INTERNATIONAL CRICKET BETTING: INDIA V ENGLAND 3RD TEST PREVIEW


It's fair to say no-one could've foreseen what we witnessed in Mumbai, as England humiliated their hosts at their own game and beat them with spin. Graeme Swann and the returning Monty Panesar snared 19 victims between them as the tourists claimed an astonishing 10-wicket victory and levelled the four-match series at one apiece.

India are priced at 2.10 to put their Mumbai humiliation behind them and remind England why many pundits mooted a series whitewash after their first Test victory.

Broad Issue

Stuart Broad may be vice-captain but his inclusion in the England side has been called into question after another ineffective performance in Mumbai. There is no doubt the 26-year-old is a crucial part of the England team going forward, but series bowling figures of 0-157 mean he does not currently merit his place. Steven Finn, who has proved his fitness after a thigh injury, is expected to replace Broad with his extra pace seen as a precious commodity in subcontinent conditions.

Team News

England's only other change will be a much more straight forward one, with Ian Bell returning to the line-up after flying home for the birth of his son after the first Test. The Warwickshire batsman is expected to come back in for Jonny Bairstow although it is possible that both are accommodated with Samit Patel missing out. 

India have a few things to consider heading into Calcutta with the balance of their bowling line-up the main issue. Third spinner Harbhajan Singh is struggling with flu, although it's likely he'd have been omitted anyway with paceman Ishant Sharma drafted in on a pitch that should offer seamers a bit of assistance. Yuvraj Singh’s place in the team has been questioned but the big hitting left-hander will be given one more chance to prove his worth in Calcutta, where he's 21.00 to produce a man of the match display.

Conditions

The England bowlers may finally be treated to a pitch with pace and bounce when they turn up at Eden Gardens on Wednesday. Another used pitch promises spin too with the groundsman Prabir Mukherjee promising to prepare a strip that will ensure the game is decided by the quality of the players rather than the conditions.

Best Bets

Over the first two Tests both sides have demonstrated that they are capable of batting collapses, so the draw at a meagre 3.10 doesn’t really appeal. Instead I will cautiously back England at 3.85 as their tails will be up after their recent win and they offer genuine value at that price. Alastair Cook is surprising value to top score for England at 4.25, while the ‘little master’ Sachin Tendulkar has drifted out to 6.00 so he may be worth backing to halt his current slump.