England went into the first match of their ODI series with India as second favourites; that did not stop them recording an impressive nine run win and they will have to upset the odds again as the hosts remain favourites for the second clash.
A stunning batting display from the tourists followed up by a solid enough performance with the ball saw England claim their first ODI win in India since April 2006 when they triumphed in Jamshedpur.
The batting for England was good throughout the innings with all six men who picked up a bat contributing meaningfully, but the last two overs are what secured the win for Alistair Cook’s side when Samit Patel and Craig Keiswetter managed 38 runs from the final 12 balls of the innings to make their score what turned out to be an insurmountable one.
The bowling in the last two overs from India was pretty woeful and that could lead to one change with Shami Ahmed potentially coming in for Ashok Dinda. It is unlikely England will change a winning side although Tim Bresnan’s form will be worrying the selectors as he only managed eight overs that went at a very pricey 8.37 each. Stuart Meaker is the potential replacement but Bresnan will almost certainly get another chance in Kochi.
England have played once before in Kochi back in 2006 when they lost by four wickets but India do have some bad memories on this ground. They have only played ODI’s in Kochi six times before and whilst they have won four of them, they lost the last one they played their against Australia and also suffered a shock defeat to Zimbabwe in 2002.
As mentioned the hosts are still favourites despite their initial loss at around 8/11 whilst England can be backed at a best price of 6/5 with Paddy Power. Having performed as they did in Rajkot and with India (especially their bowlers) fairly low on confidence then the tourists look a pretty good price at that with their whole batting line-up looking in good touch.
Looking at the bowler/batsman markets Ian Bell has shot to the top of the England batting list after his 85 in Rajkot and is now 7/4 joint favourite with Alistair Cook. More value looks to be the man who top scored for India in the first match Yuvraj Singh who looked in very good form on his way to 61 before being caught off the bowling of James Tredwell. Yuvraj is 7/2 across the board to top score for India and he looks good value at that.
In terms of bowling, none of the Indians had a great day with the ball last Friday but R Ashwin has been their best bowler of late and despite not taking any wickets in Rajkot at 4/1 with William Hill that looks a good price.
Tredwell was England’s best bowler by some way taking four wickets at 4.40 an over which led to a man of the match award for the Kent spinner. He is a short price at 6/4 to repeat his heroics but at 4/1 Jade Dernbach looks better value given his box of tricks that can flummox batsmen at the end of the innings. A potential outsider in this market could be Joe Root who bowled nine overs in Rajkot and whilst he didn’t take a wicket he kept things tight which could lead India to have a bit of a go at him in Kochi. He is as long as 25/1 with to be England’s top bowler which could turn out to be a great bet.