England begin their battle to avoid a whitewash on Friday as they head into the fifth and final Test against India.
The tour of the sub-continent could not have gone much worse for Alastair Cook, who is widely thought to be considering handing the captaincy to Joe Root once the series is over.
If that’s the case, Cook will want to go out on a high, and Root will be striving to prove that he can balance skippering the side with his batting.
Too many England captains have let their batting slide once they’ve taken over the armband, but there’s no reason why the same curse should apply to the Yorkshireman.
A double of Root as England’s highest scorer in the first innings and Virat Kohli as India’s is at 11/1, though England will be hoping Kohli can’t reproduce his spectacular innings of the fourth Test.
Even just for Kohli as India’s leading running scorer is at 2/1.
If the visitors are to have any hope of beating the hosts for the first time in the series, their bowling will seriously need to improve.
Adil Rashid is at 9/2 to take five wickets, and while he’s not a bad best as England’s highest wicket-taker, it seems unlikely he’s going to skittle India out. So far, Trevor Bayliss’ side have had to resort to restricting India where they can rather than going at them on the front foot, so it’s unlikely that one bowler will shine.
Bayliss must ultimately be relieved that the series is nearly over, as his players have learnt some harsh lessons.