AN ALL too familiar batting collapse after lunch at Lord’s on Monday leaves England 1-0 down in the five-match series with India.
The tourists’ 95-run victory was a brutal blow for the hosts’ dissipating confidence at a time when the elements all played into England’s favour. Unibet have India as short as 4/6 to take the series, while patriotic punters can get 15/4 for an unlikely turnaround. A draw is 3/1.
England traipse down to Southampton’s Ageas Bowl without a win in 10 Test matches. In contrast, India arrive with a spring in their step having ended a run of more than three years without an overseas Test victory and only a second triumph at Lord’s in 82 years.
ECB selectors could have made a raft of changes, but only Matt Prior, citing injury, makes way for wicket-keeper Jos Buttler. The 23-year-old has already played 33 ODIs and 36 T20 Internationals for England, yet will be making his Test debut on Sunday.
Widespread calls for captain Alastair Cook to step down add to the pressure surrounding this crucial clash.
Only Moeen Ali and Joe Root are batting anywhere near the requirements of Test cricket, while the bowling unit look out on their feet and are struggling to find any consistency.
MS Dhoni was rightly delighted with his side’s performance at the home of cricket and accordingly has made no changes to his XI. His team have the bit between their teeth and are in great shape to take a commanding series lead with victory on the south coast.
I’d therefore recommend taking the 23/10 with Unibet for Dhoni’s troops to extend their unbeaten run and open up a 2-0 series lead.
If you believe India are capable of rubbing salt in the wounds of a demoralised England, then spread bettors should be buying India’s Series Win Index at 68. With a draw and a win under their belts already, the tourists have made up 35 and with three Tests to go, it’s a good bet they win at least two of them, which would mean India make up 85 – a decent profit.
It seems any time an England batsman goes cheaply it strikes fear into the rest of the order. Peter Moores’s men lost their last six wickets for just 50 runs on Monday.
Spread bettors should be looking to take on England’s batsmen by selling their runs in-play. Liam Plunkett’s 55 and Root’s 66 were the only scores over 39 by the last eight English batsman in either innings at Lord’s – a dreadful stat.
India to win at 23/10 with Unibet
Buy India at 68 on the Series Win Index with Sporting Index