The first Test match between New Zealand and England comes from Dunedin in the early hours of Wednesday morning and with this being a three-match series, the first encounter is key if you want to come out on top.
England are considered the red-hot favourites with the bookmakers to take the lead in the series next week and that isn’t much of a shock when you consider how strong they are and the fact they have already beaten the Kiwi’s in T20’s and One Day Internationals on this tour.
In truth, Alastair Cook will feel as though Test matches are where his side are strongest and with two Ashes series coming up this year, he knows it is vital they carry on from where they left off in India last year.
Cook is going to be one of the key men at the top of the order and if he is able to score runs, it allows someone like Kevin Pietersen to come in and play his natural game.
With the ball, James Anderson will lead the attack and must be supported by the likes of Steven Finn and Graeme Swann.
A bet on an England win gives you odds 8/15 with Bet365.
As for New Zealand, they know just what a tough series they are in for here and that they are the underdogs with the bookies to take a 1-0 lead at 6/1 with Sportingbet.
The Kiwis are on home soil, which could play in their favour, but they have to show a lot more consistency that they did in the limited over matches.
Once again, there is a lot of pressure on Brendon McCullum to not only captain the side well, but also score some vital runs with the bat. If McCullum, along with Ross Taylor, can score a lot of runs, then New Zealand have a chance.
This first Test is key and you feel is the hosts go 1-0 down, they have very little chance of winning the series.
For this match in Dunedin, betting on the top batsman could get you some decent odds and the two captains are leading the way at the moment.
Cook is available at 7/2 with Ladbrokes, with McCullum being offered at 7/2 with Blue Square.
These two are both capable of scoring big hundreds and will look to set the standard for their respective sides.
Bets on who might be the top bowler look like providing some good value as well and that is where we are heading for our top in this first Test match.
We think that Graeme Swann is ready to show his class and he can be backed at 4/1 to be the main man for the ball for England.
Category: Cricket Betting Previews