After the first game of this One Day series, few would have expected things to still be alive as we head into the final fixture in Visakhapatnam on Saturday. New Zealand had been outplayed in the tests and in the first ODI but have battled back well to level at 2-2.
We all know that the Kiwis have some dangerous hitters and some useful bowlers in these conditions but 48 hours ahead of the game, India remain firm favourites with the bookies.
MS Dhoni’s men start things off at odds of 1.44 with Bet365 and Betway for the win but why are they so short when things remain tight? Both of India’s wins have been emphatic – 7 wickets and 6 wickets – while New Zealand’s have been narrow aff
airs so clearly the hosts have been the better of the two sides.
Virat Kohli is obviously a key wicket; the Kiwis admitted this after his 150+ had eclipsed them in the third game, so clearly they need him early and will be targeting the test skipper. With that in mind, India will need a better contribution from Rohit Sharma while players such as Rahane and Dhoni may need to go on past three figures.
As good a hitter as Axar Patel is, he looks high at number 5. India have missed Suresh Raina so the pressure is on the top four and while they should edge this game, New Zealand are great value at their 2.75 win price with Bet365.
I think Virat Kohli will rise to this particular occasion and be the difference between the sides and he starts as favourite in India’s market at 3.50 with Bet365. A better option may be to back him at 1.83 with Betway to score over 28.5 runs.
Rohit Sharma has usually given me some good profits but has disappointed and looks short at 3.75 with Bet365 while Rahane and Dhoni look to offer value at 4.50 and 8.00 respectively – both with Bet365.
Martin Guptill was the difference for New Zealand in Ranchi and having adopted a more positive approach, the opener is a strong option for Saturday at 5.00 with Bet365. Kane Williamson is the favourite at 4.00 with Bet365 while Tom Latham, who has delivered two profits in four games, is listed at 4.50 with Bet365 once again.
There are additional options but Guptill could be the best punt once again as he tends to stay in form when he finds it. Williamson is due a big contribution however so you could even look at an identical stake on both men.
No one has taken more wickets in this series than Amit Mishra and he starts as an obvious favourite to return his side’s best bowling figures at odds of 4.00 with Bet365. Jaspreet Bumrah is also listed at 4.00 with Bet365 but the value pick for me is Axar Patel at 5.00 – also with Bet365.
Once again, a more creative way to look at this would be to back Mishra to take more than 1.5 wickets at a price of 2.10 with Betway.
Elsewhere, I often look to back a century in the game and although it’s been a relatively low scoring series so far, we should see a big individual contribution to get one side over the line. The odds in this market are quite short at 1.66 with Bet365 and Betway but I think it’s a likely outcome for Saturday.
It’s certainly much tighter to call than the market suggests with India having rested some key players and Raina unavailable through illness but big games call for big players and I expect Kohli and others to be at their best and seal the series with an Indian win on Saturday.