Published: 17:10 23/08/2014
India's 10-week tour of England will come to an end at Edgbaston when they meet the home side in a final T20 match.
The Men in Blue have thrived in the shortest format of the game, winning the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 and were also runners-up to Sri Lanka in this year's tournament.
They were mauled by England in the recent test series between the two sides but should prove a sterner test in the T20 environment and if you are tempted to back the visitors, Coral will give you a free £20 bet if you bet £5 today.
The two nations have faced each other in seven previous T20 meetings with England winning four and India taking the other three.
The man of the moment for England at present, meanwhile, is undoubtedly T20 specialist Alex Hales.
The Nottinghamshire batsmen has been prolific at T20 and County limited-overs cricket this season and his form has been rewarded with a well earned call-up to England’s ODI squad.
Whilst he is inexperienced at 50-overs international cricket, Twenty20 is where Hales has matured and developed into the talent that is he and he should continue his fine form against the Men in Blue.
The 25-year-old has averaged 37.85 runs in his 32 T20 International’s, hitting England’s first and so far only T20 century against Sri Lanka along seven 50’s or more in his England career.
That run average puts him 5th on the all-time T20 list for England behind Marcos Trescothick, Joe Root, Chris Woakes and Kevin Pietersen.
The first three, however, have all played fewer than eight T20 matches with Pietersen, with 37 appearances, the only one who has more T20I matches than Hales.
The 34-year-old, South African-born, Pietersen is one of only two players to have collected more runs than Hales, meanwhile, with Eoin Morgan the other.
The right-hander is only 154 runs behind Pieterson, however, and 54 behind Morgan with 1,022 runs prior to the upcoming T20 fixture against India.
And at 25-years-old the limited-overs specialist will be confident of catching the pair, especially if he maintains his current strike rate of 137.73.
Few come close to his and Pietersen’s average run score with Ravi Bopara on 27.60 and Morgan on 28.31 from his 49 T20 appearances.
The London-born star seems destined for T20 greatness and will be looking to further enhance his growing reputation against India.
And with no shortage of markets to bet on there are plenty ways to add to your interest in the game and I’d consider taking a look at the price for Hales to be the top run scorer.