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IND v ENG: Classic Encounters

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England are back in India preparing for a three-match ODI series which starts on Sunday, January 15 in Pune - live on Sky Sports 2 HD. 

Eoin Morgan returns as skipper after his self-enforced absence for the Bangladesh tour in October, and he will be hoping his charges fare better than Alastair Cook's, who slumped to a 4-0 Test series defeat to their hosts last month.

England's record in India, however, isn't wholly impressive, with 15 wins in 45 matches, and just three of those coming over the last 23.

Here we take a look at some of the standout contests between the two teams on Indian soil…

Gooch century in semi success
1987 Cricket World Cup, Semi-final, Mumbai, November 1987

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Remember the days when England and World Cup semi-finals would regularly go hand-in-hand. Nope? Neither can we. But it happened, and it happened in 1987 for the fourth straight occasion; England triumphing for just a second time to book a spot in the final (which they would ultimately lose to Australia).

India were again their opponents, having suffered a shock defeat to them in England four years earlier - Kapil Dev's team ultimately going on to lift the trophy. But defending that title, in front of their home fans, proved to be a trickier task.

Graham Gooch struck a majestic 115 off 136 balls at the top of the order for England - and was well-supported by Mike Gatting (56) and Allan Lamb (32no) - as the tourists put on 254-6. Mohammad Azharuddin struck 64 in reply, but in truth India never really threatened, slipping to 219 all out.

Feast or famine in ODI thriller
Sixth ODI, Gwalior, March 1993

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England again benefitted from a top-order ton of the highest order on their 1993 tour when opener, Robin Smith, smashed 129 off 145 balls. But despite his fine efforts, the tourists suffered an extraordinary batting collapse from 227-2 to 256 all out, with no batsman outside of the top four reaching double-figures.

In a truly remarkable game, India's innings was almost a mirror image as opener scored a century - his 175-run partnership with Azharuddin (74) seemingly sending the home side to victory - before they too collapsed.

Five wickets fell for 26 runs to reduce India to 205-7, but Sidhu remained, and was 134 not out when he and Anil Kumble (19no) reached England's target. It would prove to be a crucial triumph too as the hosts would tie the series 3-3 with a win in the seventh and final ODI of the series.

Flintoff finds form (but loses shirt)
Sixth ODI, Mumbai, February 2002

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Nine years later, it was England who were fighting their way back into a series - a Nick Knight century and an Ashley Giles five-for in a thrilling two-run triumph in the fifth ODI in Delhi helping tee-up a chance for a 3-3 tie in the final game in Mumbai.

It would be their all-round talisman, Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff who would secure that share of the spoils, firstly smashing 40 from 50 balls with the bat to see England set a competitive target of 256; Marcus Trescothick impressive with the willow, blasting an 80-ball 95.

In reply, India appeared to be in complete control at 191-3 until skipper Sourav Ganguly (80) fell, and then a Flintoff-inspired England - he took 3-38 and affected a run out - ran through the hosts' batting order; the final wicket of Javagal Srinath for a first-ball duck securing a five-run win and prompting an iconic shirtless celebration.

Run-fest ends in a tie
2011 Cricket World Cup, Group B, Bangalore, February 2011

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What followed those Flintoff celebrations was an utterly barron run of just one ODI win for England, and 11 defeats, over the better part of the next decade on Indian soil, so forgive them for celebrating a tie when the teams met in the 2011 World Cup. And what a tie it was too.

Given that horrendous record in India, and that the hosts, favourites, (and eventual winners), had set a seemingly insurmountable 339-run target - Sachin Tendulkar smiting England's attack for 120 off 115 balls - the odds seemed stacked against the visitors.

But skipper Andrew Strauss hit his highest ODI score of 158 - undoubtedly the best of his six ODI centuries - and shared in a 170-run partnership with Ian Bell (69) for the third wicket that perhaps should have seen England win the game. But both fell in the same Zaheer Khan over and it was left to the tail to secure a famous tie.

Classy Kohli crushes England
Second ODI, Delhi, October 2011

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If England are to be successful in the upcoming ODI series, there's one man in particular they know they need to stop, a certain Virat Kohli. Kohli smoked them for a staggering 655 runs, at a stratospheric 109.16 average, in the pre-Christmas 4-0 Test thrashing, but his ODI stats against the visitors aren't as intimidating - a 38.73 average is his lowest against all of the top tier Test nations.

Kohli does have two centuries to his name, however, against England - both coming within a month of each other in 2011. The first was in a losing cause in Cardiff, but the second was a stunning unbeaten 112 that earned India an emphatic eight-wicket win in Delhi.

England - having lost both openers, Alastair Cook and Craig Keiswetter, for ducks in the first two overs - were thankful to even post a score of 237, but it proved to be mere child's play for Kohli, who struck 16 boundaries in a majestic century, putting on an unbroken 209-run partnership with Gautam Gambhir (84no), to take India to victory and on their way to a 5-0 series whitewash.

Bell ton in rare England success
Fifth ODI, Dharamsala, January 2013

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England will have fonder memories from their most recent trip in 2013 as they won the last ODI meeting between the two in India - though not the series, succumbing 3-2 - albeit with a very different looking team.

England's top three read as follows: Cook, Bell, Kevin Pietersen. All have subsequently been jettisoned from the side, but under the picturesque mountainous surrounding of Dharamsala, Bell struck a sublime unbeaten 113 - his third of four ODI centuries - as England secured a comprehensive seven-wicket win.

Earlier, Tim Bresnan starred with the ball, taking 4-45 as India were bowled out for 226, though things had looked far bleaker for the hosts when 49-4 and 79-5. Man-of-the-series, Suresh Raina, bailed them out with 83, only for Bell to have the final say with his match-winning hundred.

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