History will be made in Bengaluru on Thursday as Afghanistan become the latest member of test cricket’s growing family. It’s been a long journey to get to
this point and in recent years the Afghans have claimed some notable wins in the limited overs arena while producing a World Class talent in leg spinner Rashid Khan.
We’ve recently seen another test newcomer – Ireland – give Pakistan a battle on their debut but can Afghanistan hope to compete against the might of India?
As you would expect, the bookmakers offer little hope to the away side here with India starting as hot favourites at 1.27 with Betrally. Victory for Afghanistan is available at 11.00 with Betrally again while the draw can be claimed at 5.50 with Betway.
We know that India have rested a number of key players with Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma among those to miss out while fitness issues have led to the loss of Wriddhiman Saha and Mohammad Shami since the squad was first announced. The Afghans will hope to exploit those absences with their spin attack key to any hope of success.
Some rain is forecast between days 2-4 but India should still be too good for the newcomers in a strong squad led by Ajinkya Rahane so we’re going for the obvious bet by backing the favourites here.
Match Odds Summary: India 1.27 (Betrally – Editor’s Pick), The Draw 5.50 (Betway), Afghanistan 11.00 (Betrally).
We’re back to test cricket after a long break so the top batsman requirement is all about first innings only. Ajinkya Rahane leads the Indian side but he is out at odds of 5.50 with Betway while Cheteshwar Pujara is favourite at 4.50 with Betway again.
Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan are both available at 5.00 while Dinesh Karthik was in good form at the IPL and along with Hardik Pandya he provides the value down the order. Karthik is priced at 7.50 while Pandya is at 13.00 and once again, all of those figures are with Betway.
As we move over to Afghanistan, most of these players will be familiar to those who have followed the team in limited overs cricket. At the head of their top batsman market are skipper Mohammad Shahzad and Rahat Shah, both of whom can be picked up at 4.75 with Betway.
Ihsanullah Janat is on offer at 5.00 with Betway while the hard-hitting Asghar Stanikzai would be our preference at 6.00 with Betway once again. Other options for the visiting team include Nasir Jamal at 6.00 and Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Mohammad Nabi at 7.50 – both with Betfair again.
Our overall tip from the two markets is for Cheteshwar Pujara to top score on first innings for India. Pujara has just enjoyed some experience in English conditions during a county stint with Yorkshire and while his first class record there was poor, he found excellent touch in the Royal London One Day Cup and we’re backing him to take that momentum to Bengaluru.
Top Batsman Odds Summary: India: Pujara 4.50 (Betway – Editor’s Pick), Vijay 5.00 (Betway), Dhawan 5.00 (Betway), Rahane 5.50 (Betway), Karthik 7.50 (Betway), Pandya 13.00 (Betway).
Afghanistan: Shahzad 4.75 (Betway), Rahat Shah 4.75 (Betway), Janat 5.00 (Betway) Stanikzai 6.00 (Betway), Jamal 6.00 (Betway), Nabi 7.50 (Betway).
Other Side Bets
There is an obvious bet available in Afghanistan’s Top Bowler betting where Rashid Khan is the clear favourite to return his team’s best figures on first innings at 2.80 with Betway. The slow bowlers don’t often deliver the profits in this type of market but Afghanistan will rely heavily on their slow men and Rashid is such a world class leg spinner.
We think that bet will land but we have already gone for two favourites so, for our final tip, we’ll take a little more of a risk and opt for Cheteshwar Pujara as Man of the Match at 9.00 with Betrally.
R Ashwin is the favourite in this market at 6.50 with Betrally again but these awards tend to go with the batters and if Pujara does make that big contribution, he’s a likely candidate and 9.00 is a generous price.
Man of the Match Odds Summary: Ashwin 6.50 (Betrally), Jadeja 8.00 (Betrally), Dhawan 8.00 (Betrally), Pujara 9.00 (Betrally – Editor’s Pick), Rashid Khan 15.00 (Betrally), Nabi 21.00 (Betrally).