Stokes Can Lead England Resistance

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India have seized the momentum in the Test series against England as the two sides get set to face off again in Ahmedabad.

England could do with Ben Stokes producing another memorable Test performance against India in the third Test.

India’s spinners flexed their muscles to win the second Test against England via a crushing 317-run victory and the home nation are strong favourites to kick on as the series heads to Ahmedabad for a day-nighter.

India are 1/2 to win the third Test in the four-match series with England 5/2 and the draw 25/4 at the Sardar Patel Stadium. 

With the series level at 1-1, there is plenty at stake for both sides in this crucial match with England hoping to halt India’s resurgence, while the hosts know that another loss will end their hopes of making the World Test Championship final.

Having looked so at home in the conditions in the first Test in Chennai, England were embarrassed by the second encounter between the sides and Joe Root will be looking for a response from his team, particularly with the bat.

Shubman Gill should feature for India while paceman Jasprit Bumrah is sure to make a return after missing the second Test. As for England, their standout player of the second Test – Moeen Ali – has headed home as part of the team’s rotation policy while Zak Crawley is fit again and Mark Wood, James Anderson and Jonny Bairstow are hoping to be involved.

Bumrah Out to Make His Mark

Spin was king in the first and second Tests in Chennai between these sides but as India and England prepare for the day-night Test in the series, the pacemen could take centre stage with the pink ball in Ahmedabad.

Ravi Ashwin took eight wickets in the last Test match, alongside scoring a first innings century, and is 7/4 favourite to be India’s top 1st innings bowler this time around but Bumrah, who was rested for the second Test, offers better value at 9/4.

Bumrah had remarkably not played a home Test for India before the opening game of the series against England and he took four wickets in that match, dismissing top-order duo Dom Sibley and Dan Lawrence, as well as Dom Bess in the first innings.

This pitch and the pink ball should do more for the paceman, who took 14 wickets in four Test matches in 2020, and he can lead the charge against England’s flimsy top order.

As far as England’s attack is concerned, Root has indicated he will bring in both Anderson and Stuart Broad if seam-friendly conditions are present.

England Need Ben to Stokes the Batting Fires

England’s top two of Sibley and Rory Burns managed only 44 runs between them across their two innings in the last Test and punters are advised to look further down the order for a top England batsman bet.

Skipper Joe Root is the 37/20 favourite to be England’s top first innings batsman and would have been the obvious selection – he made first-innings scores of 228, 186 and 218 in his first three Tests of 2021 – but he managed only 39 runs in total in the last Test and looked especially shaky in the second innings.

His ability against spin will be less of an advantage in this Test and Ben Stokes could instead represent a safer top England 1st innings batsman bet at 4/1. Stokes has scored 89, 254, 20, nine, 89 and 26 in his last six innings in the format and can impress.

*All odds correct at time of writing

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