- India beat New Zealand 3-2 in their most recent ODI series in November, to consolidate third place in the world rankings. Most of the players selected in the squad to face England were involved in the Tests, which India dominated with exceptional performances from star men such as Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
- England may have been hammered in the Tests but their one-day form has been on the rise since the 2015 World Cup debacle. They most recently beat Bangladesh 2-1 in the autumn, having defeated both Sri Lanka and Pakistan in their home summer, and are currently fifth in the ICC ODI Championship.
England’s one-day batting has reached new levels over the past year or two, most notably when they posted a record 444-3 against Pakistan last summer. They have powerful players all the way down the order and, as a combined unit, score their runs more quickly than India.
Jos Buttler’s strike-rate stands out at 120, and with his experience of playing in the Indian Premier League he could be worth a flutter at 11/2 to be England’s best batsmen in the first match. Joe Root is the favourite, but he has missed both warm-up games after delaying his flight out to be at the birth of his first child. Openers Alex Hales and Jason Roy are not renowned for their ability to play spin, and returning skipper Eoin Morgan is under pressure, making Buttler’s odds stand out.
While England’s batting line-up is packed with potential match-winners, the challenge will be how they deal with the Indian pitches and spinners, just like it was in the Test matches. England’s bowling, by contrast, lacks potency on these surfaces, as shown in the second warm-up match when India A chased down 282 with more than ten overs to spare. A bet on India to take the series 2-1 could be a good option, with England’s firepower likely to give them one of the matches.
- Sports.net’s top tip: India to win the series 2-1 - 9/4
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.