India vs. England, First Test Pick, Prediction, and Odds
After losing their test crown to South Africa, England would be looking to make a comeback in coming series against India. This series is being termed as "The Final Frontier" by English team and their fans. The first test of this series is to be played on 15th November 2012 at Ahmedabad. England would be looking to regain the number one crown whereas India would be striving to take revenge of their one sided display in England in 2011. England failed to perform as per their expectations against South Africa in their recent home test series. India, on the other hand, would be high in confidence after beating New Zealand.
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England batting has performed brilliantly in all of their practice games with almost every player getting some runs. The biggest dilemma for England would be to select opening partner after Strauss retirement. Nick Compton seems to be the preferred choice as he got some runs in the practice games too. England would also be concerned over Finn's fitness. The biggest threat would be the spinners and Ojha and Ashwin would be desperate to take advantage of turning Ahmedabad pitch. However, they have experienced and a deep batting lineup that can cope any bowling lineup in the world.
» Odds and Sports Betting Line
Indian team has much to prove with this test series. The opening pair of Gautam and Sehwag hasn't been firing since 2010. There have been questions over Tendulkar due to the ways he's getting out. Their pace attack doesn't look to be sharp enough to take twenty wickets or at least assist spinners. However, Kohli and Pujara seem to be enjoying batting and are scoring runs. Batsmen got some runs in India's domestic circuit which would definitely help their confidence.
» Free Prediction
Can England win against a relatively younger Indian side? It's possible, but looks rather improbable. India might not be having sharpness in their pace department, but they have excellent spinners in Ashwin and Ojha and spinners troubled England in their recent T20 encounter. Batting too seems powerful, not as before though, in home conditions. It can be a high scoring game and a draw is very much possible. I suspect that India might just sneak past England, if weather remains good on all five days.
» Man of the Match Prediction
Spinners would have to play a big role in either team's performance. Swann can be a great prospect for England, but Indians are more comfortable against spinners. Ashwin along with Ojha is a dangerous bowler, especially in home conditions. Ashwin can be more than handy with the bat and has got a test century to his name. He's my pick for Man of the Match award.