England vs India: Fourth test promises to be a lot closer
James Anderson’s fitness is the only dark cloud hanging over England as they head into the fourth test against India at the Oval.
England have been brilliant in the series so far and have an unassailable 3-0 lead.
Their demolition job at Edgbaston by an innings at 242 runs has seen England climb to No.1 in the world and they head into this game as 6/5 favourites.
However, it might not be as straightforward this time out, with England potentially missing one of the third test stars – James Anderson.
Anderson was excellent in the second innings, skittling out the Indian top three for just 32 runs and bowling at an economy of 4.72. Throughout the test he’s taken 18 wickets at 24.27.
Despite his injury, Anderson is still favourite to be England’s leading wicket taker at 2/1.
A better bet though may be to back Stuart Broad at 5/2. The Nottinghamshire man was fantastic in the second test, taking six wickets in the second innings to put England firmly in the driving seat.
If Anderson doesn’t make it then India will fancy their chances to take advantage of England’s depleted attack at 9/2.
They will have their work cut out though. Rahul Dravid has top scored for India this summer with 117 at Trent Bridge and can be backed at 7/2 to top score for India in this final test.
Meanwhile, India’s best single innings total has been a less than inspiring 288 –also at Trent Bridge. The Indians will need to improve vastly on that total if they are to test an England team high on confidence and bang in form.