England and India to set the tone for the summer in Bristol
India would have arrived in the United Kingdom with the express purpose of not only beating England in each of the three formats but proving their dominance.
For Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri the Three Lions represent a trophy to go up on the wall, a conquest for the heroes to a billion adoring fans.
In Cardiff England showed themselves to be more than just sleeping lions as they found a way to counter both the potent India top order and the spin guile of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.
Kohli will now look to put England away in emphatic fashion while hosts will need to be wary of the pushback from India.
If momentum were a real thing then it would be on the line on Sunday, but something that is very real is dressing room morale, and while England will see wholesale changes of personnel when the format switches to the longest form of the game, India retain many of the same players and as a touring team need to stay motivated.
England should be able to bounce back from almost anything during the long summer but for India it will be important to stay on top and ride the wave to a rare clean sweep away from home in bilateral cricket.
They could of course stumble at the first hurdle if England come up with another gameplan like the one that saw them power to a five wicket victory in Cardiff.
The hosts might look to rotate their options with the ball again to keep India guessing on that front and will certainly want to revisit their approach to bowling to Suresh Raina, who has made light work of picking off bouncers.
India’s commitment to rotation might be tested with the series on the line and the feeling that the balance of the side is close to perfect.
Umesh Yadav has been brilliant up front and Bhuvneshwar Kumar bounced back from an indifferent start to put England under pressure chasing a sub-par total.
Jonny Bairstow got stuck into Kuldeep but he had troubled the top order as had Yuzvendra Chahal whom Alex Hales eventually got hold of after having a good long look at him so the tourists look settled with the ball.
Down the ground!!
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 6, 2018
Changes may come at the top of the order though it would be harsh to leave out any of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma or Lokesh Rahul.
Ben Stokes is apparently ready to return for England who similarly suffer from the problem of who to leave out, as it stands Jake Ball was the weakest link in Cardiff having come in for Moeen Ali.
India should be favourites on paper but will need to be at their best to put England away.
England v India
County Ground, Bristol
Sunday 8 July, 13:00 GMT, 14:00 local
England: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, David Willey, Ben Stokes.
India: Virat Kohli (c), Yuzvendra Chahal, Deepak Chahar, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Siddarth Kaul, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav
Nat Sciver hoping her England heroics put cricket on the map for young females
England’s T20 against West Indies took centre stage on Saturday afternoon.
Essex still have the advantage heading into final day despite Tom Lammonby ton
Essex will win the competition if the match is drawn after surpassing Somerset’s first-innings score.
Tom Lammonby leads Somerset charge after Essex earn first-innings lead at Lord’s
Lammonby was 94 not out at tea with Somerset on 159 for two – an advantage of 123 – in the Bob Willis Trophy final.
Essex have the edge in Bob Willis Trophy final clash against Somerset
The Chelmsford-based team made the best score in their first innings at Lord’s.
Sir Alastair Cook’s brilliant 172 drags Essex towards Somerset total at Lord’s
The rest of Cook’s team-mates provided 99 further runs to Essex’s total, with six wickets down.
Dubai lighting gives Indian Premier League fielders a challenge
Shreyas Iyer was prepared to give his fielders some leeway after the Delhi Capitals spilt catches but MS Dhoni was having none of it.
Dhoni concedes that CSK have got their balance wrong
Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni says the team have missed Ambati Rayudu and haven’t got the balance of their XI correct.
Sir Alastair Cook stands tall for Essex as they respond to Somerset at Lord’s
The sides are battling it out for the 2020 season’s big prize.