India’s victory over England in the T20 series highlighted that although the Three Lions have taken significant strides in their limited-overs cricket, they still have a long way ahead of them to become truly dominant.
Eoin Morgan’s men brushed aside Australia with relative ease in their five one-day international matches and solitary T20 contest. However, India proved to be a tougher prospect in the shortest format of the game, with Lokesh Rahul and Rohit Sharma blasting centuries in their side’s decisive victories to take the series 2-1.
Can England Continue to Dominate?
England are the number one ranked side in the world in the 50-over game. Therefore Virat Kohli and company will have a challenge on their hands, especially facing the Three Lions in home conditions. Morgan and his team have lost only two of their last 12 ODI series – which came against India in a three-match contest on their 2016/17 tour, while the other came in their surprising loss to Scotland in a one-off fixture.
The tourists will have confidence on their side after their T20 win heading into the 50-over format, exposing England’s attack on smaller grounds. England will work their senior men back into the fold as Mark Wood is poised to return to the attack, while Ben Stokes is working his way to full fitness after a layoff due to a hamstring injury. The Three Lions’ winning form has seen them considered the leading contenders for the series at odds of 4/5, and it would be a strong punt to take on given their recent form in ODI cricket.
The Indian Batting Threat
However, India’s batsmen have the striking power to match that of Morgan’s men, with a similar anchor in the middle of their line-up as Kohli can match Joe Root’s ability. On the surface, both teams cancel each other out, although India have proven their quality should their spinners thrive. Due to the conditions experienced in the English summer, the role of the spinners could have more of an effect than predicted. Therefore, taking India with a free bet with one of the UK’s Top 5 Bookmakers at evens to win the series could be a solid option.
Along with their batting line-up, Kuldeep Yadav and YuzvendraChahal may be the key players in deciding the outcome.
England struggled with their timing in the opening T20 match of the series as Yadav ripped through their middle order after Jason Roy and Jos Buttler made a bright start. In the deciding match at Bristol, it was the turn of Chahal to take centre stage as he limited England’s progress, restricting them to just 30 runs off his four overs. Should the summer weather continue to keep wickets dry and turning, it could lead to the Three Lions’ downfall once again. It will be a test of Morgan and his team to adapt their skills in unfamiliar conditions. They were able to feast on Australia’s pace bowlers, but the nous of the India attack will take a different kind of skill. For England to truly prove their status as the number one ranked side in the world they will need to rise to the occasion.