India vs. England – First Test Betting Odds and Predictions – August 04
The Indian cricket team has been in England for over a month preparing for the five-match test series against England. The first test in Nottingham will start on August 04, and it is critical for both sides to start on a winning note as it takes the pressure of the winning team going into the second test.
India Have Good Warm-Up Game
India has so far played two games in England, with the first being the World Test Championship finals against New Zealand, which they lost. Their second game took place on July 20 against a County Select XI, and it was a good outing for most Indian players.
M Agarwal is set to open the batting with Rohit Sharma after S Gill suffered an injury and was ruled out. R Sharma batted just once and failed, but Agarwal did spend some time in the middle and made 47 in the second innings. KL Rahul looked the best of the lot and made an impressive 101, while R Jadeja pushed his case for selection, making 75 and 51 with the bat.
U Yadav (3) and M Siraj (2) were the picks of the bowlers, while all of the others ended up taking a wicket each. It was a pretty good warm-up game overall, even though Virat Kohli and R Pant did not play. Pant has recovered from COVID and is expected to play the first test.
England – Betting Favorites For First Test
England goes in as betting favourites for the first test with odds of 3.0, while India is the underdogs with odds of 2.20. Expect these odds to change a bit as we get close to the start of the first test. The odds of the first test ending in a draw are currently at 3.75.
The weather forecast in Nottingham as of now predicts a bit of rain on the 4th and 5th of August, but it is not expected to cause any major interruptions. However, given the chances of it being a bit cloudy, the side that wins the toss is likely to bowl first.
It’s no surprise that England is going in as the betting favourites as they are playing at home and are much more familiar with the conditions. Another reason England is expected to win is that they will be playing at full strength as most of their top players are back in action.
England has selected a 17 member squad for the first two tests, and the most notable names missing from the squad are fast bowler J Archer and all-rounder Chris Woakes who are still recovering from injury.
England Squad: Joe Root (capt), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Zak Crawley, Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler, James Anderson, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad, Dom Bess, Sam Curran, Jack Leach, Dan Lawrence, Ollie Robinson and Dom Sibley.
India – Better Prepared For First Test
India generally struggles to get going in the first test during an overseas tour. This is usually because the Indian team does not get a lot of time to adjust to the conditions and tends to get better as the series progresses.
This will not be the case for the first test as team India has had over a month to get accustomed to the conditions and have a lot of rest waiting for the five-match test series. While most of their time has been spent in the nets, it showed during the tour match as both the batsmen and bowlers looked very comfortable.
What will be interesting for India is the playing XI that they will select for the first test. In the past, India has also struggled in the first test because they got their playing XI wrong.
The batting line-up is more or less settled as R Sharma and M Agarwal will open, C Pujara will come in at three, the captain V Kohli at four and the vice-captain A Rahane at 5. The number six spot would have gone to H Vihari but, the selectors might be tempted to give KL Rahul a go after his impressive century.
R Pant will take the gloves and bat at 7. The three fast bowlers are likely to be J Bumrah, M Shami and U Yadav. R Ashwin was expected to get the nod ahead of R Jadeja for the first test, but given Jadeja’s impressive showing with the bat and the fact that he played the warm-up game, don’t be surprised if Jadeja gets picked for the first test.
India vs. England – First Test – Verdict
While the bookmakers have backed England to win, we will back India to cause an upset in the first test and take a 1-0 lead in the series.