England might not have been too impressive when beating Sri Lanka 1-0 in the three-Test series earlier this summer, although Andrew Strauss’ team have saved their best for the series against India and recently became the world number one side after winning at Edgbaston, a victory that followed triumphs at Lord’s and Trent Bridge.
It is hard to remember a time when England were blessed with so many talented players, with the team excelling with bat and ball against a side that have looked increasingly disinterested as the series has worn on.
Strauss’ side have showed no mercy all the way through and they can be backed at 6/5 (bet365 – £200 free bets) to complete the whitewash at The Oval this week, with the weather likely to be the only thing that stops the home side from delivering a humiliation which will see the tourists heavily criticised upon their return to India.
Light rain on Thursday will give way to sunny intervals throughout the weekend and the draw is surprisingly short at 13/10 (Paddy Power – £100 free betting), although perhaps the Indians will dig deep and try to protect their wicket better, with the team struggling to get beyond 200 runs in any given innings.
If you fancy the tourists to grab a late consolation, Blue Square offer 6/1 that the series finishes 3-1, although there are so many holes to pick in the team that so easily relinquished their number one tag. The bowling attack wasn’t that strong to begin with and has since been depleted, while Rahul Dravid has been the only batsman capable of scoring runs.
Dravid rates as a decent bet at 7/2 (Ladbrokes) to score the most runs for India in the 1st innings, with Sachin Tendulkar’s quest for his 100th century set to go on beyond this series. The Little Master has battled gamely and can be backed at 4/1 to be the leading light for his side.
It is a lot easier to pick out the Top India Batsman than the Top England Batsman, although Alastair Cook will arrive at The Oval brimming with confidence after an amazing knock at Edgbaston which saw the Essex player score 296 runs which is more than India managed between them. Cookie is slight favourite at 7/2 with Paddy Power, although the law of averages suggests it could be someone else.
Captain Strauss is a 9/2 chance with bet365, while Kevin Pietersen is available at 5/1 (Blue Square), with Ian Bell (5/1 William Hill) another player likely to be popular when it comes to this particular market.
Coral offer a very tempting 4/7 that England have a lead after the teams’ respective 1st innings – it is almost unthinkable that India can manage more runs.