India v England First T20: Depleted Three Lions in with a shout
India are having to deal with mounting injury problems as they bid to avenge their Test series defeat to England by getting the better of them in the game’s shortest format.
Paceman Vinay Kumar has become the third player to pull out of the match in Pune following a calf problem and has been replaced by the inexperienced Abhimanyu Mithun. This string of withdrawals has done little to affect the hosts’ favouritism for the game, however, and they can be backed as short as 4/7.
Combine their growing list of absentees to a relatively poor T20 record on home soil and you might be better served investing your hard-earned in the tourists, especially after the Three Lions’ underdog exploits in the Test series.
Andy Flower’s men are 11/8 to repeat the feat they achieved in their last T20 outing in India, where they were comfortable six-wicket victors.
It was the third success the world number four side have enjoyed over this opposition and, when you consider India – who sit one place above England in the ICC rankings – have lost three of the five T20’s they’ve hosted, you’ve got to be tempted by the away team here.
England are not without their own injury concerns and, with a host of key players given time to rest for the limited-overs aspect of the tour, fringe players and youngsters can stake a claim for a regular place here.
Of that crop, Stuart Meaker and James Harris will be the men to watch with the ball and both share a price of 4/1 to be England’s top-wicket taker in the opening game, while Eoin Morgan, who will lead the team in Broad’s absence, shares favouritism with Luke Wright to claim top runscorer status in the England camp.
The Middlesex man is the better bet of the pair, despite the superior average the Sussex all-rounder boasts in recent T20 internationals. Wright has struggled against the Indians managing just 23 runs in three innings, while Morgan starred with the bat when England last beat India at home with an impressive knock of 49.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date