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Can England upset the odds in India?

England have now got their tour matches in India underway and we are just weeks away from the four match Test series between the two nations.

Everyone knows just what a tough series it is going to be for the tourists and these kinds of conditions have been where they have really struggled over recent years.

This is of course a new era for English cricket as well as Alistair Cook is the new man in charge of the team after Andrew Strauss announced his retirement from the game.

Cook could not have a much tougher start to life as a captain, but if he manages to win this series – will show just what a superb leader he could be.

He will also be delighted to welcome back Kevin Pietersen into the squad after his spell away from the international set-up. There is no doubt that with Pietersen in the ranks, England’s chances of winning in India have increased as he is one of the best batsmen in the world.

Negotiating spin will be one of the big tests for the Three Lions and someone like Pietersen could be a key man to how England play the slower bowlers.

As ever in India, the fans will come out in their thousands to support the home side and will act as an extra man for Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his team.

Sachin Tendulkar is still playing Test cricket and there is no doubt he will be one of the key man for the team and England must try and get him out early on – or the ‘Little Master’ will punish you.

If we look at some betting offers for the series – India are the favourites to win as they are available at 6/5 with Betfred, with a draw being offered at 6/4.

England are the outsiders, but with the talent they have in their squad they could be good value at 4/1 with Bet365 to take the series.

Whatever happens, this all looks set to be an incredible series between two very good Test teams.

England v New Zealand - who will come out on top in this must win match?

England face New Zealand in the Twenty20 World Cup on Saturday in a game that they must win to stand a chance of making the semi-final stage of the tournament.

It was a defeat against West Indies in the opening Super Eight match for Stuart Broad’s men on Thursday as they fell 15 runs short of the 179 set by their opponents.

The bowling from England was not great, but the reason for defeat has to be the start of their batting innings. They found themselves 0-2 in the opening over, never really giving them a chance of victory.

Eoin Morgan nearly guided the team to an incredible win with 71 runs from just 36 balls, which left many wondering why he was not coming in until number five.

However, England must now put that to the back of their minds and will know that nothing other than a victory will do here.

Broad himself will want to win the toss and is likely to want to bat first as it seems as though chasing the game is not his men’s strong point at the moment.

As for New Zealand, this game means just as much to them as they know a defeat will see them exit the tournament.

The Kiwis lost against Sri Lanka in the most dramatic of fashions on Thursday as the match went down to a super over.

Brendon McCullum is likely to be the main man for New Zealand in this one as he has been in fantastic form in the T20 World Cup so far with his big hitting and ability to take the game away from a side.

Looking at some betting offers for this encounter, England are the current favourites with odds of 4/5 with Bet365.

Eoin Morgan being the leading scorer for England is at 4/1, which is sure to be popular.

New Zealand can then be backed at 6/5 with SkyBet for the win.

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