Test series recap
It was a wonderful final test from England’s perspective and a great series victory for the lads, in particular the captain who came through the mire this summer and showed that class is permanent.
It was magnificent to see Jimmy Anderson get Man of the Series. He was top wicket-taker again, even in spite of all the nonsense that surrounded him earlier in the series, so well done Jimmy!
Overall, it was a brilliant 5th Test for England – a demolition in the end – and India were completely demoralised by the end of it.
Impact of Test momentum on ODI Series...
It’s a shame that Stuart Broad has to miss the one-dayers, but in the long run him getting his knee sorted is really good news for England.
Plenty of England's victorious Test side will be playing in the ODI series, which starts on Monday at Bristol. That won’t necessarily mean the momentum will be carried over, though. On the contrary, the change of format will suit India as it represents a clean slate for them.
It would be churlish to expect England to go and do the same in the ODIs as they have in the last few Tests, so I expect it to be a lot tighter. India are a well-drilled 50-over team and I fancy the tourists to put the cat among the pigeons here.
All Hale Alex!
I'm delighted to see Alex Hales called up to the ODI fold. He's a superstar of one day international cricket just waiting to burst onto the scene, and he simply has to play.
Alex has everything going for him: he's been in incredible form for Notts, and he has the X-Factor that can blow teams away in this format. The only issue is whether the powers that be have the sense to put him straight in at the top of the order.
There’s no way England should continue with Cook and Bell opening the batting in ODIs; it’s an old-fashioned method and it doesn’t work. England need someone in there who can score ridiculously quickly and knock it over the ropes early on – and Hales is that man.
I still think there’s places in the team for both Bell and Cook – just not opening together. Bell should bat at 3, once Hales has had a big blast and put us on the front foot.
Stoke the flames!
I’d like to see Ben Stokes play on Monday. He had a couple of poor Test matches earlier this year, but he’d played very little cricket going into those games and the selectors took a bit of a gamble on him, which in retrospect they will probably accept was a mistake.
But Stokes has bounced back and is in form. He is a world-class cricketer and should be a mainstay of the England team, certainly the one day side, for the next 10 years.
Another man who should get his chance this coming week is Steven Finn. He's a top bowler, and now he’s fit and back into a bit of form I can see him exposing India’s weaknesses with the white ball. He’s the perfect player to get some wickets early on and then another one or two in the middle. Plus, he's an absolute hero to have in changing room - go get 'em Finny!
England’s ODI approach
I often found that seasoned players tend to approach late summer ODIs with less intensity than Test matches. It's a sub-conscious thing, but when the main Test series job is done, the ODIs that follow inevitably bring less pressure.
This doesn't mean England will be taking their foot off the gas on Monday at Bristol, tough, because hopefully the team will be full of younger players who are champing at the bit.
I like the idea of getting lots of young confident, fearless players into the ODI setup. We have to move away from the ridiculous notion that we’ve always had in England, that slow and steady wins the race. It's a very out-dated attitude towards one day cricket.
We need to introduce vibrant players who are willing to smack it all over the place. I hate to say it, but we should copy the approach of some of the best ODI teams in the world like South Africa and Australia, who have been braver and more progressive in recent times.
ODIs are essentially a shop window with which to stake your claim for the Test team. It's a proven stepping stone - it worked for me, as well as many others in the current Test side - and the likes of Alex Hales and Ben Stokes can really use this opportunity to showcase their qualities.
My betting logic is often to back the team that have just lost the Test series, because a new setting can offer a platform for retribution and they're eager to prove a point. So I'm tipping India to win the first ODI at Bristol at odds of 2.25. I also see value in India to win the whole ODI series at 2.35
Top England bets
Alex Hales is a monster! Back him to be England’s top batsman this series at 4.25. Even if he doesn't get the nod for the first match, once the selectors have come to some sense they'll realise he's the man to open the batting and he'll smash it out of the park.
James Tredwell is a quality spinner at this level and having seen India struggle against spin this summer, I'm tipping him to be England’s top bowler in this series at appetising odds of 7.00
Top India bets
Virat Kohli is a class act, and although he's had a disappointing summer so far, you can't keep a good man down. I don't believe somebody with his ability will continue to struggle, so back him to be India’s top batsman over the series at odds of 4.50
Ravichandran Ashwin spins it well, and other than Eoin Morgan, England don't typically play brilliantly against spin. So back Ashwin to be India’s top bowler over the series - the odds are 4.75
Bet on Monday's 1st England v India ODI now