in 1996. Sachin Tendulkar remains stranded on 99 Test centuries, but anyone interested in his runs spread tomorrow may like to know that he scored a ton on his last visit to the ground.
Another player who enjoys playing in Birmingham is Kevin Pietersen, who averages 60.57 runs at Edgbaston.