India v England: Visitors generously priced for third Test victory

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England prepare for the third test against India in buoyant mood after levelling the series thanks to a dominant 10-wicket win last time out.

Having looked down and out after a comprehensive defeat in the opening test, the visitors are now 7/2 to complete their first test series success on Indian soil since 1985.

Andy Flower’s side relied upon batsman Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen, and bowlers Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann, to do the damage in the second test in Mumbai.

But those four were particularly impressive, with Pieterson’s 186 in the first innings and Panesar’s 11 wickets over both stunning the hosts.

India are still favourites at 10/11 to triumph in the series, but England’s showing in the second test is sure to see some money backed on the reigning Ashes champions.

In terms of match betting, again the Indians are a short price of 6/5 to win the third test, led by the experienced MS Dhoni.

The home side do have an advantage in that they are coached by Duncan Fletcher, who is often cited as having played a key role in rejuvenating and developing the existing English outfit.

But at 11/4, England are an attractive proposition to achieve victory in in Calcutta, fresh off the back of such a morale-boosting victory in the second test.

The draw is at 7/4, but those short odds are to be avoided given the nature of one-sided matches the series has seen so far.

The top runscorer betting is unsurprisingly led by Cook and Pietersen for England, with the skipper the 11/4 frontrunner to post the visitor’s highest score in the first innings, and the recalled KP a touch longer at 3/1.

Early order pair Jonathan Trott and Nick Compton are 4/1 and 5/1 respectively, while new-boy Jonny Bairstow is an 8/1 option if he keeps his place in the side.

Other specials from Ladbrokes are worth keeping an eye on, such as who will triumph in the battle to become the first Englishman to post 23 test centuries.

Cook and Pietersen can be backed together at 12/1 to copy their performances in Mumbai and both record scores of 100 runs or more, and would be tredding previously unchartered territory in the history books by doing so.

More likely however, is that one of them ends the series as England’s top runscorer, and Cook is heavy odds-on at 1/4 to end up on top while Pietersen is a 3/1 bet.

Elsewhere, Panesar’s return to the bowling line-up for the second test was a wholehearted success, as he became the first England spinner to take 10 wickets in India since Hedley Verity in Madras back in 1934.

Ladbrokes go 10/1 that the Luton-born left-hander takes 10 wickets in the match, odds that would almost prove too good to be true for English fans.

The third test is delicately balanced, and it certainly promises to be an intriguing encounter after two extremely open matches.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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