Starting on Wednesday, Edgbaston will play host to the first test in a five-game series between England and India.
With the world number one side looking to secure their first test series win in England since 2007, Grosvenor’s cricket expert brings you the best cricket odds for the series opener.
Inconsistent England favourites to take series lead
Whilst England’s Test side have struggled when touring under Trevor Bayliss, their strong record at home combined with India having looked unconvincing in their warm-up game against Essex, makes them evens with Grosvenorsport to win the first test.
India however, may well fancy their chances against an England side who have failed to perform consistently in recent years and a 2/1 price for them to win could prove good value.
England’s batting offers good value
As has often been the case since his debut against India 12 years ago, England will look to opener Alistair Cook to provide an anchor to their innings.
Cook has an impeccable record at Edgbaston with his last three innings at the Birmingham ground being 243, 66 and 45 and after a quiet series earlier in the summer the former skipper will be looking to find some runs – Cook to score a first innings century is a reasonable price of 11/2.
England will also be hoping that Jos Buttler can continue his superb 2018 in which for England he is averaging just shy of 50 across all formats and over 80 in Tests, Buttler to score a first innings half century at 9/4 looks great value.
England should be wary of the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin who currently sits fifth in the world test rankings.
Ashwin’s bowling will suit the dry pitch that is to be expected and against an English tail which has struggled in the past he is likely to find success, Ashwin to be the top bowler in the first innings may be backed at 6/1.
Kohli vulnerable to English conditions
Virat Kohli will be hoping to forget his last and only test tour of England in 2014, in which the skipper averaged a measly 13.40 across five matches.
Whilst Kohli’s batting has come on leaps and bounds since, he is certainly vulnerable to English conditions and more specifically the bowling of world number one James Anderson who dismissed him four times in the 2014 series. Kohli to score under 40.5 looks a very strong prospect at 5/6.
Further value could be found in the India batting with opener Shikhar Dhawan, who got a pair in their warm up against Essex, thus I would bet on Dhawan to score under 25.5, which is also 5/6.