SPORT TRADER OLLIE DREW AND DAVID WILD BRING YOU THE BEST BETS FROM ENGLAND VS INDIA AS WELL AS THE USPGA CHAMPIONSHIP
TODAY – 11.00 AM SKY SPORTS 1
With India 2-0 down with just two Tests to play, they may be the ones drinking in the last chance saloon, but there’s one man in the England team who knows exactly how they feel. Step forward Ravi Bopara.
Undoubtedly hugely talented, the Essex batsman has played just 10 Tests since making his debut in December 2007 and is fast running out of opportunities for the Three Lions. He knows he must grab the one that has been offered to him by Jonathan Trott’s injury with both hands.
Bopara’s form for England has been hit and miss to say the least. His Test career began without much fanfare on a tour of Sri Lanka and his most recent contribution was 105 runs over seven innings against Australia in the last Ashes on home soil. However, in between that – and still lodged firmly in the minds of the selectors – are the three consecutive centuries he scored against West Indies in early 2009.
England management would also have been impressed by his recent knock of 178 for his county side against Leicestershire and Bopara is likely to bat at No6, with Ian Bell filling the void at three left by Trott’s absence. With Bopara’s track record it is a risk, but if he clicks, a small buy of his total match runs with Sporting Index at 67 should prove worthwhile.
Already hurting from two big losses, injuries to key players have added to captain MS Dhoni’s pain. Batsman Yuvraj Singh and spinner Harbhajan Singh were ruled out last week and they have since been joined on the sidelines by key fast bowler Zaheer Khan. The withdrawal of Khan is a massive blow to the tourists and it is difficult to see how their remaining bowling attack will take 20 wickets against such a buoyant England side.
Andrew Strauss’ men are comfortable favourites at around 2.44 on Betdaq to win at Edgbaston. Under the circumstances, the only reason that they are not any shorter is the prospect of inclement weather affecting play. Even so, England have shown an appetite for getting the job done quickly after winning at Trent Bridge in four days and that price is a tasty carrot dangling in front of punters.
There looks to be little doubt that England will get the single victory they need from the remaining two fixtures – or protect their two-match winning margin – that would confirm their status as the world’s No1 Test side. Paddy Power offer a best price 1/6 that they top the rankings after the series and the prospect of a 4-0 whitewash, which can be backed at 5/2 with the same firm, looms large.
England’s strength in depth has meant that they have been better able to deal with their injuries. Tim Bresnan came in for Chris Tremlett in Nottingham and played a blinder.
The likely promotion of Bell up the order should make it a seamless transition and he is a strong candidate to be top England batsman on his home pitch at 9/2 with William Hill. He batted at three in the second innings of the second Test and helped himself to 159 runs. In addition to that century, the Warwickshire man has 10 fifties from that position in 34 innings.
India have yet to post a tally above 300 in any of their four innings and England’s domination means another bet to interest spread punters is their first innings supremacy. Sporting Index are trading this market at 40-60 in England’s favour and another buy is advised. Anything like the 188-run lead they enjoyed at the mid-point of the first game would pay off handsomely.
Buy Ravi Bopara’s runs at 67 with Sporting Index
Back England to win third Test at 2.44 on Betdaq
England to win series 4-0 at 5/2 with Paddy Power
Ian Bell to be top England scorer in third Test at 9/2 with William Hill