Expect a stronger challenge from England as India ODIs loom

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After a dismal 4-0 Test series hammering, England are back in India for three ODIs and a trio of T20 encounters. And unlike the five-day format, the tourists should be in much better form from here on in.

Eoin Morgan’s side impressed in the first warm-up match, defeating India A in what was MS Dhoni’s final game in charge of the ODI squad.

Jason Roy and Alex Hales formed a solid opening pair, before Sam Billings’ 93 stole the show as England won by three-wickets.

Billings was only in the team due to Joe Root’s imminent arrival of his first child.

But the Yorkshireman and his fiancée Carrie welcomed a baby boy into the world on Saturday, and Root is now set to feature in all three ODIs.

England head into the three one-dayers at 7/4 to win the series, with India chalked up at 4/9.

The bookies go 5/2 that India win 3-0, in what would be a sizeable blow to the tourists’ morale following the Test walloping.

But having won nine of their last 11 ODIs, captain Eoin Morgan should be confident of his side taking the contest to the hosts.

England are 9/4 to claim a 2-1 series success, with 10/1 on a 3-0 result.

Ahead of Sunday’s first ODI in Pune, Root leads the way in the market for England’s top runscorer at 11/4.

But given his less than ideal preparation – Root is scheduled to arrive in India on Thursday – plenty will find Jason Roy and Alex Hales slightly better value at 7/2.

David Willey and Jake Ball claimed a pair of wickets apiece in Tuesday’s clash, and Ball in particular could be worth backing at 4/1 to be England’s top wicket-taker this weekend.

But whoever claims the headlines for the tourists in the first ODI, we can expect a much more competitive affair than the dark days of those Autumn Tests.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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