England v West Indies Test Series
1st Test July 8th to 12th West Indies won by 4 wickets
2nd Test July 16th to 20th Old Trafford, Manchester
3rd Test July 24th to 28th Old Trafford, Manchester
Much will be made of Ben Stokes’ decision to bat first at Southampton, and the selection of Mark Wood ahead of Stuart Broad but England were out played in the 1st Test and the West Indies deserved to take an early lead in the series.
England remains strong favourites for the 2nd Test but are now available at a bigger price of 4/9. The batting will be significant strengthened by the return of Joe Root and the hosts will be eager to bounce back from defeat and keep the series alive. West Indies performed well in the 1st Test, but for me the market has overacted to the result and a stronger England side are now a pre match bet.
Back England at 4/9 with Betfred
Joe Denly will be the man to make way for the returning skipper. Jos Buttler looks set to keep his place despite another underwhelming performance with bat and gloves. The other question for the England management is whether Broad deserves a recall. A quicker pitch is expected at Old Trafford making it likely Jofra Archer and Wood will be retained. John Campbell was injured during the 1st Test and but if he is passed fit I expect the Windies to be unchanged.
Possible 2nd Test Line-ups:
England: Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, Joe Root*, Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler+, Dom Bess, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, James Anderson
West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell, Shai Hope, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Jermaine Blackwood, Shane Dowrich+, Jason Holder*, Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel
James Anderson had an unspectacular return to Test match cricket in Southampton. He is likely to be slightly disappointed with his match return of 3 for 104 in favourable conditions. Bet 365 have priced his Player Performance line at 105.5 with 5/6 offered either side. (1 point is awarded per run scored, 20 points per wicket and 10 points per catch taken during the match).
The table above illustrates his returns. In all Test matches he averages 91.4 and his return is less than the line 65.1% of the time. His performances have dropped off in recent years, and even in England his average and median are lower than the 105.5 set by Bet 365. It is a small sample at Old Trafford, but I do not expect the pitch to particularly assist Anderson, so it is time to bet against the Lancashire seamer.
Back James Anderson Player Performance Under 105.5 at 5/6 with Bet 365 – Bet Here
Last week I explained how West Indies openers will be watchful, and that they have only scored 2 or more runs in the opening over of their 1st Innings 3 times in the last 2 years (11 test matches). I tipped under 1.5 runs and Anderson duly bowled a maiden. However, Hills stick with the same price for the 2nd Test where a repeat result should be odds on.
Back Under 1.5 Runs in West Indies 1st Over (1st Innings) at Evens with William Hill
They also offer Evens for England’s 1st Innings which is tempting given Kemar Roach’s economical start to the series, and an England opening partnership still finding their way. Alternatively take a slightly shorter price on both bets with Kwiff who also offer 1st Over runs.
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