Sri Lanka v India – 1st Test Odds and Betting Preview

India continue a hectic schedule with a long tour of Sri Lanka which includes a three test series. The first of these matches starts in Galle on Wednesday and there are a few changes in personnel after a long few months of limited overs action.

If there are any lingering signs of fatigue, the bookies certainly aren’t expecting them to be an issue with India a long way ahead in the markets.

Match Odds

Coming into this match, the tourists are at an odds on price with all bookies as Betfair provide the industry best of 1.91 on an Indian victory. A win for Sri Lanka is available at 8.50 with Betfair once again while the draw is on offer at a top price of 2.62 with Bet365.

India had injury issues before the tour began with Murali Vijay having to be replaced by Shikhar Dhawan and, as I write, doubts remain over K.L. Rahul who has been struck with a fever. The news is worse from the Sri Lankan camp however as a depleted side has now lost a key figure in Dinesh Chandimal.

On balance, India have the better quality in their squad and Chandimal is a big loss for the hosts. Sri Lanka should enjoy some success in the One Day series that follow but it’s tough to see them winning here. The draw could be an option as the forecast suggests lots of rain in Galle for the next week but if we get five days in, India should win it.

Match Odds Summary: India 1.91 (Betfair – Editor’s Pick), The Draw 2.62 (Bet365), Sri Lanka 8.50 (Betfair).

Top Batsman

Odds for this popular market have been slow to come in and that’s unusual but we do have some options some two days ahead of the toss. For India, Virat Kohli starts things off at 3.00 with Betfair to top score for his side on first innings while Cheteshwar Pujara follows at 3.75 with Betfair again.

After this we have a trio of players at the same price of 4.33 with Betfair. K.L. Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan can all be picked up at that figure but we’re going for Pujara here. Recent tests have shown him at his best and he even scored runs on a brief county stint with England earlier in the year.

For the Sri Lankans, we have yet to see a market and this will undoubtedly appear just before the game starts. With Chandimal out, there are lots of questions over their team selection but Pujara would have been our overall tip in any case.

Top Batsman Odds Summary: India: Kohli 3.00 (Betfair), Pujara 3.75 (Betfair – Editor’s Pick), Dhawan 4.33 (Betfair), Rohit Sharma 4.33 (Betfair), Rahul 4.33 (Betfair).

Other Side Bets

With no batsman betting available for the Sri Lankans right now we can look at a number of options for our third tip. Firstly, if you are concerned about the weather forecast then you could take the draw no bet option which would shorten India’s best price to 1.20 with Bet365 while Sri Lanka come in to 5.00 with Betfair.

The markets are still slow so we’ll finish with an option that we rarely consider. In the first ball betting, a ‘dot ball’ is an obvious favourite at 1.06 with Betfair but the single has outstanding odds of 10.00 with Betfair again. Naturally there are lots of other options but at that price, it has to be worth a small stake just because of the potential value.

First Ball Odds Summary: Dot 1.06 (Betfair), Single 10.00 (Betfair), Four 21.00 (Betfair), Two 26.00 (Betfair).

One real concern with the match betting is the weather and the forecast looks really grim. You could take the draw no bet as an option to counter this but we’ll hope for enough play to allow India’s stronger squad to force a 1-0 series lead.