A three match test series between England and the West Indies starts today with the innovation of England’s first “day-night” test, well designed some might say to better time the game’s contribution to curing insomnia.
How the pink ball will respond to conditions is a bit of an unknown, but the bookies will have you believe the result is all too predictable with England trading at 4/6 to win the series 3-0.
A quick look at relative experience and performance tells all. The Windies bat to an aggregate of 7,000 test runs and a collective average of 204. England opener Alistair Cook has over 11,000 runs himself, with the team averaging around 320.
Comfortable England wins mean lots of wickets. Spinner Moeen Ali was heavily in the wickets in the recent series with South Africa. His penchant for mopping up the tail, and the Windies historically hysterical treatment of spin points to value in the series top wicket taker.
At risk of doubling down, Moeen’s wickets are supplemented by useful lower order runs. With England’s top order a bit shaky, and the pink ball a possible risk to runs, Moeen may have chance to ally useful runs to match-winning wickets, and he therefore looks value in the First Test Man of the Match market.
Moeen Ali: First Test Man of the Match, 1pt win, 12/1 generally available
Moeen Ali: Series England Top Wicket Taker, 2pts win, 4/1 BetVictor, Coral
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