India are playing their 500th test in history tomorrow – at Green Park Stadium, Kanpur, against New Zealand. Before going into the teams’ chances of winning for cricket betting purposes, here is a quick summary of India’s test cricket history.
In the last 499 tests, India have won 129, lost 152, drawn 212 and tied one. Among these tests, 248 were played at home, in which India have, predictably, a better win record: 87 wins, 51 losses, 109 draws and one tie. In the 251 tests in foreign soil, India have managed just 42 wins against 106 defeats and 103 draws. For the purpose of this series, let us India’s home record in the last 10 years is away in more impressive: 25 wins, four losses and 12 draws.
This impressive home record will worry the Kiwis. The odds are against them. 12 bet offers 1.6 for an India series win, 2.80 for a series draw and 10 for a New Zealand series win. You can put Rs. 10000/- for an India series win and, if and when India win the series, walk away with Rs. 16000/- on your pocket. Sounds interesting? Read on. There is more to cricket than runs and boundaries.
India are brimming with confidence in spite of having some injury concerns. Speedster Ishant Sharma is down with fever. If it intensifies, he could miss the entire series. India have ready replacements for him in Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav. The pitch, though spin-friendly, may facilitate reverse swing with the older ball. Umesh Yadav could be in contention for Ishant’s place to exploit the reverse swing.
It will be interesting to see India’s team combination. Virat Kohli favours the five-bowler theory – especially at the start of a test series. That would mean three spinners – R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra – and two fast bowlers. That would also mean only five batters. Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Lokesh Rahul are certainties. Murali Vijay is also likely to retain his place. Three players – Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, in that order – will vie for the lone vacant batting slot.
New Zealand – Preview
This must be the most confident New Zealand team touring India. Batting looks solid, though a bit untested in the Indian conditions. Skipper Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham and Luke Ronchi have played well in the tour game. Tim Southee will miss the series and James Neesham is unfit for the match.
The Kiwis have come prepared as much as they can. The best three spinners in the country will play in the match: Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi and Mark Craig. None of them have proved their credentials at the international level. But this is a great opportunity. Neil Wagner could be handy if the reverse swing comes into picture. Trent Boult is likely to play, especially in the absence of Southee. Opener Martin Guptill’s form is a real concern. But New Zealand have a long batting order, with almost all their players being capable with the bat.
Stats stack in favour of India. The last time New Zealand beat India in India was in 1988, when Richard Hadlee took 10 wickets. It is only the second and last time New Zealand winning test match in India in overall 31 matches. India won the last three matches comfortably.
Everything points to an easy Indian win. But New Zealand will learn from the mistakes committed by Australians in Sri Lanka. There is no short cut to succeed against good spin bowling. You have to endure it, counter it and negotiate it. You cannot just hit your out or block for some time. The pitch, according to its curator, will take only slow turn. It is good news for the visitors. The pitch is likely to be good for batting in the first two days.
Who must one favour for online betting? There are no short cuts here as well. You have to wait and watch. If New Zealand bat first, there are reasonably good chances of a draw. If India bat first, New Zealand are likely to succumb to their fourth straight defeat in India.
Photo Cricket: sportsmanch.com