2-0 down with only two tests to go means England can only draw their test series against India, though the general opinion is that 4-0 is a much more likely score than 2-2.
The hope that the pitch in the last test in Mohali would suit the English bowlers was misplaced, and the reverse swing that had often been seen at the ground in previous matches was virtually non-existent. So on to Mumbai, and another pitch on which the Indian spinners can turn the England batsman inside-out would be no surprise. However, the facts that England have won the last two matches between the teams here, and the ground is statistically one of the more likely Indian pitches to produce a draw – does offer England some hope.
The big news regarding team selection for England this week has been who will replace the unfortunate Haseeb Hameed, and it will be interesting to see if Keaton Jennings can step-up from County level to International level in what looks like a fantastic opportunity for the youngster to try and establish himself. The 24-year-old averaged 64.5 Championship runs last season for Durham, amassing 1,548 runs in total, including a double-century against Yorkshire, and 7 other centuries. and it was another century against UAE for England Lions that got him the call.
However, Keaton is South African by birth, even captaining the South African U-19s Team before deciding he would use his mother’s birth right to make him eligible to play for England, a move he made because he thought he had more chance of being selected for England rather than South Africa. Meanwhile, he has scored most of his runs against county standard bowlers, and the jury is still out as to whether he can handle world-class spin bowling from the likes of Ashwin. To be fair though, he has a good cricketing brain to go with his talent, and has captained Durham in the absence of Paul Collingwood.
India 8/15, Draw 19/4, England 4/1
Another victory for India is going to come as a shock to nobody but, with England having a decent record here, and surely with enough pride to at least put-up a fight, the draw could prove the value-bet.
Draw @ 19/4 (Boylesports)
Top Indian Batsman
I don’t have a strong opinion as to which English players are going to perform well here, but Cheteshwar Pujara has put together plenty of decent knocks here for India in Mumbai, including centuries in the last two games played here. He’s also already scored a century in the series, and could be a value-bet this week.
Cheteshwar Pujara To Be Top Indian Batsman @ 4/1 (Skybet)