Panesar spins England to the brink of victory with another five wickets
Monty Panesar put England on the verge of victory over India in the second test of the series after taking five wickets on day three.
Before that Kevin Pieterson smashed a stunning 186 as he and captain Alastair Cook (122) dominated the hosts with the bat, to leave England 1/16 on for the win.
With India setting a first innings total of 327, England would have been happy with their respective haul of 413 all-out.
Pieterson and Cook shouldered the batting responsibility with exceptional hitting displays, both recording their 22nd test hundreds to place them level with the nation’s finest batsmen in history.
Geoffrey Boycott, Colin Cowdrey and Wally Hammond also sit on 22 career centuries, but Ladbrokes are expecting one of England’s in-form stars to lead the way soon enough.
Cook is the 4/6 favourite to grab that 23rd hundred first, with Pieterson given odds of 6/5. Neither man to take the record can also be backed at 50/1.
It was the Cook’s opening 122 from 270 that got the travelling team off to a great start in their first innings, while Pieterson managed to upstage the skipper by falling just 14 runs short of 200.
After England had batted to an 83-run lead it was the spinners time to shine – specifically Monty Panesar who took five wickets to take his total in the second test to 10.
In doing so he became the first England spinner to take 10 wickets in India since Hedley Verity in Madras back in 1934.
Graeme Swann also forced two catches himself as the visitor’s bowlers imposed themselves on the home side.
India now have just three wickets remaining to post a respectful score for England to beat, but with odds of 8/1 for victory such a result seems farfetched.
Few punters will be backing the draw at 66/1, with conditions looking good and England in a good position to level up the series to 1-1.
Going back to Cook and the 27-year-old is heavy odds-on to smash more test records in the future, priced at 1/500 to better Graham Gooch’s career run haul of 8,900.
The Gloucester-born batsman is still yet to hit 7,000 runs, but with his best years still to come he is also a favourite at 1/100 to break the ten thousand barrier.
When will Cook beat Gooch’s record and reach 8900 Test runs?
2012/13 – 33/1
2014 – 13/8
2015 – 8/15
2016 – 16/1
2017 or later – 33/1
Never – 33/1
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.