Alastair Cook has been heavily criticised as England captain although the batsman can top score for his country at Trent Bridge
It’s the start of an Indian summer! England face a stern test of their credentials over five Tests over the next few weeks, with the action kicking off at Trent Bridge on Wednesday as both teams descend on Nottingham.
England suffered a 1-0 defeat in a two Test series recently against Sri Lanka, with captain Alastair Cook under pressure to score some runs and also get his tactics right after once again receiving plenty of criticism from the likes of Shane Warne.
If England lose the series against India, it will be hard for Cook to continue although you can get 4/1 with William Hill free bet that the Essex man scores more runs for his country than anyone else.
The player has been through barren patches before only to come out fighting, plundering runs in the process. The old adage of class being permanent is one that will surely come to the fore this summer, particularly against a side that he plundered 562 runs in just four Tests a little over 18 months ago.
England don’t make a great deal of appeal at odds of 13/8 considering they failed to beat the Sri Lankans, with the bowlers failing to perform well in those matches and they will have welcomed a two-week rest ahead of the Trent Bridge Test.
Ben Stokes has been called up to offer additional support to the seam unit, but that is unlikely to make much difference. Whether England will beat India will depend on England’s two talismen, Broad and Anderson repeating their performances of three years ago when they used a bit of short pitched bowling to see off the Indian batsmen.
So dominant were the pace attack that series, that by being out of form, it makes for a very even series. The team will rely on Anderson and while a low price, we can’t see past him at 5/2 (William Hill). Plunkett bowled admirably at Headingley against Sri Lanka and looks to be quicker than all other England bowlers, but his relative inexperience makes him an outside shot for top England series wicket taker (5/1 various).
India are an 11/4 chance and haven’t had a great start to their tour, opting to blood all their players in the two friendlies against Leicestershire and Derbyshire. There were few stand-out performances with the bat and ball, but Chet Pujara has performed strongly against England in the past and was not playing for India when they last toured, so will not bear any scars. At 4/1 (Bet365), he offers better value than the fancied Kohli (11/4 various), and when he scores, he tends to score big runs, making him attractive for the series market.