India v England 1st Test tips: Tourists up against it in Rajkot
Sam Barnard | 9 November 2016
India v England
History unlikely to save England in Test series
India and England tussle for the first time in a Test at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot, in the first of the duo’s five-match series.
The hosts have been made 1/2 odds-on favourites with Coral, but can Alastair Cook and co cause an upset and get themselves off to a perfect start?
James Anderson has returned to training with England, but this match has come just too soon for a return to the XI, while the Men in Blue are without Rohit Sharma for three months at least.
It will be intriguing to see who the tourists go for in their team, whether Ben Duckett will remain as opener or if he’ll move down the order and Haseeb Hameed takes his place for a debut. How many spinners will Cook have at his disposal? And will Gary Ballance be ousted after a poor run?
Read on to find out our five top India v England 1st Test tips…
Kohli enhanced odds in wincast
Virat Kohli is India’s captain fantastic, and comes into this match on the back of hitting 211 in the first innings against New Zealand last month on the way to helping his nation secure a 3-0 series win.
The 28-year-old also managed 200 in the series before against the West Indies, so is a brilliant shout at 4/1 in an enhanced wincast – for him to top score for the Men in Blue in the first innings and they win.
Cook to be top England batsman
As mentioned in our recent feature on five reasons England can beat India, Cook has a fantastic record over the South Asian nation – averaging 54 and hitting five hundreds against them.
The England skipper’s highest and first centuries came against them too, and he is 3/1 to be top batsman for the tourists in the first innings.
Ashwin to be top India bowler
Perhaps the most likely of bets to come in goes to spin wizard Ravichandran Ashwin, who averages just 24.29 from his 39 Test matches to date.
The off-spinner was in super form against the Kiwis, taking a whopping 13 wickets in the last match, while he managed 27 for the whole three-match series. He’s still a tempting 11/8 price to be top India first innings bowler.
Ali to be top England bowler
Spin is set to be key in Rajkot and the series as a whole, and England’s Moeen Ali impressed most with the ball in the last Test against Bangladesh.
Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar helped smash the Indians last time England played here in 2012/13, so all-rounder Ali can follow suit and is 3/1 to be top bowler for the visitors in the first innings.
England method of first dismissal – fielder catch
Playing on the similar pitches in Bangladesh, openers Cook and Duckett succumbed to bowlers early and were more often than not undone by being caught in the field.
Against India, expect them to go out in a similar vein so odds of 27/20 say that their first method of dismissal will be a fielder catch.
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