The return of the test match draw?

It’s been out of fashion for a while now, but with rain in New Zealand and flat wickets in Sri Lanka, drawn test matches could be about to come briefly back into fashion.

The last couple of years seems to have seen a flurry of results in test cricket, draws seem to have been confined to the scrap heap, with even Dubai and Abu Dhabi offering up result pitches in the last couple of months.

The betting for the 3rd test at Wellington in New Zealand sees the odds currently below 2/1 (2.76 to back on Betfair  at the moment). This is a rare low price these days, the equivalent odds going into the first two tests would have been up at around 5/2 to 3/1.

This is in due to the fact that the weather forecast for the first 3 days of the test looks a bit dodgy to say the least. The Kiwi climate can be a bit like our own UK climate – unpredictable. But given the fragility of the New Zealand batting line up and the prospect of overhead conditions, South Africa might only need the best part of 3 days to beat them, so draw backers beware.

As for Sri Lanka, we have already had a warning of what to expect with England’s current warm up game against a Sri Lanka Cricket Development XI, where there has been over 740 runs scored in 2 days.

The draw price in the test match starting on Monday is already as short as 2.62 on Betfair, the market is clearly expecting normal service to be resumed in Galle on Monday.

One thing England have on this tour that I don’t believe they had the last time they toured here is a resilient bunch of bowlers. We have seen over the last 24 months or so that the England attack don’t get disheartened too easily and they have a nagging habit (for the opposition at least) of sticking to their task.

Taking this into account and England’s atrocious batting in UAE, then I don’t think this series or 1st test is the nailed on draw that the market seems to think it is…..

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