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By Grubby, 24th March 2017

Betting preview of the fourth Test, India vs Australia, Dharamsala

25th – 29th March 2017

The gambling gods giveth and the gambling gods taketh away.  We scored in the third Test by recommending Cheteshwar Pujara as top Indian first-innings batsman, and didn’t he deliver, hitting that magnificent double ton and landing us the spoils at 10/3.  M’colleague Andy Ward also hit the jackpot by backing against captain Virat Kohli in a couple of markets.

However, our 3-1 India series bets (recommended at 3/1 prior to the third Test and 6/4 ahead of the fourth) has gone west as the Aussie batters toughed it out on Day 5 in Ranchi.  Some of you may have traded out before the third Test, in which case I salute your nuggety canniness.

On to the fourth and final Test in Dharamsala.  There have been a few rumblings that we might see a bit of pace and bounce in this pitch, sitting prettily at the foot of the Himalayas.  If that happens, Pat Cummins to be top Australian first-innings bowler will look huge at 15/4.  I can’t see it myself, as a trampoline strip would surely suit Australia better than India.  However, Cummins bowled well enough on a dead-ish surface in Ranchi to represent a decent shout in any case.  And if we do get the quicker surface some are suggesting, so much the better.

The top India first-innings batsman market is intriguing.  Kohli heads the betting while Pujara is in there again as second favourite.  That’s just bonkers!  Virat has been anything other than ‘Majestic’ in this series, averaging about 10, while Pujara is demonstrating his class in spades, scoring close to 300 runs in his last two knocks.  So it’s a repeat bet with only marginally worse odds than last time: 3/1 looks enormous.

Finally, I’d rather be a backer of India for the match.  They’re rightly favourites but 5/6 is perfectly fair in a game they have to win (a drawn series hands the Border-Gavaskar Trophy to Australia).  One rider, though.  If we did happen to get that bouncy pitch – which I think unlikely – then Australia would be very tempting at 11/4.

It’s been a great series and a little tough on the punting front.  But keep the faith.  The form of my class is permanent.  Or something.

Recommended bets for the fourth Test

Pat Cummins top Australia first-innings bowler  15/4 (2 points)

Cheteshwar Pujara top India first –innings batsman  3/1 (4 points)

India to win the match    5/6 (6 points)


By GetItQuietly, 24th March 2017

Well, it's been a long winter of cricket on the subcontinent and one that we have generally enjoyed. With this series locked at 1-1 we're hoping for a deciding result in the 4th Test. My picks for the series haven't fared too well : 4-0 and 3-0 India were both blown out of the water by Australia's win in Pune ; Handscomb and M. Vijay both need to rack up a double ton or so to top their markets ; and Nathan Lyon is 3 wickets behind Steve O'Keefe in the race to be top Aussie bowler.

On the upside, I've recorded a profit in each of the 2nd and 3rd Tests, so there's plenty to play for in Dharamsala. First up I'm going to combine two themes from the last match by picking Che Pujara to outscore his captain Virat Kohli in the first innings. Pujara's patience and Kohli's lack of form were both very apparent in Ranchi and Pujara is a decent price at 1.9 (9/10) here.

I was delighted to see Glenn Maxwell record his first Test hundred in the 3rd Test, and he's my pick at 8.0 to top the list in Australia's first innings this time round. Obviously Steve Smith is the biggest threat but I'm happy to take 8.0 on a batsman who looked very composed last time round.

Finally I'm going to have a punt on No Hundred scored in the match. Clearly the bookies are expecting a runfest, pricing this up at 7.0 (6/1). However, you can never quite be sure what the curators will come up with in India, and with the series on the line perhaps they will be tempted to serve up another result pitch. There was only one hundred scored in the first two matches (Steve Smith's 109 in Pune) and I can't resist the price on offer here.

Recommendations (all prices at time of writing) :

Pujara vs Kohli 1st innings Batsman Match Pujara - 10 pts @ 1.90 (9/10)

Maxwell top score Aus 1st innings - 3 pts @ 8.0 (7/1)

A Hundred to be Scored in the Match NO - 3 pts @ 7.0 (6/1)

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