England to leave Stokes behind for their Ashes trip
India's class should shine through in T20 series
England all-rounder Ben Stokes will not travel to Australia with the rest of the Ashes party “at this stage” according to an ECB statement.
However, Stokes, arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm in September, has been awarded a new central contract by England’s governing body.
With his Ashes participation in doubt, Paddy Power go 12-1 about Stokes being England’s leading runscorer down under.
Middlesex pace bowler Steven Finn has been added to England’s squad for the five-match series which begins in Brisbane on November 23.
Joe Root’s side are 3-1 to win just their second series in Australia in 31 years, with the Aussies 8-15 to regain the urn.
Steve Smith’s side continue their Ashes preparations with a three-match T20 series in India which begins in Ranchi (Sky Sports Cricket, 2.30pm Saturday).
The Australians were comprehensively beaten 4-1 by India in the pair’s recent ODI series and the tourists are 7-5 to make amends in the 20-over matches.
However, that could be beyond a side who, barring Smith and vice-captain David Warner, have struggled to build partnerships for a prolonged period of time.
The Aussies have consistently lost clusters of wickets in all formats since Smith took the captaincy from Michael Clarke, which spells bad news for their prospects.
India look likely to go with the majority of the side who won the ODI series so convincingly and they should have enough class to win the T20 matches too.
India to win T20 series
3pts 4-7 Betway, Hills
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