England vs India: Best chance for visitors to gain first tour win
If India are to leave their tour of England with a victory then the third one-day game at The Oval surely represents their best chance of doing so.
Winless in the Test series, at least India seem to have sorted out their batting in the previous one-day encounters, despite being without the likes of Sachin Tendlkar, Gautem Gambhir and Virender Sehwag.
The big problem has been in their bowling attack, most notably as none of their fast bowlers have the necessary pace to cause too many problems.
With the final two one-day matches on traditionally seam friendly pitches, the clash at The Oval may offer the most support to India’s medium pace and spin attack.
India are 11/8 in the cricket odds to claim victory and their chances are also supported by the fact that England will be without much of their middle order.
With Kevin Pietersen rested and Eoin Morgan injured, Ravi Bopara and Ben Stokes may get to spend numerous overs in the middle and with both out to prove their credentials, the pressure may get to them, particularly if they are involved in a tight run chase.
England’s bowling has certainly been the stronger in the series and with captain Alastair Cook in fine batting form at the top of the innings, they are rightly 4/7 favourites to take a 2-0 lead in the one-day series.
In terms of the best bets for the match, Graeme Swann looks great value at 3/1 to be England’s top wicket-taker.
Swann claimed three scalps at the Rose Bowl and with The Oval surface being even more conducive to spin, he should at worst emulate this figure.
Ajinkya Rahane already has two 50s against England this summer and the opener can continue his decent run of form with another useful contribution.
The 27-year-old definitely looks the pick of the options in the top Indian runscorer market at 4/1, which is the same price as Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli and Parthiv Patel.