England can strike final blow


India have left themselves with more than a mountain to climb if they are to avoid a Test series defeat to England, with the end coming if they lose at Trent Bridge.

Already trailing 2-0 after being edged out at Edgbaston and thrashed at Lord’s, the tourists have to avoid defeat in Nottingham in the third Test, which starts unusually on Saturday, to prevent the series being lost with two matches left to play.

England to win @ 5/9

Well, what else can you expect other than another England victory? They are on a roll, high in confidence and could yet be facing an Indian team shorn of the services of their captain and outstanding batsman Virat Kohli because of back problems.

Even if Kohli takes to the field, the tourists are rightly 16/5 to claim victory, with England seam duo James Anderson and Stuart Broad – as at Lord’s – having outstanding records at Trent Bridge.

James Anderson to be man of the match @ 31/4

Anderson has two ten-wicket matches and no fewer than seven five-wicket innings hauls to his name in Nottingham, having taken a record 60 Test wickets at the venue.

He claimed nine wickets in the second Test at Lord’s, sparking talk of the 36-year-old seamer carrying on for some time to come yet and being close to his best, despite his advancing years and a sometimes dodgy shoulder.

The added motivation for Anderson and Broad is that should the series be wrapped up early, they are likely to earn themselves a rest for the remainder of the Test summer.

Hardik Pandya to be man of the match @ 19/1

All-rounder Hardik Pandya has come in for some strong criticism from some pundits, but, in truth, he has shown plenty of promise with both bat and ball despite India’s problems.

Four scores in double figures and 3-66 with the ball last time out suggest that there is more to come from a player who has to step up now if the tourists are to avoid a series loss being confirmed next week.

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