India v England: Finn to return for massive third Test
England’s incredible effort in the second Test has done little to affect their underdog status ahead of the third instalment of the four-match series.
The Three Lions can be backed at 5/2 to follow up their 10-wicket mauling of India in Mumbai with a second successive victory as the tour heads to Kolkata, while the hosts remain favourites at 11/10.
An unadventurous, yet tempting bet based on Test match history at Eden Gardens is the draw at 11/5.
Five of England’s nine previous visits to this venue have ended all-square and they’ve managed just the solitary triumph in that time. It’s also worth noting that over half of the 37 Tests played in Kolkata have resulted in shared spoils.
More recent encounters, however, have been conducive to producing results, namely in favour of India.
There has been just two draws in the last 11 Tests at Eden Gardens, while the Indians haven’t suffered defeat in seven consecutive matches here, recording two innings-victories prior to this game after posting successive scores north of 600.
Captain MS Dhoni, in particular, has flourished on this track. He’ll be looking for a hat-trick of Kolkata centuries when the Indians host England, having racked up 144 and an unbeaten 132 in his last two, in addition to scoring 50 not out in his only other Test outing here.
Steven Finn has declared himself fit for selection for the first time on the tour and this will be a big boost for England as Stuart Broad labours with the ball.
However, with the pitch at Eden Gardens likely to favour the slower bowlers, his first Test against the Indians could prove a tricky one.
He can be backed at 5/6 to collect two or more first-innings wickets and can take encouragement from the performances of Zaheer Kahn and Umesh Yadav in the most recent Tests here. The latter took seven scalps against the West Indies, while the former helped himself to four in a demolition of South Africa in the game before.
Control and accuracy will be key to Finn’s effectiveness here with the pitch lacking in pace and, if he can replicate the efforts of Kahn and Yadav, then he can still have an impact in the third Test.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date