India v England First Test Player Tips: 4/1 Axman cometh for India

Ravi Ashwin
Ashwion is 7/1 for man of the match

Ed Hawkins finds three player of the match bets plus wagers at 9/52.80, 4/15.00 and 8/19.00 for game one from Hyderabad on Thursday.

  • How to bet a spinning wicket

  • Axar strong value

  • Rahul reliable

  • Bairstow worth chancing

India v England
Thursday 25
January, 04.00
TV: Live on Sky Sports

Top India first-innings wicket-taker

Okay. So we all know that the Hyderabad surface is dry. Rahul Dravid has said so. Brendon McCullum has said so. It will spin. Prodigiously at some point. Just as the surfaces did when England were beaten in 2021.

But how do we bet on it? Do Spinners dominate the markets in the same way they do the headlines. You bet.

Let's look at India's top first-innings wicket-taker market to start off with. Of their last 12 home Tests, the market has been won nine times by a spinner; Ravi Ashwin three in 12, Axar Patel three in ten and Ravid Jadeja three in seven.

We would dearly love India to pick only two spinners so it makes our job easier. But we suspect they go with three.

Ashwin is the 21/10 favourite with Sportsbook followed by Ravi Jadeja at 5/23.50 and Axar Patel at 4/15.00.

We suspect Axar is the value. In three Tests at home against England he has 27 wickets at a strike rate of 28.3. It's true that Ashwin has played six more Tests for his 60 wickets at a strike rate of 49.5. But might England take more risks against Axar?

Back Axar Patel top India 1st inns bowler @ 4/15.00

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Player of the match

In those 12 home Tests, the man of the match award has gone to a spinner five times. Two to Jadeja, one to Axar and one to Ashwin. Nathan Lyon the odd one out as a visitor.

It may make sense to dutch the trio with prices big enough for decent returns. Ashwin is 7/18.00, Jadeja the same and Axar 11/112.00.

If you fancy England to win the Test, surely the shrewd money is on Jack Leach at 12/113.00 or Rehan Ahmed at 14/115.00. The bets are heavily related.

Back Axar Patel player of match @ 11/112.00

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Back Ravi Ashwin player of match @ 7/18.00

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Back Ravi Jadeja player of match @ 7/18.00

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First-innings runs markets

Jonny Bairstow, freed from the role of keeping, may enjoy his return as a specialist batter.

Bairstow looks chunky at [8/1] for first-innings top bat for England. He has three wins in 15 and as a decent player of spin may deserve more respect.

Back Back Jonny Bairstow top England 1st inns bat @ 8/19.00

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We do note the value in Ben Foakes at 16/117.00 having to launch a rescue mission. it is certainly one to look out for in England's second dig.

For India, KL Rahul is a fabulous all-format player. Nicely ensconced in the middle-order Rahul could frustrate England. He is 9/52.80 for a first-innings fifty. That's an edge of almost 2% on win rate at home.

Back KL Rahul 1st inns 50 @ 9/52.80

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Now read how I'm playing the first test here!

Listen to Cricket... Only Bettor on the 1st Test below!

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Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.