Change is good
In between the last match and this one we’ve seen the squad for the Twenty20 International named, and hopefully it’s a step in the right direction.
I think that the T20s should really be seen as a nursery for the One Day side, and so it’s good to see both Jason Roy and James Taylor called in for the match at Edgbaston on Sunday.
Roy deserves his call-up, and so does Taylor who was in the side for one or two games a year or so ago, and I think if they are good enough for this squad then they should be good enough for the ODIs, too.
Deep down the selectors must realise that the current process isn’t working, and if this means they are turning gradually away from that then that’s good.
Trent Bridge troubles
From an England point of view, I think it’s best to completely scrub Saturday’s match at Trent Bridge out of our memories. It was a poor day.
We got off to a solid start. Some were saying it was good but it was solid, nothing more than that. We may see it as a good start in this country but they wouldn’t elsewhere. Then once we lost wickets we tried to dig in and didn’t seem to have the confidence to attack.
I know that as a bowler I can’t think of anything better in a one dayer than when batsmen are on the defensive, and anything worse than when a batsman is on the attack, which can completely mess you up, destroy your rhythm and make you bowl poorly.
Ravi Ashwin benefitted from that at Trent Bridge, as us spinners love nothing more than batsmen who are just trying not to get out. We can turn that to our advantage and put them under even more pressure.
We’ve got the players to score faster and quicker, but they don’t seem to be encouraged to do so.
On to Edgbaston
It’s on to Birmingham for the next ODI on Tuesday, and Edgbaston is a great place to play. It’s not really that high scoring a ground, although it’s not the worst wicket either.
It’s the sort of ground where England will do well if they go out and dominate the bowling, as the idea that you can’t take risks after you lose wickets is nonsense.
Best England bets
I really hope that this will be a good game for Alex Hales, so much so that I’m going to tip him to be England’s top run scorer at 4.25.
He’s started really well in his matches so far, and I just hope that he’s not being told to try and bat too sensibly once he’s in. He should just go out there and bat how he does for Notts for goodness sake!
Typically, James Tredwell has kept his head in this series so far and so I’ll back him to be our top wicket-taker at 4.25. He always bowls well at Edgbaston and hopefully he can keep that up here.
Best India bets
I’m going to stick with Suresh Raina as my tip for India’s top batsman at 4.75. His run-a-ball 42 the other day was brilliant and I love watching him bat when he’s in full flow. He’s a great player in form and it was a shock when he got out!
I’ll stick to my guns and back Ashwin to be their top bowler at 4.00 too. Edgbaston is a good ODI ground for a spinner, and I always enjoyed bowling there. The pitch turns, it’s a bit slow and it can be easy to pick up a few dot balls, which Ashwin will use to put pressure on the England batsmen.
Unfortunately, I can’t see past anything other than another, and series-clinching India win.
This time they are the favourites at 1.80 compared to England at 2.00, and I think the favourites will come through and go 3-0 up ahead of the final match at Headingley on Friday.
Bet on the fourth ODI between England and India now!