Australia get their Test summer underway against the West Indies tomorrow morning at the Optus Stadium in Perth. It will be the first Test of the two-match series as Pat Cummins’ side look to edge closer to a first World Test Championship final. Cricket punter Lwanele Poswayo has a prediction and best bets for the first Test of the series.
The home side come into this contest on top of the WTC standings and take on a West Indies side that has failed to win a Test in Australia in 14 attempts.
The number-ranked bowler in Tests was not at his best in the recently concluded T20 World Cup but this is his favourite format. The Optus Stadium is known for being a fast and bouncy wicket which should suit the Aussie skipper and his fellow pacemen. He needs one more wicket to reach 200 in Tests and will be eager to be among the wickets and kick off the Test summer in style. Back him to be Australia’s top bowler.
Steve Smith is finding form again which is not good news for the West Indies and South Africa, who Australia will play after this series. He might’ve been “out of form” but he’s still averaged 61 in Test since 2016 and like Cummins, this format is more suited for him. He looked good against a poor England side in the recent ODI series with scores of 80, 94 & 21 and will be looking to carry over his recent form to Test cricket.
Even though the Optus Stadium is known for being bowler-friendly, a player of Smith’s class should still be amongst the runs, so I’m backing him to be the home side’s top batsman.
In the two Tests that have been played at this venue, the average 1st innings score is 371. This shows us that despite the pace and bounce at the venue, it is still a good cricketing wicket and I expect one of the Australian batters to score over 134.5.
Pitch and Conditions
The track at the Optus Stadium is known for its extra pace and bounce which was visible at the T20 World Cup. Fast bowlers from both nations will love bowling on this track and the bounce may also help the spinners to take wickets as the match progresses. The initial phase will be tough for the batters, but once set, you can expect big knocks at this venue.
West Indies: WWWDD
*Most recent matches first.
The Aussies are in great form in this format and arguably have the best Test side in the world on paper. They are also the number one ranked side for a reason and face a team that has failed to win in Australia in 14 attempts. Australia are at 1.10 to win so there’s not much value there but you can include this bet in one of your multis.