The first of the five-match series between India and England begins at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot tomorrow. The sports media in India have dubbed this a revenge series. That is, India are seeking revenge for the three consecutive series losses against England – one at home and two away. But the revenge will not be that easy. This is a good England side and they will offer stiffer resistance to India than did some of the other recent visitors, such as New Zealand and West Indies. It makes the games more interesting and cricket betting odds more rewarding.
What’s special in this test?
Decision review system (DRS) is going to be implemented for the first time in tests involving India. India were against the DRS implementation, but not anymore. England are more experienced in handling DRS. In matches involving two equal teams, DRS could play a hand in the result. That means DRS will even have an impact on the cricket betting pay-outs.
This is the first time that a test match is going to be played in Rajkot. It is a well-known venue for limited overs matches and Indian domestic tournaments. The pitch at Rajkot is known as a batting paradise, which starts helping spinners from the third day. Teams winning the toss and batting first usually have an advantage. Still, this is the peak of winter in North India. Fast bowlers will find movement through the air in the first one hour or so, especially with the new ball.
Preview – India
India will employ the tried and tested formula: post a big total in the first innings and subject the opposition to a trial by the spinners. The spinners are in good form. R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have had a terrific series against New Zealand. They will fancy their chances against the England batsmen, who struggled against Bangladesh spinners in the recent series. Batting will be a bit more concern to India. The Indian batsmen failed to score big in the first two test matches against New Zealand. England too have some handy spinners.
This is home ground for Cheteshwar Pujara and Jadeja. They will look forward to do well. The injuries to KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have limited the options for tweaking the batting order.
Preview – England
England have packed their team with players who can bat. They have capable batsmen right up to number 11. However, apart from Alastair Cook and Joe Root, there are no proven performers against spin. Their spin bowling options too are somewhat limited. The performance of Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali will be the deciding factors of the series. Stuart Broad is playing his 100th test. His contributions with both bat and ball will be vital for England too.
England have lost just two tests in the 14 matches against India. They have won nine of these matches. England do have the upper hand. In matches played in India, England have won two, lost one and drawn two in the last five test matches.
India do possess the better bowling attack. In any given test match, teams with the better bowling attack have better chances of winning. Make your cricket betting choices accordingly.
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