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Back South Africa at 3.00 Great Odds

Posted on November 9, 2015 by Selby There have been 0 comments

"It looks as though it absolutely has to turn big for India. If it doesn’t, their seam attack looks weak."

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Back South Africa at 3.00

Start time: 04:00
TV: Live on Sky SportsIndiaIndia could well keep us guessing as to their make-up of their XI for the series opener. They have a plethora of options in the top order, for example.Specifically, they have to trim four possible opening batsmen into two. Shikhar Dhawan, Chet Pujara, Murali Vijay and Lokesh Rahul are vying for the slots.

Anyone who misses out could, of course, bat at No 3 or further down. Pujara, who hit a big ton last time out against Sri Lanka, looks most certain to play while Vijay was the man in possession before he suffered an injury.

India will need that strength up top if they are going to bat Stuart Binny at No 6 as they did in Colombo. Another option is Ravi Jadeja there instead.

Jadeja could play as one of three spinners. Ishant Sharma, the lead paceman, is banned for one match so two from Bhuv Kumar, Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav must step up.
South Africa

South Africa haven't lost a series away from home for nine years. That includes two visits to India and one to Sri Lanka. This lot are made of stern stuff.

Hashim Amla, the skipper, AB De Villiers and Faf Du Plessis represent their batting strengths. Importantly, each are good players of spin and the latter two know India inside out from various IPL stints.

Their probable openers, Dean Elgar and Stiaan Van Zyl, still have something to prove. The tourists will also fret about to how find room for two spinners.

They could rely on Elgar and JP Duminy supporting Imran Tahir but that might leave them short, particular as Duminy has struggled with knee problems.

Simon Harmer, who has played three Tests, is a specialist and could play with Vernon Philander most likely to make way.
Series odds

From the last 50 Test series only 15 have been won by the away team. But South Africa buck the trend and rate good value for the win at 2.60 with India 2.00 and The Draw 3.60. They will have to buck another trend to win it too, India have lost only one series at home since 2004 - to England in 2012. A good omen for the Proteas.
Match odds

India haven't played a home Test for exactly two years. So they could be forgiven for being a little under cooked.

They are rated as 2.56 chances with South Africa 3.00 and The Draw out at 3.85. The pitch is key. South Africa are worried it is too dry, will turn on day one and, presumably, crumble in the fourth-innings.

That would make the toss important but there is no bias in favour of the side batting first in Mohali. In fact, it is the fielding side who have won most often, four games to two. There have been five draws in the 11 Tests there.

Still, the wicket history clearly shows that there are runs there first up. That means that it could take a while for the side who have to bowl first to get their odds down.

Obviously, the draw price is going to come in as well so anyone betting pre-toss should not panic if things appear to be going against them on days one and two.
South Africa won't panic. This is their style. And that is attractive for bettors. They are strong and hold firm in adversity. They should give an India side which is in a rebuilding phase an extremely tough game.

It looks as though it absolutely has to turn big for India. If it doesn't, their seam attack looks weak.
First-innings runs

Here are the last five first-innings scores (since 2006) at the Punjab CA Stadium: 408-428-453-469-300. That is consistent run-making as one would expect in India. It would be a surprise if 400 was not breached again first up although we are a little wary about the reports of turn on day one. That could negate strokeplay and it might be like wading through treacle for some.
Top India runscorer

Virat Kohli, 4.00, and Vivay, 4.50, are India's powerhouses over the last 12 months. They both average in the 60s. But Kohli had a better series against South Africa than Vijay in 2013, outscoring him by almost double. Pujara top scored in that series by eight runs from Kohli. He is5.00.
Top South Africa runscorer

Amla, who is 4.00, averaged just 14 in that series at home versus India. It was Du Plessis and De Villiers who shone, averaging in the 60s. They are 3.60 and 4.50 respectively.

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Back South Africa at 3.00

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