England will begin the second Test as overwhelming favourites for victory following their 170-run demolition of New Zealand at Lords.
The bowling mastery of James Anderson and Stuart Broad tore through the Kiwi’s batting line up and they look set for another nightmarish few days on the swinging pitch at Headingley. The conditions clearly favour the hosts and play a huge part in their 4/7 favouritism.
The 8/1-rated tourists have recalled veteran spinner Daniel Vettori to the squad on account of an injury to Chris Martin, while keeper BJ Watling has also been sidelined meaning Brendan McCullum will resort to his familiar role behind the stumps.
On top of their second-innings catastrophe at Lords, the omens don’t favour New Zealand, who lost by nine wickets on their last venture to Yorkshire.
A second-innings capitulation cost them on that occasion, after McCullum and Vettori had put a shift in with the bat in the first.
Their current skipper hit a first-innings 54 batting at number seven and can be backed at 5/6 to register of 26.5 runs this time.
Despite having an hellish time in the first Test, the 4/1 on offer for Kiwi opener Peter Fulton to hit a half century in his country’s first innings could prove a decent punt.
He clearly struggled in the English conditions, mustering a pitiful three runs following two stints at the crease, but had hit one 50 and two scores north of 100 in five innings of batting against the England attack prior to that dismal showing.
If he can rediscover his touch before this series-saving encounter then he could reward punters.
In terms of the visitor’s bowling unit, there’s also some value to be had backing certain Kiwi’s to pick up more first innings wickets than their English counterparts.
Both sets of attacks enjoyed it on the Lords track with Trent Boult and Tim Southee causing the England batsmen plenty of problems. Neil Wagner, however, is the player to keep an eye on. He is a 5/2 shot to outscore Steven Finn, who didn’t really cash in on the charitable circumstances in the series curtain-raiser.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date