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England v West Indies 1st Test - James Anderson's farewell at Lord's

James Buttler of the Cricket Badger Podcast looks ahead to the three-Test series and finds the best bets as the first Test gets underway at Lord's on Wednesday.

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England v West Indies 1st Test PreviewJames Buttler

James Anderson bows out at Lord's

The England vs West Indies three-Test series gets underway at Lord's on Wednesday. At the beginning of the battle for the Botham Richards Trophy, much of the chat will rightly be about England's most successful bowler of all time in James Anderson, as he plays his 188th and final test match. 700 test wickets (so far), he's a bona fide legend of the game.

But where is the betting value?

West Indies cricket isn't what it used to be, I'm afraid, and if England play anything like their best, they should find this series a comfortable ride. A 3-0 England series win is on the cards and the only thing that may stop that is the weather. That said, England get on with their red ball cricket these days, so even the weather could struggle to scupper them.

So, rather than take England to win the first Test at a very skinny 2/9, shop around and find the best price on the 3-0 series result. It's 4/6 with William Hill.

The visitors - West Indies

In Alzari Joseph, Shemar Joseph and Jayden Seals, West Indies do have a decent bowling attack. There's a lot of pressure on skipper Kraigg Brathwaite to shore up what appears to be a fragile batting line-up.

My only pro West Indies bet is for Alzari Joseph to take the most first innings wickets at 19/10.

Joe Root still the best England batter

England v West Indies 1st Test at Lord's

Joe Root averages over 50 at Lord's with a high score of 204 not out, and he's always my pick to top score. There have been some big scores in the championship at Lord's, expect runs in this first test, and in these baseball times there is plenty of firepower. Root is 11/4 to top score in the first innings.

England have dropped Jonny Bairstow, Ben Foakes and Jack Leach. In come Surrey wicketkeeper batter Jamie Smith, and two seam bowlers in Gus Atkinson and Dylan Pennington. Spinner Shoaib Bashir has been preferred to his Somerset teammate Leach.

This test series sees effectively the start of BazBall 2.0. Some new faces, maybe a little less reckless cricket, but on paper this is an easy summer for England and they should make it count.

An emotional best bet

In addition to an England 3-0 series win, Joseph to get most wickets for West Indies and Joe Root to top score for England, there is a final and very obvious punt.

James Anderson is fresh from a 7-for with Lancashire and is 11/22 to be Player of the Match. This is surely a nailed on bet if he has a half decent match in his farewell Test match.

Good luck and thanks Jimmy. And good luck with all of your bets.

Please always gamble responsibly.


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