India v Pakistan Preview – ICC Champions Trophy 2017

There’s a long way to go in the 2017 Champions Trophy but for many of us, this is something of a final. India v Pakistan always brings more than its fair share of drama and although India are red hot favourites this time around, they will need to be aware of any dangers in this Pakistan side.

It’s also a good chance to see some vital players for the first time following the IPL – a tournament where form was mixed among this squad.

Match Odds

India lead the market and can be backed to take the points at best odds of 1.50 with Bet365, a figure that leaves Pakistan as the outside bet at 2.88 with Betway. Since the last time we saw them in a major tournament, there have been many changes to this Pakistan side amidst some high profile retirements. It’s left a decent mix of new talent such as Babar Azam while old heads such as Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez are there to add experience.

India shouldn’t underestimate them but with greater quality in their squad in the longer format of the one day game which provides fewer shocks these days, it’s tough to see past the favourites.

Match Odds Summary: India 1.50 (Bet365 – Editor’s Pick), Pakistan 2.88 (Betway).

Top Batsmen

Virat Kohli is the obvious favourite to top score for his side this Sunday and he starts at 3.40 with either Bet365 or Betfair. Rohit Sharma follows at 4.33 with Bet365 and Betway while you can also get that 4.33 figure on Shikhar Dhawan with Bet365 again.

Ajinkya Rahane was one of those to lack form at the IPL but you may see some value here at a best price of 5.50 with Bet365 and Betway while the value picks down the order could be Yuvraj Singh at 8.00 with Betway or MS Dhoni at 10.00 with Betfair.

Kohli looks a sound option at 3.50 but Dhawan was top scorer in the 2013 tournament and showed better form at the IPL so he is our pick.

For Pakistan, we have joint favourites with both Babar Azam and Azhar Ali on offer at best odds of 4.50 with Betway. Hafeez is further back at 5.00 with Bet365 and Betfair while Ahmed Shehzad is excellent value at a top price of 5.50 with Bet365 again. Shoaib Malik is also tempting at 6.50 with Betway and while Shehzad is our preference, Shikhar Dhawan is our tip from this overall market.

Top Batsman Odds Summary: India: Kohli 3.40 (Bet365), Dhawan 4.33 (Bet365 – Editor’s Pick), Sharma 4.33 (Bet365), Rahane 5.50 (Bet365), Yuvraj 8.00 (Betway), Dhoni 10.00 (Betfair).

Pakistan: Azam 4.50 (Betway), Ali 4.50 (Betway), Hafeez 5.00 (Bet365), Shehzad 5.50 (Bet365), Malik 6.50 (Betway).

Other Side Bets

There are lots of options for the final side bet and, if you want something that should be very safe, odds of 1.72 with Bet365 on any batsman to score a century is the one to go for. However, for our final tip, we’re backing Bhuvneshwar Kumar at 4.50 with Bet365 to return best bowling figures for his side.

Interestingly, Jasprit Bumrah is the favourite here at 4.00 with Bet365 while R Ashwin will tempt many at 4.50 with Bet365 again but Bhuvi was the form man at the IPL and these conditions should suit him.

India Top Bowler Odds Summary: Bumrah 4.00 (Bet365), Kumar 4.50 (Bet365 – Editor’s Tip), Ashwin 4.50 (Bet365), Jadeja 5.00 (Bet365), Shami 5.00 (Bet365), Yadav 5.00 (Bet365).

And, that quality bowling attack should be key to this game. It’s well balanced and should perform well on this Edgbaston surface and while some Indian batters need to find their touch, we’re backing the favourites here.