Welcome to Betting.Betfair’s live blog with Ed Hawkins for all the tips, trends and stats for day five in the First Test in Chennai. Have negative England blown it? Can India hold on? Or could they blast their way to an unlikely win? All three results are live…
ENGLAND WIN BY 227 RUNS
England were 4.407/2 after the toss on day one. Batting first, clearly, is going to be a huge advantage again from Saturday. It should be another flat surface. Can Anderson go again? The talk is of Stuart Broad coming back in. Jack Leach has enhanced his reputation. Dom Bess not so much. Just couldn’t land it consistently. Moeen Ali could come in for game two. As for us, that’s your lot. We end the blog with another winner – the three-point draw lay wager was our biggest outlay of the Test and we’ve had a very profitable time of it. Best of all, it looks like I’ll be able to get to my supermarket in time to collect the shop. Don’t forget to check out our weekly cricket podcast, Cricket…Only Bettor which will be available here later this afternoon. We’re previewing…
Pakistan v South Africa 1st T20
Bangladesh v West Indies 2nd Test
India v England 2nd Test
ENGLAND WIN BY 227 RUNS
India have significant problems. The Kohli captaincy issue will not dare be discussed in India. So he is as safe as houses. If you’ve been watching on Channel 4, you’ll have probably noted how loathe the home commentators are to criticise the India team. That’s because if they say a bad word they’re in danger of the chop. So it will have given a false impression of how bad India have been. They have been abysmal. The work ethic has been non-existent. Look at their efforts in the field. That is a giveaway to their mindset. They need to knuckle down and do the basics right.
They can then start to work out their best bowling combination. Shahbaz Nadeem seems certain to be dropped. Washington Sundar will hold on to his spot. Kuldeep Yadav is likely to be picked as the No 2 spinner behind Ravi Ashwin as they desperately seek control.
WICKET India 187-9
Leach gets another. England on the brink. AN impressive performance. SHame they blotted their copybook with that negative, soporific effort on the fourth evening. Of course they will claim they were right and had some convoluted equation as to why they did that. Don’t fall for that. They did it because they were afraid of losing. Perhaps moving forward they will have more faith. Jos Buttler will be replaced by Ben Foakes for game two, which starts Saturday. A good change. They get a better keeper and a batter who can be obdurate.
WICKET India 179-8
Kohli gets one that barely bounces from Stokes. Come on, England wrap it up quickly please. Nice innings from Kohli but this is going to be four straught losses as India captain. Sandwiched between was Rahane leading India to victory in Australia. India have been sloppy throughout this Test as we have said throughout this blog. They need to focus and quickly. Second Test starts Saturday.
WICKET India 171-7
And surely that’s the game for England. Ashwin out. A matter of time for the tourists to take an impressive 1-0 lead. Leach got him. The Somerset man has been excellent and has really shown his psychoogical mettle. He was under huge pressure in this fourth innings.
A whopping 53 overs left today. Bit India have a target in mind. Can these two, improbable as it sounds, get India to a second new ball. That’s 30 overs away. England will have a panic on if so. Batting looking easy now with no reverse. Had Inddia managed to retain wickets this morning – Pant for example – this would now be tight.
Might be worth having a risky trade on the draw now. Anderson not quite getting the same shape on it. So we could pinch a few points. It’s 6.806/1. That has come in pretty sharply.
Can India hold off this victory charge for a spell. Just to frustrate England. Anderson is back on. They will need to see him off before we consider a trade.
LUNCH India 144-6
England bang in charge. Archer has peppered Ashwin. Anderson will come back after the break. Leach has been pinpoint. Bess, er, ummm, well, ah…England 1.101/10, the draw 11.50.
Anderson is having a rest now. You see, if Pant had just reigned himself in, he’d still be there and things would be easier. And, more importantly, we might have had a play on the draw to trade. it’s 12.05. Ashwin has been smashed on his spinning finger by Archer. Nasty.
WICKET India 117-6
A bonus wicket from Bess, who has been loose first thing. But Sundar feathers behind and England are one wicket from the bowlers. This could be a very rapid end to the day. Which is good news. I’ve got a supermarket shop to collect at 09.00. England 1.041/25 and the draw 18.50.
WICKET India 110-5
Anderson does it again. Pant can’t handle the shape on the ball because, they commentators will say, ‘that’s the way he plays’. If Pant is to have a long career he’ll have to learn he can’t play his way. Be watchful, put the strokes away. Anderson won’t bowl all day. No matter, our lay of the draw at 2.01/1 on day three (was it?) is looking strong. If Anderson can just pinch another one in perfect conditions India are surely done for. England 1.182/11 and the draw 6.6011/2.
WICKET India 92-4
Tell you what, it’ll be back to bed at this rate. The reverse does for Rahane. England into 1.374/11. Opportunity for England. Opportunity for punters. It won’t reverse all day. ANderson won’t bowl all day. So we will look for a partnership soon. Not now because Anderson is into his work and he could rattle another out. Watching brief.
WICKET India 92-3
Anderson strikes immediately. England into 1.865/6. The ball is reversing. So England have a double threat now at play alongside Leach. Reminiscent of that opening day when Ishant and Ahswin combined. It won’t reverse forever as we have seen so England need to keep chipping away now, build pressure.
We were talking about predicting a wicket or partnership. There’sa problem. ANd it’s Dom Bess. Shubman Gill is treating him with disdain. Fours in the previous over. A six in this. It’s going to be tough to trade this if Bess can’t keep the runs down from one end. And gives an almight problem to Root. But it does make us ponder that India price at 17.50. We don’t think they can win. They don’t need to. We just need it to look like they might for a tiny spell. You might be able to steal points on their price of this assault continues. Could it come down to something like 10.09/1? If you had a nibble for, say, £10, you could lay back for £15 and make a tidy little profit on the price.
WICKET India 58-2
Pujara gone. England in to 2.305/4 from 3.1085/40. The draw now at 1.9010/11. Very good signs for England. Leach is landing his stock ball, he has great rhythm and turn. Really bowling well, Keep an eye on him. If he continues to be this consistent, England are good for the win.
…oh right, so you want a bit more in that? Fine. The unvarnished truth is that it is darn tricky. We need a crystal ball, being able to predict when a wicket is going to fall or when a partnership is being built. In an ideal trading world we will see consistent flips between England and the draw as favourite. This provides us with the opportunity to have profitable outcomes on both, if we adopt the strategy of backing the biggest price and then laying it when it goes skinniest.
How do you bet on a final day when all three results are still possible? What a great question. The answer is with great skill and knowledge.
Plenty of sub-plots at play here. One is the longevity of Jack Leach’s career. He is yet to establish himself at this level. And nothing ends a spinner’s career faster than a tour of India. If Leach fails to rise to the challenge of bowling out a team in fourth innings – this is the point of your existence – then it could be Goodnight Vienna. Moeen ALi is waiting, ominously, in the wings.
England and Joe Root are either geniuses who in a few hours are going to be able to say ‘told you’ or they’re going to have so much egg on their face they’d only be welcome at a buffet for people who really, er, like eggs. The key is the pitch. England need deterioration if they are going to take the final nine India wickets. Their skill won’t get the job done on its own. We’re expecting drama. Welcome. Price check: 1.784/5 draw, 2.568/5 England, 17.50 India.