Anthony Olsson (@Ant_olsson93) previews England v India and provides us with his best bets for the First Test sponsored by Specsavers by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.

England v India First Test Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

  • Date: 01/08/18
  • Time: 11:00
  • Venue: Edgbaston
  • Channel: Sky Sports Cricket, Main Event

England will play their 1000th test match against India as they begin the first of five test matches at Edgbaston on Wednesday morning. They’ll be looking to build on a promising victory in their last Test match against Pakistan. England come into the series off the back of a 2-1 win in the ODI series.

The inclusion of Adil Rashid in the test squad has divided opinion amongst pundits and fans as the 30 year old leg spinner signed a white ball only contract in February this year. His performances in the ODI’s have led to selectors including him in the squad for the first test match at Edgbaston.

England have struggled to find a quality Test Match spinner since the retirement of Graeme Swann in 2013. Since then England have used 12 different spinners in 5 years. Adil Rashid’s time in the England Test Squad saw him mainly used as a second spinner on tours to the sub-continent, he was never given the chance to go it alone as England’s main spinner in the Test Match Arena. Rashid’s inclusion has divided opinion amongst fans and pundits with former Test Captain Michael Vaughn calling it “ridiculous” to select the Yorkshireman. Rashid can be backed at 10/3 (Bet365) to take the most wickets for England in the series

England face a stern test against India who have a much more settled side compared to England. Virat Kohli will have a point to prove to those who doubt his ability to bat well in English conditions. India have included leg spinner Kuldeep Yadav, the 23-year-old took five wickets in the first T20I at Old Trafford and claimed six for 25 in an eight-wicket ODI win at Trent Bridge. He is priced at 10/3 to be top India wicket taker in the series, which could be a good way to go with the recent dry weather and England struggling against spinners previously.

Looking at the betting for this match and the bookmakers have England favourites to win the match at 21/20 (Bet365) with India best priced 21/10 (Marathon Bet). The draw is best priced 7/2 (Bet365)

England often start poorly in the first Test of a series, largely due to being under-prepared to play the longer format of the game, and then they roar back with more convincing displays after a heavy criticism from the media. England’s last series against India at home in 2014 saw them lose the first test before coming back strongly and gaining a 3-1 series win. Four years later and the series against New Zealand and Pakistan this year saw England lose their First Test before putting in better performances in the following matches. India to win the First test and then to lose the series is priced at 13/2 (Bet365)

India will be looking to their superstar captain, Virat Kohli, to score big runs for them and he is priced 6/1 (Skybet) to score the most runs in the series. He can also be backed to score a Century in the match at 7/2 (Bet365)

Joss Buttler has been in great form since his return to the England Test squad with important runs being scored against Pakistan in the last Test series. His stint in the IPL should benefit him here and he can be backed to be England’s Top Batsman in the series at 12/1 (Bet365)

In the recent round of County Championship games, Yorkshire batsman, Jonny Bairstow, recovered from a first ball duck in the first innings to post 82 in his second innings. Bairstow has threatened to score big runs for a while for England and in my eyes he seems best placed to do so in the first test at Edgbaston. He is 7/1 to be top scorer in England’s first innings which could be worth a punt.

Team News

England look set to start Leg-Spinner Adil Rashid at Edgbaston with Moeen Ali most likely missing out.

23-year-old Kuldeep Yadav will be in line to start his 3rd test match for India at Edgbaston after an impressive ODI Series.

Potential England  Starting XI: J Root (capt), A Cook, K Jennings, D Malan, B Stokes, J Bairstow (wkt), J Buttler, S Broad, J Anderson, A Rashid, S Curran

Potential India Starting XI: S Dhawan, M Vijay, KL Rahul, C Pujara, VKohli (C), D Karthik (WK), H Pandya, R Ashwin, M Shami, U Yadav, I Sharma.

Head To Head

  • England and India have played 117 Test matches. Out of these, India has won 25 while England has won 43, with 49 matches ending in a draw.

Key Stats & Facts

  • James Anderson is just 10 wickets short of the 550-mark in the history of Test cricket. Taking these wickets, Anderson will become the 2nd fast bowler to take 550 or more Test wickets.
  • Stuart Broad needs 24 more runs to achieve the feat of 3000 Test runs. Amassing these runs, Broad will become the only 5th player to achieve a double of 3000 Test runs and 400 wickets in Test cricket.
  • Joe Root, the skipper of the England team, is just 40 runs behind the mark of 6000-Test runs. Scoring these runs, Root will become the 15th Englishmen to score 6000 or more runs in Test cricket.
  • Ajinkya Rahane, the deputy to Virat Kohli, is just 107 short of the 3000-run mark in Test cricket. Amassing these runs, Rahane will become the 22nd Indian to score 3000 or more runs in Test cricket.
  • England have won 357 out of the 999 Tests they have played till date.
  • England is the first country to play 1000 Test matches.

Betting Odds

  • England 1/1
  • Draw 7/2
  • India 11/5

The Verdict

England will be looking to get off to a good start against India at Edgbaston, but the lack of Red ball cricket for the majority of the team doesn’t fill me with a great amount of confidence. India are a good price to upset the English in the first test.

Recommended Bets

  • India to win 11/5 (Betfair)
  • Bairstow top England batsman in first innings 7/1 (Bet365)
  • Kohli to Score the most runs in the series 6/1 (SkyBet Boost)
  • Kuldeep Yadav Top Indian Wicket Taker 10/3 (Bet365)
  • India to win the First test and then to lose the series is priced at 13/2 (Bet365)