Cyclone Vardah may have caused damage in Chennai this week, the venue for the fifth test between India and England (Friday 5am), but’s it’s easy to argue that India have been even more devastating in blowing-away England in tests two, three and four.
The biggest mystery remains how India didn’t win the first test as, in the fourth test, they became only the third test team to win by an innings having conceded over 400 runs in the first innings of a test match.
In the last test, I made an argument about England having the pride to make a fight of it, but pride is no substitute for class – and it’s India that have it in abundance on home soil, with Captain Kohli leading with example with the bat, and the world’s best spinner Ravichandran Ashwin tormenting England’s batsmen in a way that is unplayable at his best.
The truth is there is no current test side who could probably match India in sub-continent conditions, and they have now triumphed in five successive test series, winning 15 of their last 18 home tests.
England fans will be hoping that India take their foot off the gas with the series won, but the consensus is India won’t do anything of the sort, instead seeing the fifth and final test as another chance to improve some already impressive statistics even further, whilst entertaining a home crowd that has cheered every run and wicket with great enthusiasm.
Match Betting: India 8/13, Draw 10/3, England 11/2
Even winning the toss and batting first has proved to be no significant advantage to England and, even if they win the toss in Chennai, it’s hard to see their current odds of 11/2 contracting much. However, if India win the toss, then the 8/13 for an Indian victory will surely disappear quicker than the England tail-end. 8/13 looks a very fair price indeed considering they were 8/15 for the fourth test, and 3 wins out of four in this series, and 15 wins in their last 18 games, suggest the home-side are over-priced.
The other interesting bet looks to be in the Top Indian Bowler market, in which it’s a surprise to see King-of-Spin Ravichandran Ashwin priced-up at odds-against. The bookies look to be hoping that the man who took 12-wickets for 167-runs in the last test will take it easy – but why would you when you just love taking wickets.