Ed Hawkins says New Zealand can go close to a famous win in Mumbai if they bat first and put India under pressure in the fourth innings...
"Jamieson four wins from nine. We'll also have a slice of the 33s that he top scores in case the tourists are rolled by a spin onslaught"
India v New Zealand
Friday 3 December, 04:00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Rahane could miss out
India welcome back Virat Kohli as captain after Ajinkya Rahane couldn't quite get them over the line in the first Test despite a strong declaration.
Rahane's reward, unbelievably, could be the axe. Shreyas Iyer's brilliant debut means one from Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Mayank Agarwal is vulnerable. Agarwal's specialist role as opener probably saves him.
Both Rahane and Pujara have suffered significant dips in form and neither could have any complaints.
Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav could reprise their new-ball partnership. Then it will all be about spin with Ravi Ashwin, Ravi Jadeja and Axar Patel working together.
Possible XI Agarwal, Gill, Pujara, Kohli, Iyer, Saha, Jadeja, Ashwin, Axar, Ishant, Umesh
New Zealand gutsy
New Zealand did superbly to hold on for a draw in Kanpur. Last-wicket pair Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel survived for almost ten overs.
Ravindra takes a big chunk of the credit. He held firm for 91 balls. Such grit and compo-sure puts England's efforts previously in India into sharp context.
The Kiwis will have been encouraged by Will Young's first-innings show. He deserved a ton and looks a player.
We expect New Zealand to be unchanged even though Neil Wagner as a pace enforcer has its merits.
Probable XI: Latham, Young, Williamson, Taylor, Nicholls, Blundell, Ravindra, Jamieson, Somer-ville, Southee, Patel.
There hasn't been a Test at the Wankhede Stadium since 2016 when England made 400 in the first innings and still lost by an innings. India replied with 631 before Ashwin destroyed them on a wearing surface with six wickets.
It would be a surprise if the surface didn't spin. Twirlers took 19 of New Zealand's 19 wickets to fall so why would they try anything different?
There have only been four first-class matches in the last two years. The most recent in February 2020 saw spinners dominate.
Batting has not been tricky and 350 should be a minimum target for the side that bats first. New Zealand could be great value to get there and we may be able to go over the runs par line pretty cheaply in the 330s.
Kiwis can go close
India are 1.548/15, New Zealand are 5.409/2 and the draw is 5.309/2. We repeat what we said before the first Test: an understrength India are no value. Remember Rohit Sharma, Kl Rahul and Jasprit Bumrah are not involved.
We were encouraged by New Zealand's display and it is possible that the only thing that went against them was the toss. If they bat first and can get use of a crumbling surface in the fourth they can bridge the gap.
The opening partnership has the ability to build a platform. What will be key is a Kane Williamson or Ross Taylor using it to go big. Those two should be better for the run.
Kohli is 2/1 for top India bat in the first dig. Amazingly given his poor run of form it's only one per cent out on win rate, although we're using almost four-year form. Agarwal catches the eye at 5/1 as we rate him highly.
Young has appeal for most Kiwi runs in a market devoid of value if using win rates. The 5/1 looks too big. We also note the 5/2 that he notches a first-innings half-century and the 9/1 about a ton.
We're all over Kyle Jamieson, one of the best all-rounders in the world. We can get 10/3 he takes most wickets in the first-innings. Has four wins from nine. We'll also have a slice of the 33s that he top scores in case the tourists are rolled by a spin onslaught.
To that end, Ashwin, Jadeja and Axar all have appeal for man of the match at 15/2, 17/2 and 9/1 respectively. Jamieson, for the record, is 20/1.
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Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. Includes Hawk-Eye column p-l
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