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India v England 3rd ODI Betting: Tourists must set the pace

Dhoni is on home soil for the first time

"England are a far more palatable prospect when batting first"

Back-to-lay England if they bat first at 2.427/5

Ed Hawkins reckons Alastair Cook's team slipped into bad habits in Kochi. Can they make amends in Ranchi early on Saturday?


India v England
Start time: 06.30GMT
TV: live on Sky Sports 1


India

Say what you want about MS Dhoni's captaincy - and the majority of Indians do - one cannot fault his skills. Dhoni was superb with the willow in the series defeat by Pakistan and so far in this contest he has grabbed matches by the scruff of the neck. Arguably his 72 from 66 balls at the crucial time of the innings ensured India squared the series at 1-1. They could make changes, however. Cheteshwar Pujara looks certain to get a game in the opening berth, most probably replacing Ajinkya Rahane.


England

Stuart Broad is due to link up with the squad for the final two matches but he is not expected to play. A good question might be: what on earth is he doing there then? We are not sure either. It is a shame because England could do with Broad's potent pace. Steven Finn, Jade Dernbach and Chris Woakes were all expensive in the defeat in Kochi and England need to find control from somewhere. Most vulnerable is Dernbach, whose economy for the series is far too high at 7.47. Stuart Meaker could come in although Tim Bresnan could also return.


First-innings runs/conditions

The HEC International Stadium in Ranchi has not hosted an international before and its only claim to fame is that it built in the home town of Dhoni. One would expect that it might have been built in his image, the pitch, too. So runs would be expected. However, new wickets are notoriously tough to call. It could be tricky for the batsmen. We will have to wait and see.


Match odds

We saw a return to the status quo in Kochi when England went down by a whopping 127 runs. It was an age-old problem of playing spin which saw their challenge unpicked. Ravi Jadeja's figures were a barely believable two for 12 off seven overs while Ravi Ashwin claimed three wickets and Yuvraj Singh was also miserly. So why did England struggle against turn in this match as opposed to dominating the twirlers in game one? The obvious answer is scoreboard pressure. In the first match there was none. They batted first, they set the tempo. But in Kochi they had to dance to India's tune. England are a far more palatable prospect when batting first and the advice would be to only follow them if they get the chance to set a target. Following their win last time India have shortened to 1.695/7 with England 2.427/5.


Top India runscorer

Dhoni's form - an average of 52 in the series - is such that backing him under the heading of Any Other is now no better than 3.6013/5. Not great value, although you get Pujara thrown into the bargain. The emotional wager would be to back Dhoni regardless because there won't be a dry eye in the house and his adrenalin will be pumping. But a better bet may be asking for around 2.506/4 about him scoring a 50.


Top England runscorer

At 4.607/2 punters could wager on Samit Patel, Craig Kieswetter or, if he plays, Bresnan taking honours. Decent value, particularly when Kevin Pietersen is as skinny as 3.8014/5. KP is warming up, though. He has an average of 44 but more importantly a strike rate of 96. That is not enough to make him value so you may want to check his price for a 50.


Recommended Bet

Back-to-lay England if they bat first at 2.427/5


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18 January 2013

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