India vs England: Cook to blossom with bat after poor series
England have hardly looked like registering a victory in their opening four one-day showdowns with India and there is no logical reason to expect a reversal in fortunes in the final game of the series in Kolkata.
It is 8/15 in the cricket odds that India complete a series whitewash and given the trends of the series so far, this looks a banker.
England have committed the fundamental flaw of failing to bat out their 50 overs in all but one of the games so far and this ironically was the one encounter where they had a glimmer of hope of victory.
Meanwhile, they have struggled to restrain the Indian batsmen, who have had little trouble keeping the scoreboard ticking and maintaining a run rate of approximately a run a ball.
India have arguably not to had to come out of third gear with their batting in half of the four games and have easily chased down totals while taking few risks.
There have been far too many failures with the bat for England, with captain Alastair Cook failing to lead by example, while Ravi Bopara has also not reproduced his form from earlier in the summer and has seemingly struggled to make an impact on sub continent pitches.
England’s openers Cook and Craig Kieswetter have not managed 150 runs between them yet in the series and will be desperate to make a small amount of amends by providing a batting platform in the final game at Kolkata.
Cook will be especially keen to set the foundations and bat through the innings. He is 7/2 to be England’s top runscorer, with Kieswetter 4/1 in the same market as he looks to prove he deserves his spot in the team.
Kevin Pietersen has looked the most likely to contribute a big innings and he is 7/2 to be England’s top runscorer against India, with England 6/4 to secure a victory that would see them lose the series 4-1.