India v England Cricket Betting Preview – Wednesday 9th November By @herefordrich

India v England, 1st Test – Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium at 03:30 live on Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports Mix

The Scene

Apart from the Ashes, five match Test series are about as rare these days as a Kumar Dharmasena correct umpiring decision. This is the first time India has hosted a five match series in the games longest form since Pakistan visited, some 29 years ago. It’s also the first time England have contested an away five match series (other than against Australia) since touring South Africa in 2004/2005.

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Rajkot hosts the first match before the series head to Vizag, Mohali, Mumbai and Chennai. There are bound to be large ebbs and flows that accompany any elongated Test series, but make no mistake, this promises to be the toughest of assignments for Alastair Cook’s men over the coming weeks.

Virat Kohli’s India are on a roll in Test matches, unbeaten in 11 matches against 4 different Test playing nations. At home they haven’t lost since England turned them over in Calcutta, all the way back in 2012. England meanwhile arrive days after gifting Bangladesh their biggest Test match win in their history and a one-all series draw.

A big part of India’s success’ at home against the likes of Australia, South Africa and more recently New Zealand has been the nature of the surfaces curated to undoubtedly suit the strengths of the home side.

Rajkot might be a new venue to Test cricket but expect much of the same – turn from day one and plenty of men around the bat – especially when Ravi Ashwin is bowling.


Rajkot is steaming hot at present – scorching sunshine and temperatures in the mid to late 30c’s can be expected for all five days – if the match goes its entirety, of course.

The Venue

The Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot, hosts its first ever Test match this week. Because of this we have to turn to the Ranji trophy for recent first and second innings performances at this venue –

Recent First Innings First Class scores – 551, 239, 102, 238, 519

Recent Second Innings First Class scores – 437, 258, 148, 226, 273

Recent Results in First Class cricket here – Draw, Draw, W (side bat 1st), W (side bat 1st), W (side bat 1st)

Batting in the 1st innings of the match in this period – Average 329

Batting in the 2nd innings of the match in this period – Average 268

NOTE – (we’ve ignored 3rd and 4th match innings for the purposes of this column which has been written for each sides 1st innings of the Test)

Form Guide & First Inns Runs

Here are India’s last ten 1st innings scores in Tests, plus result in brackets –

316 (W) 318 (W) DNB* (D) 353 (W) 500 (D) 566 (W) 334 (W) 215 (W) 80/0* (D) 201 (W) –

Average 350

Here are England’s last ten 1st innings scores in Tests, plus result in brackets –

244 (L) 293 (W) 328 (L) 297 (W) 589/8d (W) 272 (L) 416 (D) 498/9d (W) 298 (W) 342 (L)

Average 357


India are without Shikar Dhawan, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma for the foreseeable, so expect Gautam Gambhir to continue at the top of the order. Murali Vijay averages 39.7 in 42 Test matches and will be keen to cement his place in the XI given the injuries to others. Chet Pujara looks back to his best with a century in the recent series win against New Zealand and an average of 74, whilst captain Kohli (below) can surely only improve on what is a dire record against England. Ajinkya Rahane has a Test ton versus Cook’s men but will be keen to improve on an overall average of 33 that is his lowest against all Test nations expect Sri Lanka. Wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha’s recent performances have stopped even the most hardened of Dhoni’s supporters craving their hero – Saha averaged 112 against New Zealand with two fifties in three knocks – this on the back of the away series in the West Indies in which he scored his first century. Ravi Ashwin will surely be the main man with the ball. The canny off-spinner took 27 wickets in the 3 match New Zealand series and now has 220 wickets in 39 Test matches. Ravi Jadeja is ever dangerous is the surface is low and slow with his slow left armers whilst seam should come from Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav.

England can’t say they are not prepared for this series. The players that perform in ODI’s and Test matches have been in Asia for well over a month now and of course the red ball specialists come in straight from a win in Chittagong and a loss in Dhaka. Alastair Cook had a quiet series against Bangladesh but arrives in India with a career batting average of 54.2 against the hosts. Cook debuted in Nagpur way back in 2006 and has scored 5 centuries and 7 fifties in 20 Tests versus India. Ben Duckett is likely to start the series as his opener after a busy 56 in the unsuccessful run chase in Dhaka whilst Joe Root’s 98 runs in 4 innings in the ‘Desh was way down on his expectations. Will Gary Ballance get another gig? A high score of 9 and just 24 runs suggest he could make way for Jos Buttler. If Buttler comes in, expect Jonny Bairstow to slip up to four in the order. Ben Stokes starred in Bangladesh with 128 runs and 11 wickets whilst fellow all-rounder Moeen Ali will have a big part to play with bat and ball. Moeen also struck 11 times in Bangladesh but his economy rate of 3.3 an over needs to come down. Gareth Batty could return after missing out in Dhaka whilst Broad (below) will lead the Jimmy Anderson-less seam attack alongside Chris Woakes.

Ones to Watch

Virat Kohli is a monster in modern day cricket terms. An ever improving India Test career average of 45 is only sub-fifty due to his surprisingly poor record against England. In 17 innings, Kohli averages just 20.1 with just one century and zero fifties. This will surely only improve over these five matches, starting this week in Rajkot.


Cricket Betting

Virat Kohli

Stuart Broad bowled England to victory in Chittagong with a mature display that befitted his 360 career Test wickets. Broad debuted in Sri Lanka some nine years ago and with no Jimmy Anderson for at least the first Test, his experience will be vital for Alastair Cook to turn to when the going gets tough.

First Innings Runs Markets

If India bat first I recommend backing any OVERS RUNS around the 300-305 mark.

If England bat first I recommend backing any UNDER RUNS around the 300-305 mark.

Top First Innings Batsman Market

Chet Pujara made a double ton during the 1st Test of the last series England played in India. He looks decent value to top score for the hosts at 5.0 here.

This could be a straight shoot out between Cook and Root all tour, but lets look down the order for now until either of England’s big two show signs of their best form. Jos Buttler is as high as 13.0 to top score here and looks a great bet – we get stakes back if he doesn’t get a place in the final XI.

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @herefordrich


Australia v South Africa Cricket Betting Preview – Thursday 3rd November By @herefordrich

Australia v South Africa, 1st Test – WACA Ground at 02:00 live on BT Sport 3

The Scene

A three match Test series begins in the early hours of Thursday morning UK time as Australia entertain South Africa at the WACA in Perth.

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The home side will be relieved to be back on home soil following a three-nil defeat in Sri Lanka in Tests and a five-nil ODI drubbing in South Africa last month. Steven Smith’s side are a force to be reckoned with anywhere outside of Asia, however Perth has not been a kind ground to Australia whenever South Africa come to town. Rare home defeats in 2012 and 2008 followed a drawn Test here in 2005 – this is a ground which South Africa seem to love playing at.

Faf du Plessis takes charge again following a recent one-nil Test series win at home to New Zealand. With AB de Villiers out injured, South Africa are missing not just their best player, but also a man who scored centuries during both Perth victories.

This should be a fascinating match-up however Sky Sports customers in the UK prepared to be disappointed. This is the first Test to be broadcast live on BT Sport.


Hot and sunny weather will be present throughout the Test with temperatures peaking round the 33c mark on Saturday. There is a sub 5% chance of rain delays.

The Venue

Here’s a list of sides 1st innings scores at the WACA in the last five Tests along with the winner/result of each Test in bold text –

2015 – 1st inns – 559/9d (AUS), 2nd inns – 624 (NZ) – DRAW

2013 – 1st inns – 385 (AUS), 2nd inns – 251 (ENG) – AUS

2012 – 1st inns – 225 (SA), 2nd inns – 163 (AUS) – SA

2012 – 1st inns – 161 (IND), 2nd inns – 369 (AUS) – AUS

2010– 1st inns – 268 (AUS), 2nd inns – 187 (ENG) – AUS

Batting in the 1st innings of the match in this period – Average 319

Batting in the 2nd innings of the match in this period – Average 318

NOTE – (we’ve ignored 3rd and 4th match innings for the purposes of this column which has been written for each sides 1st innings of the Test)

Form Guide & First Inns Runs

Here are Australia’s last ten 1st innings scores in Tests, plus result in brackets –

379 (L) 106 (L) 203 (L) 505 (W) 562 (W) 176/2 (D) 551/3d (W) 583/4d (W) 224 (W) –

Average 345

Here are South Africa‘s last ten 1st innings scores in Tests, plus result in brackets –

481/8d (W) 263 (D) 475 (W) 313 (L) 627/7d (D) 214 (L) 121 (L) 79 (L) 214 (D) 184 (L) –

Average 297



Opening batsman Joe Burns is the biggest Australia casualty post Sri Lanka whitewash. Shaun Marsh took Burns’ place in the 3rd Test in Colombo and cashed in with 130 in first innings – a rare positive during a desperately poor series for the Aussie batsmen. David Warner will of course open alongside Marsh on a ground in which he averages 95 courtesy of 3 hundreds in 7 knocks. Smith also made a ton in Colombo but his average of 41 for the series was below his high standards. Usman Khawaja was dropped for that Colombo Test but will surely return here on aground in which he scored a hundred against New Zealand last summer. Adam Voges did have a career average of over 100 in Tests until scrambling just 118 runs in 6 knocks in Sri Lanka whilst all-rounder Mitchell Marsh will continue to bat six. Wicket-keeper Peter Nevill still only has a Test high score of 66 in 19 innings and needs to contribute more with the bat. Off spin from Nathan Lyon has now struck 211 times in Tests whilst Starc (below), Josh Hazlewood and Peter Siddle are likely to make up a three-strong pace attack.

South Africa will field a very different XI from the one that won in Perth so handsomely four years ago. Hashim Amla, Dean Elgar, du Plessis, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel are all survivors of the side that beat Australia in 2012, however Elgar is now an opening batsman instead of a middle order nurdeler and Morne Morkel hasn’t played an international since last June. Amla made a brilliant 196 in the 2nd innings here last time around and with the absence of the likes of Smith, Kallis (retired) and de Villiers (injured), he will surely be key to the visitors success. du Plessis scored a century as skipper against New Zealand last time out and has fond memories of the ground having made 78* and 27 in 2012. 33 year-old Stephen Cook should open alongside Elgar but comes into the series having made just 5, 12 and 0 in the warm-up matches. Rabada (below) will lead the attack alongside a refreshed Dale Steyn who took 10 wickets at 10.2 apiece against New Zealand.


Ones To Watch

Mitchell Starc is one of the quickest bowlers in world cricket, who should return here after a nasty wound on his foot last month. Starc took a remarkable 24 wickets in the Sri Lanka series and will be keen to improve on a Test career average of 27.3 for Australia.


Cricket Betting

Mitchell Starc

Kagiso Rabada should enjoy bowling on even a flat Perth wicket – as long as there is pace and bounce – he will surely be handful for a fragile looking Australian middle order. Rabada has taken 29 wickets in just 8 Tests, including a best of 7/112. With Steyn and Morkel not getting any younger, expect Rabada to lead the South Africa attack for many years to come.

Runs Markets

Whoever bats first I recommend backing any OVER RUNS around the 310-315 mark.

Top First Innings Batsman Market

As indicated above, David Warner loves this ground. He can be backed at 4.33 to top score for Australia in their first digs.

Wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock looks to be the value for South Africa. He can be found valued at 8.0 to top score for the visitors.

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @herefordrich.