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Nic Ladds 18th Nov 2008 - 17:08

The only way is up - 3rd ODI preview

Things can only get better for England as the get on the come back trail in the third ODI against India.

The third ODI takes place on Thursday morning and it is difficult to see England turning the table on the outstanding Indians and odds of 2/5 about the hosts and 7/4 about England reflect this. The second match was for sure an improvement but there are too many areas where England are letting themselves down.

Sloppy fielding, out of form players and an uncertain batting order are not recipes for a sudden revival. Perhaps if specialist spinner Graeme Swann is included in the next match the bowling attack will carry more of a threat.

It could well be worth waiting to see if England win the toss (which they are 10/11 to do) and at last get the luxury of batting first to save themselves tiring in the heat. If England can win the toss, the 7/4 starts to look a decent bet.

Predictably Yuvraj Singh has now joined Sehwag and Gambhir at the head of the market where all are available at 7/2 to be top Indian batsman. There is no reason to desert the all rounder until the blistering form he is in at the moment shows signs of waning.

The 6/1 on offer for Yuvraj to hit a third century will appeal to some as a reproduction of either of the first two innings would make it more than likely.

On a more positive note for England, Andrew Flintoff started to show some of the spark with the bat that made him such a force during the Ashes and with question marks over many of his compatriots the 5/1 on offer makes him a good bet to top score for England in the third ODI.

With they way things stand a come back for England would be a minor miracle and the 6/1 chalked up about a 7-0 white wash in the Indians favour may tempt some. Hopefully Kevin Pietersen can rally his troops and at least start to claw back some respect starting with the third ODI. If you fancy the captain to lead from the front he is 11/4 to be top England batsman.

A big innings from any England player would be welcomed with open arms as they attempt to avoid another Indian horror show.


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