Australia v India – Second Test Betting Preview
By BET Contributor
After being blown away by the Australian pace attack inside 3 days in the opening Test, India find themselves 1-0 down in the four-match series as they head into the Boxing Day Test.
Injuries and family responsibilities have left India weakened going into the second Test, with Virat Kohli taking no further part in the series to be home with his pregnant wife. Unfortunately for India, the one bowler who caused the most problems for Australia, Mohammed Shami is now also out due to his fractured arm, sustained in the first Test loss. India need to show they are a team that can win outside of the subcontinent, and this is made infinitely harder without their premier batsman.
With David Warner having officially been ruled out of the Boxing Day Test, this gives Joe Burns and Matthew Wade another opportunity at the top. Burns, having hit a half-century and regaining some form will have an enormous boost of confidence and will be relived to pay back some of the faith shown in him by coach, captain and selectors.
Tim Paine has done an incredible job for Australia as captain, and his performance in the first Test was instrumental to the home side winning, as was illustrated by his first Player of the Match award.
India gave a chance to Prithvi Shaw and it didn’t pay off. With technical faults to his game, it would be better for him to sort these out before trying to open in Test cricket, arguably the toughest position to bat. Shubman Gill deserves a chance.
Mohammed Shami’s injury opens the door for one of Navdeep Saini or Mohammed Siraj to make their Test debut, but depending on the state of the MCG pitch, India could opt for a second spinner, in Ravindra Jadeja, which then also bolsters the batting.
The MCG pitch has received heavy criticism over the past few years, with the ICC deeming it poor and, at best, average for international cricket. The last time these two teams played at this venue, in 2018, India won by 137 runs, with an inspired spell of bowling from Jasprit Bumrah. Australia however were without two of their key players. How much of a factor will it be to have at least one of them back?
Probable Playing XI
Matthew Wade, Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon & Josh Hazlewood
Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravi Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah & Navdeep Saini
Key Players to watch out for
In Virat Kohli’s absence, Ajinkya Rahane becomes the stand in captain, and with India trailing, how he leads the side becomes incredibly important.
Having succeeded in Australia on their last tour, Cheteshwar Pujara will be looked at again to lead the batting.
Steven Smith had a relatively uneventful first Test, so will be looking to make more of an impact in the second.
Steve Smith to be SA’s top batsman at 3.25.
Josh Hazlewood to be SA’s top bowler at 4.00.
Cheteshwar Pujara to be SL’s top batsman at 3.25.