3rd ODI Cricket: India v England

With the series level at one game apiece, India and England travel to Ranchi for the vital third match in this series (6:30am GMT, Saturday).

India have renewed confidence after their crushing 127 run win last time out but England will know that if their batsmen rediscover their form from the first match in Rajkot, they are more than capable of upsetting the odds and claiming a second victory.

Best Betting Odds for India v England
4/6 India
13/10 England
(Bet365, Blue Square)

One of the key differences in the two sides is the batting strength: England tend to rely heavily on their top four batsmen – Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan – and if those men fail, the players below them tend to struggle when it comes to rebuilding the innings.

Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook

India however have greater strength in depth and that was illustrated when MS Dhoni, batting at number six, top scored for his side with 72 last time out. Dhoni was helped by a half century from Ravi Jadeja batting at number seven and the stand between the two men was crucial in building a total of 285 that England never looked like chasing down.

So, if England are to win then the top four need to hit their best form, otherwise the side will struggle once again. Players such as Samit Patel, Joe Root and Craig Kieswetter can score quickly but they will need a good platform from the other batsmen before they walk to the wicket.

Despite this, England’s middle order is likely to be unchanged but we could well see some changes in the bowling attack. Jade Dernbach continued to struggle in Kochi and his expensive spell returned 2-73 from just nine overs.

The selectors will be tempted to bring in the express pace of Stuart Meaker in place of Dernbach but they may turn to the young left arm spinner Danny Briggs. Spin has been useful for England and the off spin of James Tredwell has been their most potent weapon so we could well see Briggs come in for this game, ahead of one of the seamers.

Suddenly, India have no selection issues as the majority of their batsmen are starting to return to form. The middle order of Dhoni, Raina and Jadeja looks particularly strong while the selectors will have been pleased to see Virat Kohli put his dismal run behind him with a patient 37 in Kochi.

India’s bowlers looked more threatening too and England will have to perform better against Bhuvneshwar Kumar who returned excellent figures of 3-29 with his nagging line and length.

Ultimately, it’s hard to see India’s batsmen returning a low total against an England bowling attack that is struggling to take wickets or keep the runs down. So the key lies with England’s batsmen once again and they may need to build another 300+ score in order to secure the win.

In this third game, I expect India’s recovery to continue and for Dhoni’s men to take another comfortable victory.

This Preview’s Betting Tip: Take India to win at the biggest available betting odds of 4/6 with BetVictor.