Ravi Bopara has been in fine form for England for much of the summer and this is why he looks way overpriced at 8/1 in the cricket betting to top score in the opening one-day international in India.
Bopara was a regular contributor with the bat when England recently hosted India on home soil, scoring 24, 40, 96 and 37 not out after being brought into the side.
He continued his solid stretch of form by top-scoring with another 73 as England got their one-day tour of India off to a winning start against Hyderabad.
It would therefore be a travesty if he was not a member of England’s middle order to return to Hyderabad to face India, even if Kevin Pietersen has returned to the set up.
Bopara’s steady and unexpansive style of batting could be a major plus in India, where England could largely benefit from keeping the singles ticking over rather than constantly targeting the big shots.
With the pitches in India likely to favour spin and keep low, there may be little opportunity for players to get their hands under the ball to loft it into the stands, meaning that the accumulation of singles could be even more important than normal in a 50-over game.
Meanwhile, with Craig Kieswetter, Pietersen and to a lesser extent Ian Bell keen to play their shots around him and dominate the Indian bowlers, the patience and composure of Bopara could be doubly valuable.
Jonathan Trott is another of England’s more consistent and uncomplicated batsmen and it is no surprise that he heads the betting for England’s top runscorer in the first one-day game at 7/2, alongside captain Alastair Cook.
England’s cricket odds are 11/10 to take a 1-0 lead over India, with the hosts favourites at 8/11 to make amends for their dismal tour of England by winning the opening clash.