After a spirited display by England in the first test, the rest of this series has so far developed as most of us would have expected. India’s superior spin attack has been at the heart of their rise and with batters offering enough support, they can close things out with a win in Mumbai. The 4th Test is being played at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai December 8, 9:30 AM IST. The 5th and final Test match begins December 16, 9:30 AM IST at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
Bookies fully expect India to follow through with a third straight win and the match odds for the home side currently stand at 1.50 with Bet365 and Betway. England are listed at 5.00 with Bet365 and Betway again while the draw is on offer at 5.50 with Bet365.
Again, England’s best hope is to make first use of the pitch and build a big total. They got the toss right in Mohali but a score of 283 was never likely to be enough and with Mumbai expected to give more assistance to Ashwin and co, I certainly won’t be betting against India here.
Match Odds Summary:
India 1.50 (Bet365 Editor’s Pick)
England 5.00 (Bet365)
Draw 5.50 (Bet365)
India’s team news confirms that Parthiv Patel will continue and after a decent hand with the bat in Mohali, the keeper / batsman may well have kept his place anyway. Patel is on offer at odds of 6.00 with Bet365 to top score for India on first innings while Captain Kohli is the obvious favourite at 3.60 with Bet365.
Murali Vijay will attract some interest at 5.50 with Betway but while I am tempted to stick with Kohli, I have been impressed by Cheteshwar Pujara as an old fashioned test match batsman so he is my pick at 4.50 with Bet365.
England will also have to make at least one change for this match with the promising Haseeb Hameed having to travel home with a hand injury. The selectors don’t always go with the logical option but with Gary Ballance out of form and Ben Duckett dropped from the ODI squad, surely Keaton Jennings will make his debut at the top of the order.
Jennings is priced at 7.00 with Betway to score most first innings runs for his side in a market where Joe Root starts as favourite at 3.75 with Bet365. Other options include Alastair Cook at 4.50 with Bet365 and Jonny Bairstow at 6.50 with Bet365 and Betway.
There are so many options here with Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali also coming into consideration but for consistency, Bairstow is a sensible pick, particularly with another debutant at the top of the order.
Top Batsmen Odds Summary:
India – Kohli 3.60 (Bet365), Vijay 5.50 (Betway), Pujara 4.50 (Bet365 – Editor’s Pick)
England – Root 3.75 (Bet365), Cook 4.50 (Bet365), Bairstow (6.50 Bet365 – Editor’s Pick)
Despite Ravi Ashwin’s dominance over England, the spinner has only been top bowler on first innings once so far in this series. Ashwin starts at 2.37 with Bet365 for Mohali and I would take that based on England’s overall failings and the suggestion that the surface will aid the slow men even more.
For the tourists there really is some value in this market when you consider that, despite occasionally impressive figures from Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, the seamers have been the main threat. All suggestions indicate that England will play four seamers, if they can find enough fit men, and of that bunch, I would take Ben Stokes at 6.00 with Betway.
Top Bowler Odds Summary:
India – Ashwin 2.37 (Bet365 – editor’s pick)
England – Stokes 6.00 (Betway – editor’s pick)
One positive thing about England is the fact that they will never give up and Alastair Cook’s men are quite capable of a comeback in this third game. The problem is that, although they could make 400+ on first innings, I can’t see that attack taking 20 wickets so it has to be India again for me.