England vs India: India to end disastrous tour with first win
India have been edging closer to a first victory over England this summer in their last two one-day internationals and the win that has so far eluded them can arrive at Cardiff.
The Indians arrived in England in July as the best team in the world, but were humiliated when whitewashed 4-0 in the Test series.
They have largely performed better in the one-day arena, but still find themselves 2-0 down heading into the fifth and final game of the tour.
However, they have been slightly unfortunate of late, letting England off the hook in a rain-shortened match at The Oval and then being caught out by the Duckworth-Lewis method at Lord’s, when a draw was called despite India seemingly being in the stronger position.
The final showdown takes place at the Swalec Stadium and India look far too large in the cricket odds at 5/4 to triumph.
Batting first, India have made relatively large totals in their last two games after dismal starts and if their openers can make more of a contribution, then a score over 300 is certainly not beyond them.
The fact that a shoulder injury has ruled out Stuart Broad will certainly work in their favour, as he has been one of the bowlers to cause them the most problems this summer.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni also looks in good touch with the bat and in all likelihood he will have another opportunity to smash balls all over the ground with Suresh Raina in the mid-to-late overs.
England are 8/13 to beat India, but there are signs that their top-order are slowly beginning to feel fatigued after a long summer.
Ian Bell, in particular, has struggled to make a big score despite consistently getting in, while the fact that Ben Stokes looks to be slightly nervous in the middle order is not the best sign.
The expensive late overs of James Anderson also need to be cut out to ease the pressure on their bowlers.