India v England: Rampant hosts can seal series with win

After an encouraging first Test only yielded a draw, Alastair Cook’s England were outplayed by India in Tests two and three.

The main trouble for Cook’s men seem to be a lack of runs — they’ve only reached 400 once this series, while the hosts have done it in each Test.

One major blow for England is the absence of young opener Haseeb Hameed, who shone in his debut three matches. Batting with a hand that was later shown to be broken, the 19-year-old made a gutsy 59* off 156 balls as he attempted to save the game for his side. Hameed has the potential to go all the way.

Hameed’s replacement, Keaton Jennings, is being thrown in at the deep end to face the high-class spin of R Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja.

The pair have 25 wickets between them, and with Jayant Yadav also chipping in during his maiden series, India’s spinners have been tormenting England’s bats in favourable conditions.

Add to that captain Virat Kohli’s runs — he’s averaging 101.25 in the series — and India look near unbeatable on their own patch.

England have won on their last two visits to Mumbai, but making it a hat-trick looks a long shot. make them 4.60 to claim victory this week, but I’d keep your money in your pocket.

Instead, the 1.50 for India to take an unassailable 3–0 series lead is what I’ll be backing.

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