India and Sri Lanka proved that test cricket can still be thrilling in the T20 age as their first game in Kolkata went right down to the wire before the teams settled on a draw. Admittedly, weather played a part otherwise it may have finished much sooner but it leaves things nicely poised as we head into the second game.
Sri Lanka’s seamers suggested, albeit in very favourable conditions, that the series might be much closer than expected but the result market retains a familiar look.
India had that shaky start to the test but as we head to Nagpur, Virat Kohli’s men are clear favourites for the win at 1.33 with Bet365. The draw is then listed at 5.00 with Bet365 while victory for Sri Lanka is available at 11.50 with Betfair – a figure that has dropped from around 15.00 after their performance in the first test.
The hosts have been forced into making some changes with Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshawar Kumar missing the game for personal reasons and they will be missed. Murali Vijay found form in the Ranji and should be comfortable in the opener’s slot but Bhuvi was the key seamer and his omission may force a rethink on the type of pitch prepared in Nagpur.
They struggled at the start but got stronger as the test wore on and while Sri Lanka may be tougher competitors than many of us thought, India should capitalise from this point.
Selection questions remain but Virat Kolhi stays firm as favourite to score most Indian runs on first innings and you can pick up the skipper at odds of 3.40 with Bet365. Cheteshwar Pujara came through with the profit for us in Kolkata with a battling half century and he’s tempting again at 4.00 with Bet365 while KL Rahul was strong in the second innings and available for Nagpur at 5.50, also with Bet365.
There are lots of options but not much value in terms of longer prices so you could consider Murali Vijay at 5.00 or Ajinkya Rahane at 5.00 – both with Bet365. Pujara has been solid for us in terms of profits but after his second innings ton in the first game, Virat Kohli should be primed to deliver the major batting contribution.
For Sri Lanka, the unlikely figure of Rangana Herath top scored in Kolkata and for all the pressure that the touring bowlers put on India, that fact shows a problem. This isn’t a strong batting line up but for the purposes of this bet, it does give us some options.
In fact, Angelo Mathews, who we used to pick at around 7.00 in these markets, has become his side’s favourite for the second test at 4.33 with Bet365. Dinesh Chandimal is at 4.50 with Bet365 while other options include Dimuth Karunaratne at 5.00 with Bet365 plus Lahiru Thirimanne and Sadeera Samarawickrama who are both at 6.50 with Bet365.
We do feel that Mathews is set to show the biggest resilience in Nagpur but Kohli is our overall selection from these two markets.
Other Side Bets
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the Man of the Match in the first test and was also a man who gave us an excellent profit in India’s top bowler market. In his absence, you could apply our method to the Sri Lankan top bowler market for Nagpur and ignore favourite Rangana Herath at 2.62 with Bet365 and take Suranga Lakmal at 4.50 with Bet365.
It’s tempting to close with that but instead we’ll finish with the Man of the Match betting and if you’ll forgive us for picking another favourite, we expect Virat Kohli at 7.00 to perform with the bat and lead India to victory in this second test.