India v England Second Test: Latest Odds & Analysis
India v England predictions:
- England to win - 3.1 @ Parimatch
- Rohit Sharma under 79.5 match runs - 1.83 @ Parimatch
- Mohammed Siraj under 2.5 match wickets - 1.83 @ Parimatch
When: Friday 2 February, 9:30am IST
Where: ACA-VDCA Stadium, Visakhapatnam
Watch: Sports 18 and Jio Cinemas
Best Odds: India 1.53, Draw 13, England 3.1
The leafy and beautiful Andhra Pradesh city of Visakhapatnam, which overlooks the Bay of Bengal, is the next stop on England’s five-match Test tour of India.
The good people of ‘Vizag’ endured a few rain-interrupted and washed out World Cup warm-up games last year but have since been rewarded with a T20I where Australia and India both scored more than 200, and now the ACA-VDCA Stadium gets to hold its third ever Test match.
England again made the cricket world stand up and take notice when passing the first major assignment of the ‘Bazball’ era, scoring at four runs per over with their typically positive and fun-first outlook to Test cricket.
Albeit largely thanks to the second innings score of 196 from Ollie Pope, they were able to become the first visiting side in history to overcome a three-digit first innings deficit to beat India in the subcontinent.
Most cricket betting sites would have made a healthy profit from this surprise English victory, but they’re nonetheless expecting the home side to bounce back and level the series, moving India’s price out only marginally.
The Numbers That Matter
- Ravichandran Ashwin took eight wickets in the last Vizag Test
- Jonny Bairstow in India since 2021: 0, 0, 28, 0, 37, 10
- Joe Root averages 73 against Ashwin in Tests
- Ashwin has 3-21 to Crawley and 3-40 to Duckett
Back-to-back home losses for the first time in 11 years?
Concern does appear to be creeping into Indian cricket discourse after they almost gave up a 2-0 series lead at home to Australia early last year, meaning they have now failed to win each of their last three home Tests.
There’s no way of knowing how they feel inside the setup, but externally the mood remains optimistic despite the apparent slump in form.
As well as Virat Kohli remaining unavailable for selection, they’ve also lost KL Rahul - who was their second highest scorer of the first Test with 108 runs to his name - as well as crucial all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who was their first innings top scorer with 87 runs and the claimer of five match wickets.
The battle for Rahul’s spot in the side appears to have been whittled down to two uncapped middle order batters: Sarfaraz Khan and Rajat Patidar, the former of whom has been knocking down the door with a mountain of runs in the recent concurrent India A v England Lions red ball series.
Kuldeep Yadav had a lengthy net session earlier in the week and looks set to be Jadeja’s replacement, which further diminishes their batting capabilities.
England have lost Jack Leach with a knee injury but look likely to turn to debutant Shoaib Bashir who, despite playing just a handful of First-Class games, impressed Ben Stokes with video footage of the sharp turn he was getting for Somerset on English surfaces.
It feels uncomfortable to tip India to sustain back-to-back defeats in home Tests since England’s tour of December 2012, but this English crop of players can be very difficult to stop once they get going, especially by such an inexperienced India side.
Prediction: England to win - 3.1 @ Parimatch
Twin tons for the captain last time out
Rohit Sharma dined out on South African bowling in the last Vizag Test, registering centuries in both innings as part of one of India’s two enormous victories at the venue.
Alongside that, the Indian captain has also demonstrated a liking of these conditions with three 50+ scores from seven ODI innings in Vizag at an average of nearly 60.
He no longer has to face Jack Leach, against whom he had been dismissed five times at a lowly average of 21, and instead is likely to fancy himself against potential debutant Shoaib Bashir.
But that said, Rohit has cleared 80+ match runs in just seven of his last 25 home Tests dating back to the start of November 2019.
On the basis of those numbers, 1.83 is an awful price for something he’s managing to do less than 30% of the time in a decent sample size, and thus we’re more inclined to lean the other way.
Prediction: Rohit Sharma under 79.5 match runs - 1.83 @ Parimatch
Siraj merely a spectator on this tour
Mohammed Siraj bowled just 11 ineffective and forgettable overs in the previous Test and yet, on the basis of injuries to colleagues and his superiority in the pecking order to Avesh Khan and Mukesh Kumar, he’s likely to be retained as a new ball bowler alongside Jasprit Bumrah.
There was a bit of confusion earlier in the week about what kind of pitch was going to be rolled out for this match.
Brendon McCullum hinted England would not be afraid to play an all-spin attack (albeit prior to the confirmation of Jack Leach’s absence), the day before Zak Crawley told the media the pitch is apparently “a bit damper” and “a bit greener” than the one in Hyderabad.
Either way, Siraj has now played seven Tests at seven different Indian venues and has come out of it with an average of just one wicket per Test, bowling just ten overs per match. It’s hard to see him putting in a lengthy shift here.
Prediction: Mohammed Siraj under 2.5 match wickets - 1.83 @ Parimatch
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