It’s been a long period of limited overs cricket for India but as of Thursday, they return to the five day format for the first of three tests against the visiting Sri Lankans. Those that haven’t been involved with the one day and T20 squads have been warming up nicely in the Ranji Trophy and there are several players running into good form ahead of the game at Eden Gardens.
In consequence, the result market has a familiar look to it in the lead up to the toss.
India go into this game as clear favourites and you can currently back the home side to take an opening win at a best price of 1.44 with Bet365. That leaves Sri Lanka as the outsiders at 15.00 with Betway with the draw completing the result betting at 3.60 with Betway again.
According to one of the bigger odds comparison sites there is quite a lot of money going on the draw right now but is that justified? The weather forecast for Kolkata is poor for the first three days of the match but the predicted rain may never come and it’s always a risk to take those forecasts into account. Sri Lanka have batted well in their warm up but this is always going to be a tougher test and based on the comparative quality of the squads, India should take it if they can get at least four days of uninterrupted play.
India’s selectors will have some calls to make at the top of the order but there was good news from the Ranji Trophy with Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara running into form. As always, however, it’s Virat Kohli who leads the way in this market and you can claim the skipper at odds of 3.60 with Bet365. Pujara follows at 4.50 with Bet365 while Shikhar Dhawan can also be found at 4.50 with Bet365 again.
Vijay is at 5.00 with Bet365 and Rohit Sharma out at 7.00 with Bet365. Those selection questions will make this difficult for punters but one man certain of his place is Pujara and after grinding out the runs in the Ranji, he’s our pick for this match.
For Sri Lanka, most key batters got into double figures in their warm up match with the President’s XI but it’s Dinesh Chandimal who is clear favourite to score most runs on first innings at 4.00 with Bet365. Angelo Mathews follows on at 5.00 with Bet365 once again while Dimuth Karunaratne is also at 5.00 with Bet365. Elsewhere Sadeera Samarawickreme, who top scored in that tour match, is slightly further back at 6.00 with Bet365 again.
Chandimal is usually our preference when Sri Lanka are in town but 4.00 looks a little short so we’ll stick with Pujara as our overall tip.
Other Side Bets
When India are involved in test cricket we like to head over to their top bowler market where value can usually be found. The odds setters tend to favour R Ashwin but we can expect to see some good prices on the seamers to return best first innings figures.
That’s the case again this week with Ashwin very short at 2.75 with Bet365 and Ravi Jadeja close behind at 2.87 with Bet365 again. Meanwhile, Bhuvneshwar Kumar looked to be peaking well at the end of the T20s and we’ll take him at an excellent top price of 7.00 with Bet365.
Weather forecasts suggest a shortened match but we can really take those into account and if both teams play to their strengths, India should secure that opening win.