Weak attacks point to big runs

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India v West Indies
Sunday 6 February, 08:00
TV: live on Sky Sports

India hit by Covid

India’s preparations for the three-match ODI series have been hampered by Covid. Shikhar Dhawan, Shreays Iyer and Ruturaj Gaikwad have all been ruled out. Mayank Agarwal is a replacement.

It solves a selection headache. With Rohit Sharma returning and Dhawan showing decent form, they would have struggled to work out their best batting order. As it stands, KL Rahul looks likely to open with Virat Kohli at No 3 and Rishabh Pant continuing in the No 4 slot.

They are not at full bowling strength. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami have been rested. And there’s no Hardik Pandya nor Ravi Jadeja, either. Washington Sundar should start.

Possible XI: Rohit, Rahul, Kohli, Pant, Yadav, Sundar, Thakur, Kuldeep, Chahal, Kirshna, Siraj

West Indies well-stocked

West Indies should be full of confidence after beating England in a T20 series. At least that’s what they should be telling themselves. Previously in ODI they lost 2-1 to Ireland.

There is no Rovman Powell in the ODI squad. Powell made a blistering ton to turn the T20 series their way. But Shai Hope and Brandon King rekindle their opening partnership and Kieron Pollard is a reassuring sight in the middle order.

They are the opposite of India, boasting three all-rounders in a possible XI. They could also pick Kemar Roach or Hayden Walsh if they wanted. Spinner Akeal Hosein is the key to their chances.

Possible XI: Hope, King, D Bravo, Pooran, Brooks, Pollard, Shepherd, Holder, Allen, Joseph, Hosein

Pitch report

We are not sure how the Ahmedabad surface is going to play. We remember it well from India-England Test and T20 series. In the Tests it was, of course, a raging turner. In the T20s it flattened out for decent runs.
In terms of the make-up of the sides, everything points to runs. The bowlers look like cannon fodder.

So too does the previous 2019 series in India between the two when there was a run glut with almost 2,000 scored in three games. We would like to go over West Indies runs at the mid 270 mark and India at 305.5. But we’ll see what the runs par line comes in at.

Sportsbook go 8/5 that both team score 275 or more. We’re betting blind because of the surface but it’s worth a small interest. Bet on the market here.

Windies can hold their own

India won the 2019 series 2-1 but it was a belter. West Indies gave a fine account of themselves and were bang in each of the three games.

A repeat would be great. India are no better than 1.3130/100 and we can immediately see the potential for a trade in the West Indies price at 4.10. They would have to bat first though.

If India bat first we can well see the visitors drifting to 6.05/1 or 7.06/1 by the break. If so, there is value in backing them to bat as well as they did three years ago and have a small interest to get their price back down again.

Tops value

There’s some value on the top match bat. And it’s Kohli who catches the eye. He is 4/1 which is bang on his career win rate in the market. Only Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya have bettered his 50 wins in history.

For top India bowler, Yuz Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav should be fair. At 5/2 and 11/4 they should be capable of exploiting a clear Windies weakness against turn. Bet on the markets here.