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HomeCricket News4th ODI: England v India, Edgbaston - Preview

4th ODI: England v India, Edgbaston – Preview

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Last Updated on 10 years by Charbel Coorey

Will the real England please stand up?

Wait, the England that we’ve witnessed in their 2 ODI defeats in this series so far is the real England. Former players Graeme Swann and Michael Vaughan voiced their concerns about the England ODI team, their captain, their approach and their World Cup chances on the eve of this 5 match series against India. Two completed games later, there has been nothing to suggest that their concerns weren’t called for. Since the 2013 Champions Trophy which India won on English soil, England have lost 12 out of 20 completed One Day Internationals, including a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Australia in Australia, where the 2015 World Cup is to be held. In addition, England haven’t won an ODI series at home since thrashing Australia 4-0 in 2012. Whether it’s the attitude of current players or different players who need to come into the side, something needs to change.

England know that they must win their last 2 games of the series to salvage a draw after the first match was washed out. How likely is that to happen, though? England have been disappointing so far and India have barely been worried about what their opponents have had to offer. England’s batting has been pedestrian to say the least, with Geoffrey Boycott claiming that England are batting like “chumps.” For me, this was especially the case against spin with the 3rd ODI providing evidence of their lack of intensity in the middle overs. Overs 18 to 44 is a period where the scoreboard needs to stay ticking while keeping wickets in hand for a final launch. In the England innings, only 1 boundary was struck between the 18th and 44th overs, with the run rate barely 4 during that period. That, with losing wickets at regular intervals resulted in England crawling to 228 off their 50 overs, a total that was no where near enough to challenge a strong Indian batting line up.

England captain Alastair Cook remains under huge pressure. His captaincy and batting have come under serious scrutiny in recent months but that pressure eased a little after they smashed India in the last 3 Tests. However, Cook faces a different proposition here as India are a stronger ODI side than they are Test and will be in no mood to relent as they aim for their first bilteral ODI series win over England
in England since 1990. That combined with Cook’s lack of rhythm at the crease further increases his pain and the pain of his supporters. He did score 44 in the last match, but struggled. If you are going to take up 65 balls for 44 runs, you have to cash in and make a bigger score. For me, he’s on his last legs not only as an ODI captain but batsman, too. Will he be there by the time the World Cup starts? England have plenty of limited overs assignments ahead of them, so time will tell.

For India, they’ve responded well after their disappointing Test series. They’ve thumped England so far and will look to keep it going as they continue to fine tune their skills ahead of the World Cup. Their spinners look in good form and they’ve made life awful for the England batsmen. Ravichandran Ashwin, who has struggled in overseas conditions in the past has done well here and it’s important for India that he continues to do so as his confidence will increase. In terms of their batting, they’ve generally looked pretty comfortable. Ajinkya Rahane has oozed class despite not making a bigger score yet (41 & 45), Suresh Raina has scored 142 runs in 2 games including a century, Ambati Rayudu helped see India home with 64 not out and Virat Kohli scored some vital runs for his own confidence in the 3rd ODI. They certainly seem more stable than the England side at present.

Batsmen to watch:

For England, who else will be more closely watched than Alastair Cook? A strong innings in this game helping England to win would be ideal for him to keep the doubters away a little longer. He needs to rotate the strike as much as he can and focus on his strengths. If he fails here, the pressure will continue to mount.
For India, there are quite a few batsmen that will be of interest to viewers but for me, it’s Shikhar Dhawan’s time to show that he can score runs outside the subcontinent. He’s had it tough in the ODIs so far, scoring 11 & 16 in the two games.

Bowlers to watch:
For England, Steven Finn’s performance is key. Along with Dale Steyn and Ryan Harris, he is my favourite seam bowler. When he’s on, he’s awful for batsmen to deal with and England need him to step up here after making his comeback in the 3rd ODI. He’s been good in ODIs for England but it remains to be seen whether the changes in his run up and action work wonders.

For India, Ravichandran Ashwin has been quite impressive in this series so far, bowling with good control. He’ll look to use his variations to keep the runs down and take wickets as a result of the pressure he can build. Sterner tests perhaps await Ashwin but the signs have been good in England thus far.

Prediction: It’s do or die for England. Their batting has been disappointing and their bowlers haven’t tested the Indian batting enough. Despite the pitch said to have more grass on it, which will provide less help for India’s spinners and a fighting England, I predict that India will win their 3rd consecutive game to take the series. All to play for.

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: https://www.youtube.com/@cricblogtv For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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