There’s an awful lot of talk about ‘mystery balls’ and Ravichandran Ashwin is sure to play a major part for India in the four-Test series with England this winter.
What’s clear is that spinners are sure to play a key role on the sub-continent wickets. With that in mind, and there are no apologies here for stating the obvious, but Graeme Swann makes an awful lot of appeal to be top England wicket-taker. The bookies are wise to this, with bet365 offering 7/1, but even at those odds it seems like value. Swann is sure to bowl an awful lot of overs and as the wickets start to wear, he will be a handful given the amount of turn he gets.
Monty Panesar would have been another appealing prospect, but he’s unlikely to play given England’s preferred style of three quicks and one spinner.
Looking at the batting market, there’s not a stand-out candidate – hence the decision of bet365 to price up Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen as 11/4 joint favourites. Cook’s solid technique and temperament will see many side with the skipper, but we’ll look elsewhere and go with a man who has oodles of class but is coming into the series not in the best of nick. Ian Bell is a superb player of spin and this tour could see him return to form. At 7/1 we feel there’s enough value to side with him.