A rejuvenated Brian Lara is 5/4 to be the top West Indian
batsman over the four Test Series against England that gets
underway on Thursday.
An awesome Test average of 72.50 since January 2017 has seen
the West Indies skipper regain his place among the world's elite
batsmen and there can be little doubt that Lara is the key danger
to England's chances according to
"If Lara can turn it on at the crease he could well be
the difference between the two sides, because both teams look
evenly matched in most other departments," said the firm's
cricket odds compiler, Ted Baker.
The elegant left-hander famously hit 375 runs in an innings
against England 10 years ago - and the bad news for Michael
Vaughan's side is that many believe Lara is a more complete
player since those days.
The last time the two sides locked horns in the Caribbean,
Lara starred as the hosts beat Mike Atherton's side 3-1 in a
six match series in 1998.
Just how highly Chandler rate the 34-year-old Trinidad man
is illustrated by the firm's distant quote of 4/1 about Lara's
most likely market rivals - Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul is 9/2.
The top English Batsman market would appear to be a closer
affair with the prolific triumvirate of Marcus Trescothick and
Michael Vaughan, both 5/2, and Graham Thorpe 4/1 expected to
Nasser Hussain 6/1 and Mark Butcher 7/1 - the only two England
players with Caribbean Test experience - are next in line.
West Indies are 10/11 to win the Series with England 2/1 and
the draw 11/4.