The first test in Kanpur ended in a fairly comfortable win for the hosts although for the best part of two days, New Zealand did show some battling qualities. With the tourists at 255-5 on first innings chasing India’s 318, it looked as if they may even force an unlikely draw but the collapse that followed led to an inevitable result.
And, there doesn’t seem to be any let up for Kane Williamson’s side with the second test starting in Kolkata on Friday.
Ahead of the toss this is a very predictable result market with India red hot favourites to take the victory at odds of 1.67 with 888Sport. The draw follows at 2.75, with New Zealand the rank outsiders at 10.00 – once again, those prices are with 888Sport.
Gone are the days when countries produced flat surfaces after going 1-0 up in the series. India know that their spin attack has too much for the tourists and those prices look fully justified. New Zealand can fight, as we saw on occasion in Kanpur but despite fielding three spinners themselves, the quality just can’t match Ashwin and Jadeja in particular.
By all means take a small profit on India at 1.67 but for better prices we can quickly cross to the top batsman betting. For India, it was Murali Vijay who took the profit last time and the opener goes off here at 5.00 with Bet365.
Cheteshwar Pujara almost matched Vijay and he is a real tempter at 5.00 with 888Sport but it’s Captain Kohli who leads this market at 3.60 with Bet365.
With no Indian batter passing 100 on first innings in Kanpur, there are some value options here with Ajinkya Rahane at 7.00 with Bet365. I’m personally sticking with Kohli who has given me returns on so many occasions but I’m also tempted to hedge by adding Pujara who looks to be back to his best.
For New Zealand, it was Kane Williamson leading the way with a well-made 75 in the first test and the skipper is an obvious favourite at 3.40 with Bet365. Opener Tom Latham has the patience required to compile a big innings at 5.00 with Bet365 while Ross Taylor will tempt many at his best odds of 5.00 with 888Sport.
Taylor can be brilliant, but a little inconsistent, so while it may be obvious to go for the favourite again, I’m staking on Williamson.
Indian seamers took only 3 of the 20 New Zealand wickets to fall in Kanpur so the hosts’ top bowler market has some obvious options. It’s rare to see any favourite go off here as low as 2.15 but that’s exactly the price you’ll find on Ashwin with 888Sport.
I’ll favour Jadeja here who looked just as dangerous at times, although the left armer’s price isn’t exactly exciting either – 3.00 with Bet365.
Those of us who watch county cricket in England are surprised that Jeetan Patel has been left out of the New Zealand side for so long and the Kiwis attack is definitely more potent with him included. Once again, I think you can rule out the seamers in this market so I’m backing Patel at 4.00 with 888Sport.
That one change could make New Zealand more competitive in Kolkata but the worry is that middle and lower order. Williamson, Taylor, Latham and others need to score really big at the top of the innings as the Kiwis have little answer to spin from number 6 onwards.
There are some good value options in the side markets for this second test but as for the result, over five available days I can’t see past India as favourites.