Ahead of the 2nd Test at Lord's, England legend and Unibet Ambassador Graeme Swann delivers this exclusive betting preview...
FIRST TEST RECAP
The wicket won the last test, in the end. It’s unusual to see the tail-enders doing so well, but they showed a few of the batsmen how to do it. It made good viewing, for sure.
Obviously, I was delighted to see Jimmy Anderson bat with such distinction, but it was a huge relief for me personally that he fell short of my personal best of 85 runs! When it’s your best mate getting so close, you know the moment he goes past you it’s going be non-stop ribbing. So to fall flat on his backside on 81 - so close to the prize - was probably the best outcome for everyone involved!
You’d say that the conditions at Lord's usually help the bowler, but the wicket they played Sri Lanka on a few weeks ago was a really good batting wicket. Given the dry conditions, there isn’t going to be much to feed on for the seam bowlers, and I feel a little sorry for Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson. They’re having to bowl really hard without getting much help from the pitches this summer.
RETURN OF SIMON KERRIGAN
It’s a bold move to bring Kerrigan in so soon after what happened at the Oval last year, when Australia took him apart on his debut. But having spoken to Simon last week, he seems to have come out the other side unscathed. He’s had a good winter and is having a pretty good season, without setting the world alight. So it’s a case of getting him back in the saddle as quickly as possible. I really hope it goes well for him as he’s a lovely young man with a great first-class record. As long as he remembers that it’s the same sized ball and the same length of pitch and does what he does for Lancashire, he’ll do alright.
I think it’s worth putting money on Alastair Cook to score a century this week at Lord's at odds of 6.25. His bad luck has surely got to run out now and, seeing him have a little bowl at the end of the first test, brought the smile back to his face and the faces of those watching. It could be the little boost that his confidence needs and it's high time his class shone through. I think he will score big this week, I can feel it in my bones. The skipper is 15.00 to be man of the match and that's a decent punt.
I’m going for the draw at 2.20. It’s a good batting wicket and I can’t see either team taking 20 wickets.
For the reasons above, I’m going for Alastair Cook to be England’s top first innings batsman at odds of 5.25.
For India, Virat Kohli will be the top run scorer. He's available at odds of 4.50.
With the ball, I’m backing Ravichandran Ashwin to get the most wickets for India at odds of 4.25.
For England I’m backing Stuart Broad. It won't be easy for him, but Broady always bowls really well at Lord's and has an excellent record there. He's available at 3.50.
Bet on England v India now.