England v India, 1st ODI, Chester-le-Street September 1, 2011

Format raises India's hopes

Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan
Despite a 4-0 loss in the Tests, India's impressive ODI record in the last two years increases the possibility of a close series

ODIs a challenge for England
After being completely outplayed in the Test series, India will be more than glad to resume playing a format in which they have tasted much success in recent times. They have very few positives to take from the 4-0 drubbing in the Tests, but will try to draw confidence from their World Cup triumph in the subcontinent in April. England, on the other hand, will be brimming with confidence following a terrific display in the Test series where they were so far ahead of India in every department that any result other than a whitewash looked impossible. The ODIs however present England with a fresh challenge as it has not been a format they have excelled in. They have failed to make the semi-final of the World Cup since the 1992 tournament and on the two occasions they reached the quarter-final (1996 and 2011), they were crushed by Sri Lanka. In the 2011 World Cup, England were entertaining, but highly inconsistent. They had three superb results- a tie against India in Bangalore chasing 338 and successful defences of low targets against South Africa and West Indies. On the flip side, they suffered shock defeats against Ireland and Bangladesh before managing to get through to the quarter-final stage where they were at the receiving end of a ten-wicket thrashing by Sri Lanka.

Since 2000, India have thoroughly dominated England in ODIs in the subcontinent, winning 14 matches and losing just four. In matches played in England though, the head-to-head record is 7-6 in favour of England. India's most notable wins include the final of the Natwest series in 2002 when they chased down 326 after looking down and out at 146 for 5. In the previous ODI series between the teams in England in 2007, the momentum swayed between the teams before England finally took the series 4-3 with a seven-wicket win in the final ODI. The most recent ODI played between the two teams in Bangalore during the World Cup was a cracking game with many twists. England, after fighting back in the final overs, restricted India to 338, and were in control of the chase till the 41st over. Following a mini-collapse, they eventually recovered to tie the game. England have won three of the last four series at home by a margin of 3-2 and if the record between the two sides in recent years is any indication, the series is set to be another closely-fought one.

England's record in ODIs (average, run-rate and economy-rate)
Venue Played Won Lost W/L ratio Bat avg/RR Bowl avg/ER Avg diff/RR diff
v India In England (since 2000) 14 7 6 1.16 41.79/5.65 29.49/5.21 12.30/0.44
v India in India (since 2000) 19 4 14 0.28 27.28/5.26 36.96/5.56 -9.68/-0.30
In England since start of 2008 37 19 16 1.18 31.35/5.33 28.86/5.01 2.49/0.32
Last ten matches 10 6 4 1.50 33.66/5.58 27.59/5.14 6.07/0.44

India the better ODI team in recent years
South Africa and Australia have been the best teams based on the run-rate difference in ODIs in the last two years. Both the teams have quality bowling attacks and hence a much lower bowling average when compared to most teams. Their win-loss ratios are the best among all teams (2.06 and 2.03). India, by virtue of playing most of the cricket in the subcontinent on flat tracks, have a high batting run-rate (5.58) and a fairly high economy rate (5.38). England's recent ODI form has been patchy, and as a result, the average difference and run-rate difference are very low (0.37 and 0.02 respectively). West Indies, who have the lowest win-loss ratio (0.45) and Pakistan lie at the bottom of the table with extremely low values for both the average difference and run-rate difference.

Top teams in ODIs since 2009 in terms of run-rate difference
Team Wins/Losses W/L ratio Batting avg/Bowling avg Avg diff RR/ER Run-rate diff
South Africa 31/15 2.06 38.52/26.96 11.56 5.64/5.14 0.50
Australia 55/27 2.03 36.76/27.68 9.08 5.30/4.97 0.33
India 46/26 1.76 36.95/32.09 4.86 5.58/5.38 0.20
Sri Lanka 40/28 1.42 33.48/29.61 3.87 5.27/5.09 0.18
New Zealand 23/31 0.74 28.18/30.44 -2.26 5.18/5.03 0.15
England 31/27 1.14 31.26/30.89 0.37 5.25/5.23 0.02
West Indies 17/37 0.45 27.33/30.66 -3.33 4.97/4.99 -0.02
Pakistan 27/31 0.87 27.73/30.49 -2.76 4.93/4.96 -0.03

India's strength remains the batting
Although the Indian batting line-up will miss the attacking prowess of Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh, there is still enough firepower in the top order to trouble any bowling attack. MS Dhoni's strike rate has fallen in the last few years, but he remains a vital part of the line-up as he demonstrated in the World Cup final when he promoted himself and scored a match-winning 91. While Sachin Tendulkar will aim to score his 100th international century and move forward after a below-par show in the Tests, Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli will look to extend their impressive ODI record to matches outside the subcontinent. India will, however, miss the services of the consistent Gautam Gambhir, who has scored close to 2000 runs at an average of 50.28 in ODIs since the start of 2009.

India's top batsmen in ODIs since start of 2009 (min 1000 runs scored)
Batsman Innings Runs Scoring rate Average Boundary % Dot-Ball %
MS Dhoni 54 2114 4.91 55.63 37.65 48.23
Virat Kohli 50 1994 5.00 47.47 40.42 49.10
Gautam Gambhir 46 1911 5.48 50.28 42.49 46.58
Sachin Tendulkar 33 1689 5.74 58.24 53.04 50.93
Suresh Raina 55 1503 5.76 36.65 46.17 45.29

Settled look to England's line-up
England's ODI squad has seen quite a few changes after quarter-final exit in the World Cup. The most notable one is the absence of Andrew Strauss who scored a brilliant 158 against India in the tied game in Bangalore. Despite Kevin Pietersen being rested, the batting order has a strong look to it. Jonathan Trott has averaged over 53 in ODIs since 2009, and his consistency is complemented by Eoin Morgan's aggression. However, on an average, most English batsmen tend to score at a lower rate than their Indian counterparts.

England's top batsmen in ODIs since start of 2009 (min 600 runs scored)
Batsman Innings Runs Scoring rate Average Boundary % Dot-Ball %
Eoin Morgan 46 1497 5.43 40.45 44.22 47.94
Jonathan Trott 30 1485 4.66 53.03 29.89 47.25
Ravi Bopara 27 682 4.46 28.41 40.17 56.11
Matt Prior 31 645 4.78 26.87 40.00 52.22
Ian Bell 21 619 4.43 30.95 27.78 47.73

Conditions facour England bowlers
For the ODIs, England have retained the core of the Test attack which gave India a torrid time. Almost all England bowlers have a far better ODI record in England as compared to their record outside home. Graeme Swann, in particular, has been superb in home ODIs since 2009 with 38 wickets at just 20.28. Swann has a very low boundary percentage (30.83) and a high dot-ball percentage (56.17) making him a vital part of the attack. Stuart Broad, who won the player-of-the-series award in the Tests, has also been impressive in the last two years with an average of 28.89 with four four-wicket hauls. James Anderson has struggled in away ODIs conceding over 90 runs in ten overs on two different occasions. His average at home (27.59) is much better than his record overseas where he averages 35.94. Tim Bresnan, who picked up 5 for 48 in the World Cup game against India, has been in great form in the Tests, and his presence rounds off a highly-competitive bowling attack.

England bowlers in ODIs since start of 2009
Bowler Innings Wickets Economy rate Average Boundary% Dot-ball%
James Anderson 46 72 5.23 29.55 48.59 56.04
Stuart Broad 38 70 5.48 26.12 54.12 59.90
Graeme Swann 39 62 4.33 23.22 30.83 56.17
Tim Bresnan 42 53 5.20 35.11 50.29 48.67

Bowling India's weak link
With injuries to Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan, the Indian bowling attack is severely depleted. The return of Munaf Patel does add some consistency to the bowling. Along with Praveen Kumar, who picked up 15 wickets in the Test series, Munaf brings the much-needed experience to the attack. R Ashwin has impressed in the limited opportunities he has got so far, and together with Amit Mishra, will lend the variety to a bowling attack that does need to step up to be able to contain the England batting.

Indian bowlers in ODIs since start of 2009
Bowler Innings Wickets Economy rate Average Boundary% Dot-ball%
Praveen Kumar 36 41 5.07 35.26 53.80 59.45
Munaf Patel 27 38 5.21 28.57 49.72 55.24
R Ashwin 11 19 4.78 26.68 39.05 53.14
Amit Mishra 12 17 4.48 29.88 41.33 60.08

Batting first a slight advantage
Lord's (5) and The Oval (4) have hosted the most ODIs in England since the start of 2009. England, however, have failed to win any of the five matches at Lord's and have won just one out of the four played at The Oval. In 15 ODIs played at the five venues since the start of 2009, teams have won nine batting first. In eight day-night games played at The Oval, the Rose Bowl and Cardiff since the start of 2009, teams batting first have been more successful winning five and losing three matches.