England are set to host India for three T20 internationals, three one-day internationals and five test matches. India's tour of England will begin with the T20I series from July 3 followed by the ODI series from July 12. The final leg of the tournament, the test series, will begin from August 1. The visitors are also scheduled to play a first-class match against Essex from July 25–28 as part of preparation ahead of the tests. Prior to this tour, India are to play a one-off test match against Afghanistan from June 14 before traveling to Ireland for a short tour comprising two T20 internationals, both of which will be played in Dublin on the 27th and 29th of June respectively.
Read on for team previews, betting odds, betting tips and series predictions for India tour of England 2018....
England have announced a 14-man squad for the T20 international series that will be led by Eoin Morgan. The squad is without Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes, both of whom are recovering from leg injuries. However, Stokes could be added later if he fully recovers from his injury. While fast bowler Mark Wood has been rested, the selectors have ignored the likes of James Vince, Liam Dawson, Sam Billings and Dawid Malan who were all included for the tri-series involving New Zealand and Australia earlier this year. Jake Ball has earned a call-up and so have Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root and Moeen Ali who were all rested for that tri-series.
England's batting in the T20I series is going to depend on the likes of Jason Roy, Joe Root, Jos Buttler and skipper Eoin Morgan. Morgan with 1678 runs in 72 matches is the leading run-getter for the team in the shortest format while Root is one of the most consistent batsmen in the game across all formats. Buttler has been in excellent form since the IPL and Roy with his aggressive approach will be crucial in getting the team off to brisk starts. With the ball, the hosts will bank on David Willey, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali to do the job. Willey is the highest wicket-taker for England in T20Is with 24 wickets from the current squad and he together with Plunkett who did well in the recent series against Australia will be key men in this pace attack. Rashid and Moeen will be the go-to bowlers for the skipper when it comes to spin. The former was England's best bowler in the Trans-Tasman tri-series and is coming on the back of a very impressive performance against Australia.
England have not had a good time in T20 cricket of late. Since the 2016 World T20 held in India, they have lost four of their six T20 international series. Their last series win came against South Africa last year; a three-game home series which the hosts ended up winning 2-1. They then lost a one-off match against the West Indies at home before losing three of their four fixtures in the recent tri-series in Australia/New Zealand.
Barring that recent shock defeat against Scotland, England have been very impressive in the 50-overs format in recent times with nine wins in their past eleven bilateral one-day international series. After failing to reach the final of last year's ICC Champions Trophy, they beat the West Indies 4-0 and then Australia 4-1 to win back-to-back ODI series at home. The hosts played their last ODI series against Australia at home which they won quite comfortably.
Owing to their impressive performances in the Indian Premier League, batsman KL Rahul and pace bowler Siddarth Kaul have both found a place in the 16-man ODI and T20I squad. The selectors have also included batsman Shreyas Iyer while leaving out Ajinkya Rahane who, barring just the one game, had failed to make an impact on the South Africa tour earlier this year. Paceman Umesh Yadav was the standout bowler for RCB in the IPL and his good performance has earned him a spot in the T20 squad. Ambati Rayudu failed to pass his fitness test and he has been replaced in the ODI squad by Suresh Raina.
Manish Pandey, Mohammed Shami, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur and Kedar Jadhav (who has not recovered from the injury he sustained during the IPL) are the others to have been left out. Young off-spinner Washington Sundar has been trusted and included for both the formats while Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja continue to remain sidelined. Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have retained their places in the pace department while Jaydev Unadkat has been ignored.
Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni will be the key men for India with the bat. Kohli is leading the ICC ODI player rankings for batsmen. The skipper is averaging over 58 in ODIs and has scored the most runs for his side in the shortest format. Dhawan has shown good ODI form of late and he has also been impressive for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL. Rohit Sharma is likely to open the batting with Dhawan and could be difficult to contain if he survives the swing of the new ball early on and gets set. Dhoni's presence in the middle order provides stability to the team. The former captain has the ability to read the situation very well and can change gears whenever the need be.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah will lead the Indian pace attack and the duo is going to pose the biggest threat to the England batsmen. The latter is currently the no. 1 bowler in the ICC ODI player rankings and one can expect him to be lethal, not only with the new ball but also toward the backend of the innings. Bhuvneshwar is a good exponent of the knuckle ball and his pace variations should be very effective in the 20-overs format. The visitors will also rely on their spin-twins Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav to chip in with a few wickets and strangle the hosts with their tight bowling. Both these wrist-spinners are intelligent bowlers and are good at producing false strokes from the batsmen by enticing them with their flighted deliveries.
India's performance in T20 cricket has been pretty impressive in recent times; they have won five and drawn one of their past six T20 series. Their most recent defeat in this format came last year against the West Indies at Kingston in a one-off match. Since then, they have beaten Sri Lanka (1-0 in Sri Lanka and 3-0 at home), New Zealand and South Africa and have drawn a three-game series 1-1 against Australia. India won their last T20 tournament - a tri-nation series in Sri Lanka which also involved Bangladesh.
The visitors have been showing excellent form in the one-day internationals as well, winning their last six bilateral ODI series in a row. The tour of South Africa earlier this year was their most recent ODI assignment; a six-match series which they ended up winning 5-1. Prior to that, they won 2-1 each against Sri Lanka and New Zealand, 4-1 against Australia, 3-1 against the West Indies before whitewashing Sri Lanka 5-0 on their own turf.
Eoin Morgan(c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, David Willey, Dawid Malan
Eoin Morgan(c), Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Jake Ball, James Vince
Virat Kohli(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Umesh Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Deepak Chahar
Virat Kohli(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Hardik Pandya, Siddarth Kaul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Suresh Raina, Umesh Yadav, Axar Patel
England have won three out of the four bilateral T20 international series against India. The most recent series between these two countries was played last year in Jan-Feb in India. It was a three-match series in which the hosts, after going down in the first encounter, made a strong comeback by winning the remaining two fixtures to win 2-1. India have not played a three-match T20 series in England before.
India have won the last four bilateral ODI series they have played against England. They won a three-match series 2-1 when England last toured India in January 2017. The hosts won the first two matches but conceded a consolation win to the visitors in the final game. India emerged victorious 3-1 in the five-game ODI series on their last trip to England in 2014. After the first game was washed off, the tourists secured wins in the next three games before the hosts ended their winning streak with a 41-run victory in the final match.
India are currently third in the ICC T20 international rankings while England are two places below on the fifth spot. The former have been performing better in T20 cricket and are undefeated in their last six series while the latter have not had much success of late in this format. England do have the advantage of playing in their own conditions but they will also be aware of the fact that they have lost two of their last three T20I series at home. The hosts are also without Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes who have been key components in their side. India on the other hand have a strong bowling attack with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah as the death-overs specialists. Although it won't be easy for the visitors to get into the T20 mode straight away in foreign conditions, the kind of form they have shown over the last two years makes us confident in backing them to win this T20 series.
Final Verdict: Back India to beat England in the T20 international series.