Our friend @BudgetBetting has once again written a cracking preview on the 4th test for us. Just note that there is a little uncertainty over who is playing, Finn could replace Jordan, and if so he is Josh’s pick for Top England Bowler in the 1st innings, if not then Jimmy Anderson. If you have any questions please send tweets to @BudgetBetting1 on twitter…
England-India 4th Test Bets
Draw @ 23/20 (Boylesports)
The pitch at Old Trafford will be a very good one. It will offer pace and bounce for the seamers, and the ball will come on to the bat very nicely for the batsmen, especially for the first few days. In the 1st innings I expect high runs to be scored from both sides, which could potentially take up 3 or more days play. That would set the game up perfectly for the draw. It should also be noted that with the series delicately poised at 1-1, both sides will be reluctant to lose this game. I sense both sides will adopt a cautious approach to this test match, especially if it pans out evenly i.e. neither side achieves a massive 1st innings lead.
More importantly though, the forecast for Manchester is a poor one throughout this test match. We should get a full days play in on Thursday but light to heavy showers are forecast throughout Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. I don’t think we’re going to see consistent heavy rain, but what we could well see is play being interrupted regularly. These potential rain breaks will add up and result in a fair amount of overs being lost throughout the match, as the process of cleaning up the outfield and getting the covers on and off all adds up to a significant amount of time. Also you have to remember that once the players go off for rain, it has to stop raining altogether before they can go back on.
All in all, we could see a lot of play being lost in this test match due to bad weather. Accompany that with what is likely to be a fantastic pitch and it’s difficult to see either side taking 20 wickets in this match.
Top England Bowler (1st inns) – James Anderson @ 2/1 (various bookies)
Anderson has got back to his best in this series, causing the Indian batsmen no end of problems. The likely cloudy overhead conditions could assist his swing bowling, but Jimmy doesn’t really need any assistance, particularly with the new ball. In all 3 games so far he has been the top England bowler in the 1st innings, taking 3, 4 & 5 wickets in order of games played. The Indian batsmen clearly struggle against his expert swing bowling and I don’t think that is about to change any time soon. At his home ground in front of the fans who love him the most, I believe he will rise to the occasion as he so often does and take enough wickets to be England’s top bowler (in the 1st innings) for a 4th time in as many games this series.
Top India Batsman (1st inns) – Ajinkya Rahane @ 6/1 (various bookies)
Rahane has had a good series for India so far and it’s clear he is hitting some good form. In the 1st test he got starts but didn’t capitalise, but in the 2nd test he scored a fantastic century to keep India in the game, which they eventually went on to win! Rahane really showed his quality and strength of character in the 3rd test, where he was the highest scorer in both innings with scores of 54 and 52. Whilst most of the other batsmen failed around him, Rahane dug in and gave his side some hope; it was an admirable performance. Rahane has achieved top India batsman (1st inns) in 2/3 tests on this tour, and I believe he is excellent value to do so again.
Batsman Match Bet – Cook to beat Kohli @ 4/5 (Coral)
Cook finally turned his form round in the 3rd test with two solid knocks of 95 and 70 not out. It would appear that he has finally regained his form, after what appears to be a subtle change in his technique. Cook has clearly been working hard in the nets to put this small but significant fault right, and he may well have done just that. His confidence will be sky high and I expect him to get more runs under his belt on what should be a great batting surface.
Kohli did pick up his form slightly in the 3rd test but once again failed to convert his starts into considerable scores. Kohli hasn’t scored a single 50 from 6 innings on this tour so far, and as India’s rising star he will be feeling the pressure massively. You could argue he’s due a big score, but I think he will continue to struggle here. He doesn’t seem well suited to English conditions as he loves to play his shots and looks a poor leaver of the ball. I think Cook will have enough to beat Kohli in this match.