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Hosts can Cook up a storm

Hosts can Cook up a storm

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With the five-match series now delicately poised, India will hope to avoid a repeat of the result last time they met England in a Test match at the Rose Bowl.

The tourists claimed a massive win at Trent Bridge to make the series score 2-1 to the hosts with two games to play, but they will be well aware that four years ago they suffered a 266-run hammering at Southampton.

England to win @ 10/11

The hosts will be desperate to put things right after a dismal display in Nottingham and have plenty of options to cover should a finger injury rule Jonny Bairstow out of the action, which starts on Thursday.

James Vince, at home on the Hampshire county ground, has been amongst the runs since dropping out of the Test side and has a point to prove, while Moeen Ali is threatening to take the place of Adil Rashid.

The Worcestershire ace has taken eight wickets in each of his last two County Championship outings, the second of which saw him also register a double century against Yorkshire.

Moeen claimed 6-67 in the second innings four years ago as India were spun to defeat.

Alastair Cook – Man of the Match @ 15/1

England do still have issues at the top of the batting order, with both Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings short of runs.

However, the Rose Bowl may be the perfect venue for Cook to get back on track, with the left-hander having passed fifty in each of his three Test innings on the ground.

Fifty-five against Sri Lanka seven years ago, was backed up by innings of 95 and 70 not out three years later against India.

So, not only will the veteran left-hander be keen to get back amongst the runs, but he will want to reach three figures for the first time at Southampton.

Jos Buttler, at 13/1 to be man of the match, is also one to watch, with the big-hitter full of confidence after making his maiden Test century, while he also made his previous highest score (85) on his Test debut at the Rose Bowl in 2014.

England to win the series – 5/13

The Three Lions to come out on top by the end of the series is not going to show a major return and you may be tempted to go for a drawn series at 23/4, but realistically England are still going to get the job done.

And, indeed, the series could be over by the end of the Southampton Test, leaving The Oval to host the final match of the international summer in an atmosphere of some relaxation.

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Adrian Mills Adrian has enjoyed a journalistic career spanning over three decades, with cricket his specialised topic. He also has a wealth of knowledge on football, golf and tennis and has the stats to back up his betting advice.