As we count down to the 1st test between India and Australia starting on Thursday, it would appear that this series is going to be a one sided contest. However, one thing we can expect to see for sure is fireworks, with these two sides showing no love for each other in recent times and plenty of controversy often rearing its ugly head in fiery sledging contests. But first, let’s take a look at some of the key betting plays you should look to get around.
With the home side having won the last 6 series between the two, there is no reason to think this trend won’t continue. With Australia’s well-known struggles in the subcontinent on turning pitches, India’s two frontline spinners Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja (ICC ranked 1 and 2 bowlers respectively) are likely to wreak havoc on Australia’s relatively inexperienced batting line-up in trying Indian conditions.
If recent history is anything to go by, things may turn ugly for the tourists, as we saw in last year’s 3-0 whitewash at the hands of Sri Lanka in similar conditions. Australia only put up 1 score out of 6 innings above 203 (379 in the 1st innings of the 3rd test). Should the experience heads in Warner and Smith fail to fire, runs from the likes of Renshaw, Handscomb, and Khawaja (depending on who is selected) will be called upon – a tough ask for the trio, with none of the three having ever played a test in India. However, the Australian public will be most intrigued to see how the heavily criticised Marsh brothers (Shaun and Mitchell) will perform. With Shaun’s success in the IPL it is easy to see why he has been selected, but if he were to fail here you would have to think this is the end of his Test career. As for Mitch, he should count his lucky stars on how he is still there with very disappointing career averages of 23 (batting) and 37 (bowling).
India will have no such trouble on their home turf led by their captain and batting superstar Virat Kohli, and supported by the likes of Vijay, Rahane and Pujara. Even with Starc and Hazlewood leading the charge, the spin attack, led by Nathan “Garry/GOAT” Lyon, will likely do the bulk of the bowling, with Steve Smith having to rely on Stephen O’Keefe (4 career tests), Ashton Agar (2) or Mitchell Swepson (0) to provide support for Lyon at the other end.
Virat Kohli. Enough said. This bloke does what he wants. An absolute gun and has a double hundred in 4 consecutive series dating back to last year. No one has ever done that in the history of test cricket (Bradman and Dravid had 3).
Ravi Ashwin. Took 29 wickets @20.10 in the 2012-13 Border-Gavaskar series in India. Will be too classy for the Australian batsmen as he varies his flight, pace and spin. Only one of 2 players in recent times that has perfected the carrom ball (the other being Ajantha Mendis from Sri Lanka) and will use this with great success against an inexperienced Australian batting regiment.
There is only one result on paper for this series – India winning, and comfortably. I can’t see Australia causing too much damage with their inexperienced side. For a bit of value, look to take India to win the series 3-0, with rain being Australia’s only hope of avoiding a 4-0 whitewash.