- India were saved in the first ODI by a spectacular 200-run partnership between Virat Kohli and Kedar Jadhav, having slipped to 63-4 in pursuit of a target of 351. Hardik Pandya also had a good all-round match with runs and wickets, but none of the other home players really performed to their potential.
- Joe Root, Jason Roy and Ben Stokes all scored half-centuries for England in Pune to help the tourists post a formidable 350-7, but the bowlers were all expensive as they failed to stem India’s run rate. The result left England in danger of losing an ODI series for the first time since their trip to South Africa last winter.
The first ODI highlighted how much stronger England are in batting than bowling, as they failed to defend a huge score even after making early inroads. They will feel they missed a golden opportunity to make it 1-0 and would be much happier batting second in Cuttack. Jason Roy could be the man to watch at 7/2 in the market to be England’s top run-scorer, having looked in superb touch in making a rapid 73 in the last match.
It is always a good idea to back a player batting towards the top of the order to be the leading scorer in a limited-overs contest, as they have more of an opportunity to make runs than those coming in further down. Virat Kohli may be the favourite at 9/4 to be India’s star man, but he is performing so exceptionally that he still looks great value. His century in the last match prompted some social media users to suggest he may be alien in a Kohli body suit!
In what promises to be another high-scoring contest, it is also worth exploring some of the more obscure markets to try and cash in on another run-fest. Odds of 8/13 on anyone scoring a century and 5/6 on the number of 4s totalling at least 57 both look worth a flutter, while there will be a host of other in-play betting options once the match is up and running.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Virat Kohli to be top India batsman - 9/4
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.