This series is set up perfectly as the teams arrive at Lord’s. The first Test at Edgbaston will live long in the memory, particularly for England fans who saw their team victorious on a dramatic final day.
England are without Ben Stokes for the second Test – who is in court this week – and have opted to drop Dawid Malan for youngster Ollie Pope.
Pope is just 20-years-old and averages 85.50 in the County Championship this season. The Surrey man is expected to slot in at number four, while England rejig the balance of their side in the absence of all-rounder Stokes.
India are likely to make changes too. Spin will play a big part at Lord’s, meaning Kuldeep Yadav could be brought in to the team to accompany Ravichandran Ashwin. Ashwin tormented the England batsmen at Edgbaston, taking seven wickets in the match.
He’s a great price at 5/4 to take over 2.5 wickets in the first innings. Kuldeep at 6/1 to be the first innings top bowler is worth considering as well.
Only one Indian batsman shone in the first Test. Of course, it was the masterful Virat Kohli. He made England pay for missed chances in the first innings as his teammates struggled around him and carried Indian hopes of victory into the fifth day until he was dismissed by Stokes.
It’s no surprise to see Kohli as favourite for top batsman honours once again. The 13/4 price is just too short, though. Even Kohli fails sometimes.
The 3/4 price on England to have the top batsman is a good one. Away from Kohli, India looked shaky. England had more players who looked capable of a big knock.
Jonny Bairstow was at his best in the first innings with a dashing 70. The wicketkeeper-batsman has developed into one of the world’s best middle order batsmen. He looks good value at 17/2 to be the top batsman in the first innings.
Despite looking innocuous at times in the first Test, Mohamed Shami is one of the best bowling bets. Shami is 9/10 to take more wickets in the first innings than Sam Curran.
Curran was magnificent at Edgbaston but is unlikely to have the same success at Lord’s. Everything went right for the young left-armer in the first Test, he will struggle to take wickets without helpful conditions.
James Anderson is a regular feature atop the bowling odds. Anderson shares the 9/2 favourite price with Ashwin on this occasion but is still a good bet.
While Curran and Stokes took the plaudits, Anderson was his usual self. He only took four wickets in the match, but his control played a big part in the success of England’s bowling unit. Anderson went for just 91 runs in his 38 overs as Indian batsmen – including Kohli – went into their shell against him.
England are in at 21/20 to win at Lord’s. India’s 7/4 looks much better value than that given the spin-friendly conditions and the absence of Stokes. England’s batting was fragile, and they are very dependent on Curran to deliver again with the ball.
India, meanwhile, will be more than happy to rely on Ashwin and Kuldeep to bowl England out. Ashwin at 10/1 to be man of the match is a decent price.
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*