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England vs India Odds: Back the hosts to continue their winning streak

England vs India Fifth Test Odds:  Captain Ben Stokes has instilled a new style of attacking cricket into this test team
England vs India Fifth Test Odds: Captain Ben Stokes has instilled a new style of attacking cricket into this test team
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England vs India Fifth Test Odds

After the conclusion of what was a breathtaking three match test series whitewash against New Zealand, the newly re-energised England red ball squad move onto Edgbaston to finish the COVID-19 postponed India series from last summer. India currently lead the series 2-1 after four tests - can England tie up the series? We've enlisted our resident cricket expert Adam Roberts to preview the fifth and final test and give us his best bets for the occasion. 

England vs India Fifth Test Tips

As predicted in my England v New Zealand Third Test preview, the hosts continued their upwards trajectory and showed a fearless attitude throughout. England were in serious trouble in the first innings, collapsing to 55/6 after a devastating Trent Boult spell with the new ball, but a magnificent fightback from Jonny Bairstow and debutant Jamie Overton dragged them back into the match. The manner of their 2nd innings chase was simply ridiculous, with Ollie Pope and Joe Root batting sensibly to get them into a comfortable position on the Sunday evening, before Jonny Bairstow (again) went ballistic to take England to a series whitewash in record time.  

Now England face a team that got the better of them for the majority of the 2021 series but may be without their multi-format captain Rohit Sharma after he tested positive for COVID at the weekend. The BCCI will leave it as late as possible to decide on a potential replacement should he be unavailable.

This test match was originally meant to be played back in September 2021 at Old Trafford but a series of positive COVID tests saw the match cancelled as the Indian superstars flew back in readiness for the recommencement of the IPL. If it had gone ahead as planned, then many onlookers were firmly of the opinion that the Indian side were in the ascendency and would have taken the series 3-1. This theory was backed up by dreadful tours of Australia and the West Indies, where the red ball team hit an all-time low and led to the replacement of the majority of the ECB hierarchy. 

However, since then, England have undergone a stunning and immediate transformation under new Head Coach Brendon McCullum and new Captain Ben Stokes which resulted in an ultra aggressive style with both the bat and the ball and led to a 3-0 annihilation of current Test World Champions New Zealand.

India have arrived here on the back of the IPL and a solitary tour match warm-up at Leicestershire, which ended in a draw and several pundits have suggested they may be undercooked for this vital test match. We'll find out on Friday but they could do with their captain being fit and well for a start.

England Test Squad: 

Ben Stokes (Durham) captain, James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Sam Billings (Kent), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Harry Brook (Yorkshire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Jack Leach (Somerset), Alex Lees (Durham), Craig Overton (Somerset), Jamie Overton (Surrey), Matthew Potts (Durham), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Joe Root (Yorkshire).

India Test Squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Mayank Agarwal.

Cricket Odds
England to win
20/21
Odds correct as of 2022-06-29 15:20 Odds subject to change.

First up, I'm going to take England to carry on their 'bazball' renaissance, win the fifth test and level the series at 20/21.

Make no mistake, I think India are currently a better test side than New Zealand but they are seriously under prepared for this show down. Two innings in a semi-serious warm up game at Grace Road where India faced Leicestershire and their own bowlers, is no genuine rehearsal for an England team absolutely pulsing with confidence and self belief. Even if India take a big first innings lead, the English will play no differently and will still firmly believe they can and will win - Stokes and McCullum know no other way. 

India are also missing their star opener KL Rahul and look to be on the verge of missing their captain and other opener Rohit Sharma - the two men combined for 683 runs in the four tests last summer. Combine that with the poor international form of Virat Kohli, who hasn't scored a test century since November 2019 and the Men in Blue look light for runs. Something that England definitely aren't at the moment with the likes of Ollie Pope, Joe Root and Bairstow churning them out at a rate of knots. 

Mohammed Shami Top India Bowler(1st inns)
10/3
Odds correct as of 2022-06-29 15:25 Odds subject to change.

The next pick is for Mohammed Shami to be top Indian bowler in the first innings. The 31-year-old Gujarat Titan bowled excellently in England last summer,  taking 11 wickets in just five innings and averaging a tick over 27. Shami also took 3-42 in the warm up game in Leicester this week so is clearly in good nick. 
 

He has been boosted out to 10/3 at bet365 to be top wicket taker for India this week and I like the cut of that jib. 

Jonny Bairstow Man of the Match
10/1
Odds correct as of 2022-06-29 15:25 Odds subject to change.

Last, but not least, is the man of the moment - 'Young' Jonny Bairstow to win the man of the match.

Time and time again, the 32-year-old Yorkshireman has had his test place questioned, been moved up and down the order and had the gloves both given and taken away from him during his 10 year career. However, when his back is up against the wall, Bairstow comes out firing and not more so than in the recent New Zealand series. 

Bairstow was the main beneficiary of the new attacking regime and he looks tailor made for this counter-attacking style. He followed up centuries in Australia and the West Indies with a series average of 78.8 at an obscene strike rate of 120 against New Zealand and picked up two more centuries along the way. 

I'm picking Bairstow to fire again here in the middle order and the odds of him at 10/1 to win Man of the Match look extremely long in comparison to his 9/2 top England bat odds.

If you are following any of these selections then good luck and enjoy the cricket. How could you not at the moment?

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