England v India 3rd T20 Betting: Time for tourists to show superiority again
Ed Hawkins previews the decider from Bristol on Sunday and still thinks India are the better team...
"On balance we believe India have the edge. That is because of their excellent spin bowlers - Yuz Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav"
England v India
Sunday 8 July 14.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
England levelled in Cardiff with an excellent display which belied their lowly ranking in this format. On a tacky surface they kept India's batting stars quiet and then chased a target in the face of the spin threat.
Kudos has to go to David Willey and Liam Plunkett who bowled with nous to record mean figures. Neither went for more than 4.5 an over and they picked up a wicket apiece.
Their effort meant that the expensive Jake Ball didn't hamper England. Whether the Nottinghamshire pacer keeps his place remains to be seen. Tom Curran could get a game although his brother, Sam, has been released to play for Surrey.
Alternatively Moeen Ali could return to the XI after being rested for the Sophia Gardens match.
India need to find some energy
India produced a surprisingly lethargic batting display and they never really recovered from being reduced to 22 for three. Although Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni rebuilt to an extent there was a lack of urgency.
A 22-run final over (Ball's profligacy) rather flattered their final total of 148. Had the likes of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan (who was criminally run out when dropping his bat) and KL Rahul batted with more gusto India should have been capable of another 20-30 runs which would have won them the game.
That doesn't mean India are one-dimensional. Far from it. If there is a batting line-up which can cope with losing three blitzers cheaply it is India.
With the ball they remain dangerous and it is testament to their skill that they made a game of it. India would have been relieved to see Bhuv Kumar find his line and length again in the continued absence of Jasprit Bumrah.
Pitch unlikely to be a belter
There have been only two Twenty20 internationals at Bristol. England lost both, to Pakistan and Sri Lanka, after posting 144 and 136. Last season domestically runscoring proved tricky. The first-innings scores were: 151-158-168-242. The season before the scores were: 180-156-148-121-146-174-176. Altogether, eight of the last 11 have been won by the chaser.
Tourists have the edge still
England are [1.92] with India [2.06]. The pre-series optimism about England has dissipated then and the market is right to find these two evenly-matched, particularly with the toss bias.
On balance we believe India have the edge. That is because of their excellent spin bowlers - Yuz Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav - and England history of struggling against turn. The Bristol wicket is one which is hardly likely to discourage the spinners, too.
We don't expect the prices to alter on the toss so if you want to caveat your bet with the flip then it's India all the way.
Joe Root batted at No 3 in Cardiff but failed to make an impression. If he has a future in T20 he absolutely has to bat there. Alex Hales's half-century in anchoring the chase actually improves Root's chances of keeping his place.
Root could be a runner for top England bat. The wicket might not be good enough to allow the likes of Jos Buttler and Jason Roy to hit through the line with abandon. It might require a bit more smarts. Root has a good record there in ODI, averaging 48 (not including not outs) from three matches.
Betfair Sportsbook offer 4/1 about Root while Morgan, who has ground form, too, gets a 5/1 quote. Buttler is 5/2 with Roy and Hales 7/2.
Raina catches eye
Sportsbook can't separate India's front three with Dhawan, Rohit and Rahul all 3/1. Kohli, who top scored at the seventh time of asking in game two, is 16/5. Raina catches the eye at 6/1. Likewise Dinesh Karthik at 10/1. If he plays he would come in for Raina.
Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l
Back India batting second at [2.06] (2pts)