England and India are set to go to head-to-head again this week (Thursday 17 Nov, 4am) in the second test of their 5-match series. England have already managed to avoid the whitewash that many people (including me) were predicting, and it’s time to form an opinion of whether you think England are much better than they were given credit for before the start of their test series, or whether you think the pitch was so lifeless in the first test that you should dismiss the result altogether.
Regarding England being better than they were given credit for, it was great to see Alistair Cook return to form when he was needed to, whilst Haseeb Hameed seemed to take to test cricket like the proverbial duck to water – even being showered with praise by the usually hyper-critical Geoff Boycott. England’s spinners also played a bigger part than one could have hoped for, whilst James Anderson is hardly a bad replacement if Chris Woakes needs a rest this week. Root and Stokes also continue to looks world-class.
However, the second test-match will see the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium host a test-match for the very first time and, if the pitch plays as it has been doing in recent limited-over matches, then a low-scoring affair is predicted – reducing the chance of a draw – and a win for one team or the other is anticipated. Unfortunately, the bookies are of the same opinion and laying the draw doesn’t look an option at around 1/5.
The toss may prove crucial but India, having perhaps been over-confident in the first test, and not utilising the pitch to their advantage, are 4/6 to win the second test having been 8/15 to win the first – and I’m happy to stand true to my post-series opinion that they’re by far the better team. They should also be confident playing on a pitch where they have amassed plenty of victories in limited-over cricket – and they look a decent bet at 4/6 to win the second test.
A bet on Indian Captain Virat Kohli to be top-batsmen may also prove a good bet, as he averages just short of 100 runs an innings in 50-over games at this ground. Meanwhile, the world’s best spinner Ravi Ashwin could also be worth backing, as a pitch that is hard to score on should play right into his hands.
India vs England Second Test Tips
India To Win The Second Test At @ 8/13 Black Type
Virat Kohli To Be Top Indian Batsman @ 5/2 Black Type
Ravi Ashwin To Be Top Indian Wicket Taker @ 6/4 Black Type