Its odd that with this really enthralling 5 test series perfectly balanced after 3 tests at 1-1, information about this game is really hard to find. In some ways I am glad it is because it forced me to read a very long and boringly written article about the Indian team written by some Indian journalists. The bottom line is they are worried and it changed how I was looking at this game.
They don’t think they can score a run and there is talk of Gautam Gambhir playing instead of Shikhir Dawan, who cant score a run. It shouldn’t be talk Gambhir should play and I hope he does. I would like him to play with Dawan as they are so exciting if both are confident and allowed to play with freedom. Ashwin looks destined to play and give India two spin options and with two test centuries to his name a bit more shoring up in the batting line-up.
Why did they get beaten so comprehensively at the Aegis Bowl. Simple – they couldn’t field and they couldn’t bat. Put that right and they will compete with anyone.
Morale with India is all important and I think Dhoni does a brilliant job of getting these big ego players to work for him. For that reason they need to forget the Jadeja affair – it’s done and gone, get over it. Last time this happened with Symmons and Harbhajan Singh the end scoreline read Australia 2- India 1 and another series got away because of an incident off the field affecting play on the field. They need to get tougher.
With all that talk about India and their problems, where does that leave England? Well, just at the minute tickety-boo. All fit, all rearing to go and all suddenly confident. How quickly things turn in sport. Just 1 test ago we looked like losing our Captain, dropping our best test batsman and finding a new group of bowlers. Now they all have got runs and wickets and we all love them again.
So, never mind about that nonsense, what happens this test. We are two from two and need to keep it rolling.
What do we think we know
- It should be a quick, bouncy, true and fast scoring pitch. Good batsmen like that as much as good bowlers.
- It shouldn’t turn much (that’s good because our spinner bowls straight breaks on a turner)
- The weather could play a part as it looks unsettled for the next couple of days.
- England are confident and controlling the match with their bowlers.
- India don’t look happy nor up for the fight – really, I’m not sure about that – one bad game!
- Both teams have tried incredibly hard in every session in this series.
It looks like every bookie knows what we know on the surface of it. For me the draw is too short, which means there must be some value in the other two prices and I think the value is in India at 5/1. In horseracing terms we forgive most horses one run on the basis that it was too bad to be true and on the flip side surely England’s performance was too good to be true last test. So the bet I am recommending is