India v England T20 Betting: Hosts should find their swagger in game one

Morgan has the nous to do well

Ed Hawkins previews the first T20 in Pune on Thursday but expects the home side to flex their muscles after defeat in the Test series

"Morgan has scored more runs than any other Englishman in Asia in T20"

Back E Morgan for top England runscorer at around 5.509/2

India
Some of the Test failures remain. MS Dhoni, of course, will lead the team while Gautam Gambhir, Piyush Chawla, Yuvraj Singh, Ravi Ashwin and Virat Kohli all make the squad. Suresh Raina, the highly-regarded batsman, is included and is something of a Mr Reliable in this format. However, they look weak in the pace bowling department after Lakshmipathy Balaji withdrew. Much will depend on Vinay Kumar while the rangy Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 22, could get a debut.


England
England have a wide-eyed, naive look about them. Five of their players are under the age of 24 and they have been shorn of the experience of Stuart Broad, the captain, who has been forced out through injury. Eoin Morgan will lead them instead. He will rely heavily on Tim Bresnan who is one of a handful of senior players. The other three who could be classed in the same terms are Jade Dernbach, Samit Patel and Luke Wright, who are hardly regulars themselves. Jonny Bairstow or Jos Buttler will keep wicket.


First-innings runs
Here are the first dig totals from the IPL matches played at the Nehru Stadium this season: 166-155-146-177-120-125-173-136-162. Six of those matches were won by the side batting first. If India bat first, we would expect them to post more than 160. The weather is set fair with temperatures rising to the late 20s.


Match odds
India should win this game comfortably. They have a vast amount of experience to draw on in this format, know the conditions and have an arrogance or swagger in the thrash and bash thanks to the pedestalling of the IPL. Don't expect anyone in India to make the link between Twenty20, however, and their atrocious Test match form. The reverse by England should all be forgotten in a few days. We expect a bullying performance in game one, chiefly because Dhoni, Raina, Kohli and Yuvraj (class acts which England cannot match) feel most at home in this version. England may scrap gamely as the youth tend to, but ultimately they will come up short in the field when the above mentioned Messrs get motoring. India have won three of their last four matches. They beat England by 90 runs in the World Cup in Colombo in September. England have lost three of their last four. The match odds market agrees that England look outgunned so we have little room to manoeuvre - India are 1.625/8 with England 2.65.


Top India batsman
Rohit Sharma, who is available for selection, top scored when the sides last met. Kohli, with 376 runs in the last 12 months, is comfortably top dog. Gambhir is next best with 214.


Top England batsman
England were bowled out for just 80 in that previous meeting. Only Craig Kieswetter, Buttler and Dernbach made double figures. Put your faith in Morgan, though. Aside from Kevin Pietersen, who is not available, he has scored more runs than any other Englishman in Asia in T20.


Recommended Bet
Back Eoin Morgan for top England runscorer at around 5.59/2


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