India’s International domestic season brings New Zealand to the country for the first of four tests, beginning in Kanpur on Thursday. Everyone is expecting a trial by spin for the Kiwis and even though they are a dangerous side – even without Brendon McCullum – the result market is a pretty predictable one ahead of the game.
India start here as red hot favourites at 1.54 with 888Sport and in home conditions, with world class slow men on their side, it’s difficult to see anything other than a win for Virat Kohli’s men. The selectors have the option of playing all three slow men – R Ashwin, Ravi Jadeja and Amit Mishra – and it would be no surprise to see this confirmed.
Meanwhile, New Zealand are way out at 9.00 with Bet365 to take an opening win and the key to this game lies with their batters and how well they cope with that spin threat. Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill and Tom Latham are the ones under pressure and although you could put the first two of those names into the ‘World Class’ bracket, it’s a big ask to see out the five days.
The draw completes the result betting at a price of 3.40 with Bet365 but I can’t see this going the distance.
This could be an interesting Indian batting line up with Cheteshwar Pujara and KL Rahul recalled. Either man could offer a little more consistency than the dangerous Shikhar Dhawan and it will be fascinating to see how things develop.
But, there is a familiar name at the top of India’s batting market with Virat Kohli the favourite to top score on first innings at odds of 3.75 with Bet365 and 888Sport. Rahul follows on at 5.00 with Bet365 and you can also get that 5.00 price on Pujara with Bet365 once again.
Other options include Murali Vijay at 5.00 with 888Sport and Ajinkya Rahane at 6.00 with Bet365. I’m tempted to side with Pujara here and if he can find the form with which he began his test career then 5.00 looks good but for now, I’ll be playing safer with Kohli.
You can also take a safer punt in New Zealand’s version of this market where Captain Kane Williamson starts as a clear favourite at 3.75 with Bet365. That short price does leave plenty of value elsewhere however and my tip will be Ross Taylor at a generous 4.75 with 888Sport.
Once again there are options all the way down the order with Latham at 5.00 and Guptill at 5.50 – both with Bet365. Newcomer Henry Nicholls has also looked comfortable with international cricket and may be worth a look at a tempting 7.50 with Bet365 but Taylor’s experience makes him a sensible pick in the lead up to the toss.
The top bowler markets may interest some but India’s version is going to be very hard to call. Ashwin will undoubtedly be most punters’ pick and he starts as favourite at a very short 2.25 with Bet365. That’s not giving much value at all, certainly not when you look at Jadeja at 4.75 with Bet365 and Mishra at 5.00 with Bet365 once again.
Personally I’m skipping this market but am tempted to take a look at New Zealand’s top bowler betting. With Tim Southee out of the tour, it should be down to their spinners with Ish Sodhi the better option at 3.60 with Bet365.
It isn’t all about India’s spinners but when you compare the balance of the two bowling attacks, India should comfortably take the win. Back the hosts and look to add Kohli and Taylor as the best of the batters on each side.