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Who can score England's runs in Mumbai?

England will be looking to draw their four match series with India level from Friday when the second Test gets underway from Mumbai. In the first encounter, it was an all too familiar story for the Three Lions as an inability to play spin and accumulate runs in the first innings left them with it all to do and they ended up going 1-0 down with a nine wicket defeat.

Now, Alistair Cook knows his men must put in a big first innings score in this one to give England any sort of chance. The bowlers’ need runs to play with so they can attack and look to take all 20 wickets.

So, which man can set the example to the rest of the team and be the leading scorer for the tourist’s in this one?

At the moment it is Captain Cook who is the favourite to score the most runs in Mumbai as he has odds of 3/1 with Boylesports. The skipper was superb in the second innings at Ahmedabad, scoring a massive 176 and showed that he is more than capable of scoring runs in these conditions.

Then you have Kevin Pietersen, who has a betting bonus of 4/1 to be the top batsman for England in this one. The first Test was not a comeback to remember for Pietersen and he really does have a point to prove this time out.

The other man to come out of the opening match with his head held high was Matt Prior as he managed to score 48 and 91. The England wicket-keeper is being offered at 9/1 with William Hill to be the main man for his side with the bat in this one.

The likes of Jonathan Trott, Nick Compton and Jonny Bairstow are all available between 9/2 and 8/1.

Australia are ready 'to shock England'

Stuart Law has hailed Australia's preparation for the 2013 Ashes series, saying that the team from down under can shock an England side that has won the last two Ashes contests.

After losing on home soil to England in 2010/2011, Australia have undergone a rebuilding job and it is going rather well. Law believes they now have the momentum and players to defeat England once again.

He said: "England have a stranglehold on the Ashes and their bowling has been key through pace and aggression from big fellas."

"We are trying to match them in that department."

"What it will come down to, like in our forthcoming series against South Africa, is the team with the most consistent batting. If we can get a good group of batsmen together, we still have the nucleus of a strong line-up, headed by Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey."

"People say they are too old (both are 37), but you should see the way they run around in training. They have got the bit between their teeth, they want to succeed and make sure they don't play in another losing Ashes series."

"We just need a couple of young kids to turn up and put it all together and we will have a good series."

Law was then critical of the way England welcomed back Kevin Pietersen to the fold. He says he finds it 'strange' how a player can break team rules one minute and then be involved in the tour of India the next.

This is all part of the Ashes build up though - mind games. First of all though, England take on India and Australia face South Africa. If you play online cricket betting markets, you will note that both are underdogs in these respective series.

Everything is seen as preparation for the greatest battle of them all though - the Ashes. The next series takes place in England next summer.

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