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Michael Vaughan: Draw looks the value bet in Kolkata

Kevin Pietersen showed his genius in Mumbai

"I think we'll see a different game in Kolkata. It looks like a similar to pitch to Ahmedabad - no real pace or bounce and with slower turn - so I'd expect both teams to score heavily."

With his spangly shirts and tight trousers now firmly back in the wardrobe, Michael Vaughan turns his attention to the third India v England Test. He's expecting an attritional encounter, with a stalemate the most likely result

After the first day in Mumbai, with the ball turning square, I wouldn't have been the only one to expect India to blow England away. But Cook, Pietersen and Panesar performed superbly to drive the tourists to a remarkable victory, putting them well in the hunt to win the series.

While Cook set the foundations and Monty took the wickets, it was that sublime innings from KP that set England up for the win. It's the sort of innings only he - and maybe AB de Villiers - could play. The way he flayed the bowlers on a pitch that was doing plenty was unbelievable. He's just a genius

I think we'll see a different game in Kolkata. It looks like a similar to pitch to Ahmedabad - no real pace or bounce and with slower turn - so I'd expect both teams to score heavily. 

The England batsman have been playing the Indian spinners well and it will be tougher for Panesar than in Mumbai, where the pace and bounce suited his repetitive style.

With this in mind, I think a price of 3.02/1 or above will be decent value for the draw - particularly with a good chance of some shortened days because of the bad light in Kolkata. Keep an eye on the market.

Looking at the top batsman markets, I have to stick with Pietersen at 4.47/2 after our 4.84/1 tip paid off last time out. He can knock off a century off 120 balls and he loves playing in India; he's idolised over there.

Top Indian batsman is a difficult one to call. Gambhir's too inconsistent and Tendulkar can't buy a run. Pujara has been the main man so far, but I'll go with Sehwag at 5.49/2 for similar reasons as KP - he doesn't need many balls to get into three figures.

I'm expecting a fit again Steven Finn to replace Stuart Broad, with Ian Bell returning with either Jonny Bairstow or Samit Patel missing out. I'll be back at the end of Day Two with my in-running tips.

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04 December 2012

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