SPOTY 2021: Bettors Root for captain after England beat India

  • Max Liu
  • 3:00 min read
England captain Joe Root
Root shortened to 9/1 after his double century

The England Test cricket captain was backed to win Sports Personality of the Year after scoring a double century in England's win in India. Max Liu has the latest odds...

"Root is 10.09/1 on the Exchange, on a par with Anthony Joshua and Harry Kane, which makes him one of the early leading contenders..."

The odds on Joe Root winning Sports Personality of Year in 2021 shortened after the England captain lead his team to victory over India with a double century.

Root is 10.09/1 on the Exchange, on a par with Anthony Joshua and Harry Kane, which makes him one of the early leading contenders in a market that's always lively.

All three are set for big years, with Joshua likely to fight Tyson Fury in a World Heavyweight title reunification bout, and Kane set to lead the England football team to Euro 2020.

The current favourite Dina Asher Smith 8.615/2 has her sights set on winning gold medals for sprinting at the Tokyo Olympics.

But it's Root who's made his mark early. He had been as long as 25/1 before his heroics in Chennai, a victory that ranks as one of England's greatest in the long form of the game in recent years.

Bettors rush to back Root but are cool on Anderson

The bowling attack played a huge part on the final day, as James Anderson took 3-17 and Jack Leach took 4-76. It was only India's second home defeat in eight years.

Anderson is England's all-time leading wicket-taker and you might have expected him to receive support on the Exchange today. But bettors have been reluctant to lump on him and his current price is 17.016/1.

This could be because, at 38, he will be used sparingly by the selectors in rotation with fellow veteran Stuart Broad.

There's a long way to go but, if Root continues in the rich vein of form that has seen him take apart bowling attacks in Sri Lanka and now India already this year, then he will be among the leading contenders come the autumn.

It's only two years since a cricketer won SPOTY when Ben Stokes carried off the award, for his heroics in the ODI World Cup and in the Ashes Test series of 2019. Prior to that, Andrew Flintoff won in 2005.

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