Welcome to Betting.Betfair’s live blog for what promises to be a fascinating Fourth Test in Ahmedabad. I’ve taken a look at the possible match outcomes here and uncovered some value on the side markets here
CLOSE Ind 24-1
Mixed start from Bess. two long hops, a no ball, decent bounce and turn and almost a catch at short leg. I guess if Bess doesn’t know what he’s going to bowl what chance does the batsman have? Certainly watching him on day two won’t be dull. Anderson superb in the final session bowling five consecutive maidens and taking one wicket. See you back here tomorrow where we’ll make a call on what India are going to do in this dig. In the meantime, we have a New Zealand versus Australia T20 preview coming up imminently on site for tomorrow morning’s action from Wellington.
England working hard to keep things tight. But one suspects Rohit and Pujara are very cautious with only a handful of overs left tonight. We are on Pujara for a fifty at 13/8. Slightly irked that he will have to start afresh tomorrow. England’s weak bowling resources could really tell in this dig. Stokes bowled two overs and was taken off. What if Bess can’t land it on the strip again? Is leach allowed to bowl from both ends? Don’t be surprised to see Root match bess for number of overs bowled.
WICKET Ind 0-1
Anderson gets Gill. Nice shape from him. He needs early wickets if he is going to pick up honours at those 7/2 odds. Bess and Leach will be able to bowl all day. India 1.261/4 and England 5.409/2.
A straight fight, surely, between Bess and leach for top England bowler. Bess is 7/4 and Leach 15/8. Leach is vastly superior in skill and temperament but his first-innings record is not as good as Bess. Anderson is 7/2.
Ind 0-0India over 335.5 is available with Sportsbook at 10/11.
We doubt that the home batsmen will be so vulnerable to straight, non-spinning balls to fall leg-before. We could be wrong. It should be a spin-heavy final session with only James Anderson and an unwell Ben Stokes as pace options.
WICKET Eng 205
England are put out of their misery, Amazingly, though, for the first time since that first innings in Chennai, England have passed 200. Eight wickets to spinners. Only three of them to Ashwin, alas. This is not a poor pitch. it is not a raging turner. Well, we don’t think it is. Will this be the innings that India’s much-vaunted batting line-up finally gets hold of this England attack?
WICKET Eng 189-9
Andrew Strauss just told us that England would get 220. And he seemed to think they’d manage more. No chance. Bess gone. Axar takes the spoils for top wicket-taker.
WICKET Eng 188-8
Lawrence stumped. He was looking to get the scoreboard moving but it was a horrible yahoo. This is very grim for England. And grim for us, too. We were on Ashwin for top bowler and both to score 200 or more. There’s no excuse for the failure of the latter. It’s been terrible batting today. Mistakes all over the shop.
Lots happening. Ashwin and Axar going head-to-head for top bowler. Backers of both sides for 200 or more on the edge of their seats. Lawrence survives after a review. At some stage, he is going to have to start playing some shots.
WICKET Eng 170-7
Ashwin has his second. Foakes has become almost strokeless since that top-bat effort in the second Test. And England, despite having eight batsmen, are going to struggle to make 200. This is not a 170-7 wicket. It would be in the third innings one suspects so England have once again failed to capitalise on the huge advantage of batting first. A score of 280-300 would have given them a good chance. India now 1.384/11 and England 5.409/2.
WICKET Eng 166-5
Pope gone for 29. his woes continue. He had been doing well. Then Ashwin started to spin it and Pope’s habit of jabbing at the ball returned. He’s got an inside edge onto pad and he’s caught. We needed Ashwin to get off the mark because we’re very keen on him for top India wicket-taker at a price-boosted 5/2.
Bit of breaking news this morning. The Pakistan Super League has been postponed after a spate of Covid tests. Can’t say I’m surprised. They seemed to be playing fast and loose with quarantine rules after two positive tests in the Peshawar camp in the first week.
Could do with a wicket for Ashwin. Ideally Lawrence as our short of his runs looks like going down after a punch through the covers for four. Strangely, Ashwin has looked innocuous. Little spin. No bite.
TEA Eng 144-5
Another poor session for England. They need a strong partnership. They remain vulnerable for making only 220-230. India 1.364/11, England 4.707/2 and the draw 16.015/1.
BET Eng 130-5
Consecutive fours from Dan Lawrence. That will give him a boost. His runs quote from Sportsbook started off at 17.5 over or under. He’s now available to short at 27.5 at 10/11. Let’s have a bit of that for one point. We’re unconvinced by his technique against spin.
WICKET Eng 121-5
England in trouble. Stokes doesn’t pick the arm ball from Sundar. Dan Lawrence is the new man. With only Foakes to come as a recognised batsman, England are struggling for 250 one would think.
Regarding our earlier points about Gavaskar, it should be pointed out for balance that he also said that batting in India was a test of skill and in Australia, South Africa and England a test of courage. Looking forward to him calling India out then for being gutless when seam and swing does for them in the World test Championship Final in the summer.
Stokes edges through a vacant slip area off Washington Sundar, who suddenly looks lethal, and gets us our first winner of the Test. We were overs 39.5 at 10/11.
It’s only taken three Tests and one session but Sunil Gavaskar has finally said something worthwhile. Some decent analysis on Pope’s unsure footwork. He is over-compensating an under-compensating going forward, which is as bad as it gets. The Great White Pope is in need of a score. He is 10/11 for 25.5 or more.
Siraj has two wickets. he’s bowled at good lick and got shape on the ball. At some stage during this Test it is likely England are going to regret picking just one specialist pace bowler.James Anderson is goingg to have a very heavy workload. By picking Lawrence and Bess they are guilty of recency bias and going with Bess. They have expected the exact same pitch.
WICKET Eng 78-4
Bairstow out… Was just writing this: ‘small win for England straight after tea as India burn a review. They have one left. Say what you like about their spinners, technically proficient batsmen but they’re not great at reviewing.’ The very next ball Bairstow is caught on the crease and is lbw. Looked very harsh indeed because the ball brushed the back leg on the way through and didn’t seem to deviate in height whatsoever but it was umpire’s call. Pope now in and desperate for a score. England back to square one.
LUNCH Eng 74-3
While you enjoy your Shreddies, why not have a read of today’s PSL preview. it might be more competitive than this Test in 40 overs than in five days.
LUNCH Eng 74-3
Work to do for England. They desperately need a wicket-less session after lunch to get back into the Test. Wicket is good. The only demons are in their minds. The Bairstow-Stokes axis has given them hope. But only one of those wickets this am is not bat-error. 1.4640/85 India, 4.2016/5 England, 13.50 the draw.
Want a a trade? The potential for best returns is with the draw price. Let’s face it, this game needs England runs to breathe life into the market. It is beginning to look a little easier, although Ashwin’s threat is ever-present. If England can knuckle down, the draw shortens quickly. it’s 16.50. Why? Well, the market decides that the pitch is easier. And that means whatever England get – or look like getting – India will trump, thus taking chunks out of the game. This is exaggerated in this Test because the market knows that India don’t need to win. They merely need to avoid defeat. So they can bat and bat and bat.
Oh bum. Ashwin on. Axar off. Bairstow getting caught on the crease very early on in this spell it seems. Much talk that the Adani End will have more spin because it is drier. Could be useful for top England bowler down the road. How does Stokes combat Ashwin. Big strides. Feet movement. Keep the sweep locked down for a awhile. Ooof. he’s hit for six! He moves to 23.
BET Eng 55-3
Kohli has delayed Ashwin’s arrival into the game by bringing back Ishant. let’s have a wager on those Stokes runs, going long at 39.5 for one point.
Feel like we’ve dodged a bullet this am. Nowt wrong with the pitch. And the new ball has not done enough to warrant the number of wickets. Sometimes cricket can be simpler, though. One team just ain’t very good. Sibley and Crawley got themselves out. Root got a good one, though. We quite like Stokes for runs. But we’re aware that Ashwin, who keeps him in a hutch in his garden, is imminent.
WICKET Eng 37-3
At what stage do we go against the tide? Or doe we just grimly accept that value is hard to come by. Root has gone. Stokes is looking shaky. Bairstow’s still there. India 1.271/4. I’ve burnt the bagels.
Considering a short on Bairstow’s runs. Sportsbook go 10/11 under 25.5, which looks toppy. He looks vulnerable to pace and spin. Root has joined him at the crease. He is 13/8 for a fifty. England now 10/11 for under/over 227.5.
WICKET Eng 15-2
Crawley next to go. Trying to be positive. Gone straight up in the air. Good call to pick seven batsmen, eh? This is probably worth clearing up early on: there is nothing wrong with the pitch. India 1.374/11, England 4.2016/5 and the draw 23.022/1. Again we’re looking at a situation where match odds betting could be done and dusted by the first session.
WICKET Eng 10-1
Here we go then. Axar’s second ball cleans up Sibley. He goes for two. It was a straight one! That sort of dismissal blows any ideas about what the pitch will or won’t do. Unbelievable really. India 1.4740/85, England 4.003/1, the draw 12.011/1.
Eng 10-0Quick spot of value. Big, booming movement in with the new ball. That brings leg before bang in to the game and caught behind less so. Leg-before is 10/3 for the method of the first dismissal.
Something on the side? On win rates, Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope are value at 9/2 and 10s for top bat in this dig. But we’re swerving because they seem all at sea against spin. It’s very rare that we ignore such an edge on batsmen. And the edge on Pope is whopping by the way. Root is 2/1. Meh. It’s way too short on win rate as you can see. Crawley is 7/2. Value again but he’s going for back-to-back wins and that makes us uneasy.
England top bat wins/matches
Here are England’s scores in this series: 81-112-134-164-178-578. Sportsbook go 10/11 over/under 273.5. On that evidence it’s a sell. But is the surface as spin-friendly? Could it be like the wicket we saw for Chennai in the first Test when England busted 500?
England win the toss and bat
What will the pitch do? Here are some expert views…
“For the fourth Test we are back with the red ball, and a little bit of respite for the batsmen,” says Deep Dasgupta. “It feels a little bit grassier than the third pitch.”
“The story is a little bit different from the Reliance End, there’s a lot less drier and this end might offer more turn,” says Ajit Agarkar. “It’s just a matter of time when the ball starts turning on this as well.”
Betfair colleague Graeme Swann agrees with Agarkar saying this pitch is pretty similar to the one that was rolled out for the third Test in his pitch report for Channel 4.
England win the toss and bat
Hopes and fears on day one? Well, that we have a contest. In the last two Tests betting opportunities on the match odds have been pretty much done by the first session. England – and us – have been burned by the pitch. In ‘normal’ circumstances we would be all over that 4.003/1, reckoning on a wicket that wears they would have a huge advantage. We’re not getting fooled by that again. The wicket looks like it should hold up well on the first two days. But we’re going to have a darn good look at it first.
England win the toss and bat
What ho. Welcome back to the spare room. It’s cold. It’s dark outside. And England have chosen to bat first. A case of deja vu? Can they bat well on this surface? If so, they should be bang in the game. Their chance of runs has increased, at least, before a ball hs been bowled as Dawn Lawrence has replaced Jofra Archer. And Stuart Broad has been axed for Dom Bess. Line-ups below but first here’s our price check: Indi 1.564/7, England 4.003/1, the draw 8.207/1.
England: Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root (capt), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Ben Foakes (wk), Dan Lawrence, Dom Bess, Jack Leach, Jimmy Anderson
India: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj