It was always going to be a pressure cooker situation for England after India had declared on 521 runs, although the tourists were cheaply skittled out and it was only captain Cook and Matt Prior that could offer any resistance as the home team won by nearly an innings.
The Indians are even money (BetVictor free bets) to take a 2-0 series lead in Mumbai where the pitch is likely to have been prepared in the same way and that means a spinning wicket where the England batsmen will hope to perform better.
It wasn’t a pretty sight to see the likes of Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell go for a duck and England really need these players to improve, while the same applies to Kevin Pietersen who has always been the one batsman to handle spin well.
Cook was clearly the stand-out English player in that 1st Test and he’s the 3/1 favourite (Sportingbet) to score the most runs for his team again, although Matt Prior could be worth an each-way bet at 9/1 (Boylesports) considering the wicket keeper consistently plays well when called upon to score some runs.
If you think the tourists can level the series in Mumbai, the England win can be backed at 5/1 although one wonders after last week’s match as to how exactly they might take 20 Indian wickets over a five-day match.
After all, India were on 521 runs when they chose to declare and that included Cheteshwar Pujara putting together a double century, with the 24-year-old a relatively inexperienced Test player. More bite is needed in the England bowling attack and Monty Panesar might be included to play along with Graeme Swann.
It’s the two spinners that head the Top England Bowler market and Swann could be a bet to nothing at 2/1 (Sky Bet) after taking five wickets last week, with Patel, Pietersen and Anderson managing one apiece.
As for the home team, Pragyan Ojha well and truly announced himself with a fine bowling performance which saw him take a grand total of eight wickets and he’s unsurprisingly the 7/4 favourite to have the supporters celebrating again with a bumper wicket haul.