Having trounced India in the second Test at Lord’s, England will be looking to secure a series victory in the shortest time possible by triumphing again at Trent Bridge.
The hosts won by a massive innings and 159-run margin in the capital to move 2-0 ahead in the five-match series, with the prospect of a potential whitewash already being whispered in some quarters.
Only adding to the problems for the tourists is the prospect that captain and star batsman Virat Kohli could be a doubt for the clash in Nottingham, which gets under way on Saturday, as he continues to be troubled by back spasms.
The long-range weather forecast offers little in the way of help for India either, with little or no rain on the radar for the five days.
England to win – 5/9
The Three Lions are heavily favoured to win the match in Nottingham, with the Indian batting line-up having been blasted away on several occasions already in the series.
Four years ago, the series opener between these two sides at Trent Bridge ended in a high-scoring draw, before India claimed victory in the second Test at Lord’s, only to blown away in the final three Tests to lose the series 3-1.
This time around they have no such strong start to fall back on and they are already in the last-chance saloon.
An India win is 16/5 and you would have to be their most optimistic of fans to think that that might be worth backing, while a draw at 15/4 seems an almost as distant prospect if the weather fails to intervene.
The only positive factor for India to reflect on is that South Africa dished out a 340-run loss to England last summer in Nottingham, but overall the hosts have won six of their last eight Tests at Trent Bridge.
No hundred in the match – 17/4
This is something of a long shot, but bear in mind only England all-rounder Chris Woakes reached three figures in the second Test, while in the series opener at Edgbaston only the masterful Kohli registered a century.
A century to be completed in Nottingham is 1/10, so if you want to make any sort of return in this market, then you’ll have to be brave and go for the outside option.
Joe Root to be man of the match – 29/4
England skipper Root made 154 not out at Trent Bridge when India were last the visitors four years ago and he has a simply outstanding record in Test cricket at the Midlands venue.
The Yorkshireman has scored 405 runs at an average of 81 in Tests in Nottingham and clearly enjoys himself there.
His record contrasts totally from that of Alastair Cook, who has only passed 50 once in 17 Test innings on the ground, with his average a measly 21.93.
The veteran left-hander is 21/2 to be named man of the match and his past record suggests that he is one to be left well alone.
Among the bowlers for the host it is again James Anderson and Stuart Broad are the men to catch the eye.
The first and third highest Test wicket-takers at Trent Bridge both impressed in the win at Lord’s and will be eager to give another fine display of seam bowling which, if it helps seal a win, will surely earn them a rest for the remainder of the series.
Anderson took nine wickets in the last match and his record at Trent Bridge will only serve to give the Indian batsmen more nightmares.
He has taken 60 wickets at an average of 18.95 in Nottingham, including seven innings five-fors and two ten-wicket matches.
He is 31/4 to be man of the match, while Broad is available at 17/2, having already claimed 37 wickets at 20.43 at his home county ground.
Murali Vijay to be man of the match – 15/1
The Indian batting simply have to find an answer to the England seam attack if they are to somehow find a way back into the series and at least Murali Vijay has some past success to draw upon.
The elegant right-hander made 146 at Trent Bridge four years ago and should Kohli be ruled out, he and his fellow top-order batsmen will have to shoulder plenty of added responsibility.
Cheteshwar Pujara (16/1) is another player who has more than enough talent to make his mark, despite the right-hander having struggled for from so far in the series and also been out of nick during a stint with Yorkshire earlier in the summer.
Among the visitors’ bowlers there is also a need to do more to aid their side and they might at least have an extra option to use, with Jasprit Bumrah (15/1) having recovered from a thumb injury.
His unusual style could be one to upset England and in his only and only Test series to date he took 14 wicket at an average of 25.21 in South Africa, adding to the impression of great promise shown in his performances in the limited-overs forms of the game.
Finally, for India to be right in the game, they will need a big performance from star off-spinner Ravi Ashwin (11/1).
He claimed seven wickets in the series opener, which his side could and probably should have won, before conditions at Lord’s worked against him, with Ashwin bowling 17 wicketless overs in the match.
His previous four Test outings in England have seen him take ten wickets at an average of dead on 29, which would be significantly worse if you omitted his efforts at Edgbaston a couple of weeks ago.
Now is the time when he needs to step forward and lead the way, especially with left-armer Kuldeep Yadav having struggled when drafted in for the second Test.
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