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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Magic McGill looks set to retain the jewel of his crowns

Gilbert has an opportunity to go deep on Bay of Bengal

Anthony McGill can again prosper in the subcontinent
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Starts 5am Tuesday

Defending Indian Open champion Anthony McGill has made a solid start to this season and he can retain his title with a favourable draw to work from in Vishakhapatnam, where the action starts early on Tuesday morning.

Twelve months ago the Glaswegian defeated Kyren Wilson in the final to land his first ranking-event success. Despite a venue switch, McGill can follow up with another victory to claim his third career title.

He was able to build on his breakthrough triumph last season and ran deep into a number of tournaments, producing high-quality perform­ances which saw him reach the final of the Championship League and land the Coral Shoot Out, a tournament which was awarded ranking status for the first time.

Now poised just outside the top 16 in the money-based rankings, world number 18 McGill is set for a successful season and expected to claim back his place among the game's elite in the standings.

A number of big names either declined the chance to enter or fell in qualifying for this event, and the £50,000-to-the-winner tournament looks open despite four-times world champion John Higgins heading the market.

The Wizard of Wishaw is the class act in this field, but he has a passage fraught with danger and the short format in India – matches are best-of-seven frames up to and including the semi-finals – makes Higgins an unappealing punting prospect at the available prices.

Punters can enjoy the ride at big odds with David Gilbert who, despite having to overcome Mark Allen in the third round, is worthy of an each-way interest in an open-looking third quarter.

Two years ago 36-year-old Gilbert reached his first ranking-tournament final at the Inter­national Championship and he has since threatened another eye-catching performance.

A couple of quarter-final appearances last season and a number of high-profile scalps prove the Angry Farmer has what takes to mix it with the best – and this could well be his moment to shine.

Only third in the betting to win his quarter, an outright wager on Derbyshire-born potter Gilbert rates better value in a tournament which has produced plenty of surprising results since its inception in 2013.

Recommendations
A McGill
1pt each-way 28-1 Coral, Ladbrokes
D Gilbert
1pt each-way 40-1 Betfred


Tournament lowdown
Venue Novotel Varun Beach, Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India
Prize money £323,000 (£50,000 to winner)
Format World-ranking tournament
When to bet Starts 5am UK and Ireland time
Time difference Vishakhapatnam is four and a half hours ahead of the UK and Ireland

McGill is set for a successful season and expected to claim back his place among the game's elite
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