Thu, Sep 6, 12:37pm by Staff Writer
England heads into the fifth and final Test of their series with India holding an unassailable 3-1 advantage.
The hosts are $1.78 to win the match at the Oval beginning on Friday night (AEST), with India priced at $3 to win at Sportsbet. A draw is paying $5.90.
This match will be the final Test match in the career of one of England’s most decorated players Alastair Cook.
The 33-year-old opening batsman retires from international cricket as England’s top run-scorer in Test matches at 12,254 runs. He has amassed 32 centuries in 160 Tests – all England records.
Despite his illustrious record, the former captain has struggled in recent times, averaging just 18.62 runs in 16 innings this year, and has not scored a 50 in the current series against India.
England won the fourth test in Southampton by 60 runs and have retained the same batting lineup for the fifth Test.
The first innings in Southampton belonged to the visitors as they scored 273 runs to England’s 246 to hold a 27 run lead at the innings change.
Cheteshwar Pujara top scored with 132 not out for India, while Moeen Ali took five wickets for 63 runs.
India was set 245 runs to win in the second innings after the hosts were bowled out for 271 runs. They were reduced to 3/22 on an uneven pitch early in the second innings and struggled.
Moeen Ali took four wickets in the second innings to cap a man of the match performance, and we also chipped in with 40 runs in England’s first innings.
The result caps a wonderful summer of cricket for England, who have only lost one series at home since 2012.
James Vince was drafted into the squad as a back-up for Jonny Bairstow for the fourth Test but has been released back to his county team for this match.
Opening batsman Keaton Jennings has had a lean series, managing only 130 runs this series at an average of 18.57. He retain his spot, as England’s opening pairing of Jennings and Cook has been underwhelming during all five matches.
The role of wicket keeper is open in the England team after Bairstow’s finger injury pushed Chris Woakes into the role in Southampton.
Joe Root is the $4 to be the top England run-scorer in the first innings at Sportsbet, with Bairstow ($6) and Cook ($6.50) sure to be figure in the runs.
For India, captain Virat Kohli has been one of their most consistent players all series and is $3.30 to be their top run-scorer in the first innings. Fresh off a century in Southampton, Cheteshwar Pujara is $4 to score the most runs for the visitors in the first innings.
Kohli ($8) is the favourite in the man of the match market, with Joe Root ($9.50) and Alastair Cook ($10) the next best.
England should win this match quite well; given it is Cook’s final international game. He is great value to be man of the match, so we are banking on one final great performance from one of the best opening batsman we have seen.
Best bet- Alastair Cook to win man of the match at $10
England v India Odds – Sportsbet
England $1.78 Draw $5.90 India $3
Top First Innings England Runscorer
Joe Root $4
Jonny Bairstow $6
Alastair Cook $6.50
Joss Buttler $6.50
Keaton Jennings $6.50
Top First Innings India Runscorer
Virat Kohli $3.30
Cheteshwar Pujara $4
Ajinkya Rahane $6
Privthi Shaw $6
Shikhar Dhawan $6
Man of the Match
Virat Kohli $8
Joe Root $9.50
Alastair Cook $10
Ben Stokes $13
Cheteshwar Pujara $13
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