Three batsmen are all priced at 4/1 to be England’s top runscorer in the first Test match with Pakistan, but Alastair Cook must be the best pick of the trio given his solid batting in the UAE thus far.
While most of the remainder of England’s batting unit failed to flourish in the tense three-wicket success over a ICC Combined XI in their first warm up game ahead of the Pakistan series, Cook stood out.
The opener scored 102 runs across the two innings and was the only player to show any kind of resistance in England’s opening batting effort, when he managed 76.
Now in their final warm up encounter in the UAE, it was Cook who was again responsible for almost half of England’s runs in their first innings against a Pakistan Cricket Board XI.
Cook was the last man out as his decisive footwork helped him amass 133 in England’s average effort of 269-9 before opting to declare.
The worrying news for England was that on a pitch that was largely suited to spin, many of their batsmen misfired and things are likely to be even tougher when Saeed Ajmal is thrown the ball in the first Test.
Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell both ended with ducks, while Eoin Morgan flattered to deceive for the third innings in succession.
Matt Prior did a decent job of keeping Cook company in the middle and he should improve further after missing the victory over the ICC XI.
Punters wanting to oppose Cook in the top runscorer betting, could do worse than opt for Prior at 12/1, particularly given his tendency to attack and score runs quickly.
It is Trott and captain Andrew Strauss who are the other options at 4/1 to top the England run scoring charts in the UAE against Pakistan.