The four match Test series between Australia and India got off to a fantastic start over the weekend as India claimed a thrilling win to take a 1-0 lead. It’s a quick turnaround for the second Test, which begins on Friday from Perth and we have a full preview and betting tips for the match below.
Australia fought tooth and nail but ultimately fell just short in the first Test in Adelaide over the weekend. India claimed their first ever opening Test win in Australia and firmed as series favourites heading into the Perth Test on Friday.
After bowling well and restricting the Indians to just 250 in the first innings, Australia couldn’t capatilise with the bat, making just 235 in their first innings as only Travis Head surpassed 50. India went on to compile 307 in the second innings led by Cheteshwar Pujara, leaving the Aussies 323 to win.
Australia had consistent partnerships of 30-40 runs throughout their 2nd innings but ultimately couldn’t find the match winning partnership as Marcus Harris, Shaun Marsh and Tim Paine all got good starts but couldn’t carry on. Australia’s bowlers put up a massive fight, taking the game to within just 31 runs before Ravi Ashwin finally got the wicket of Josh Hazlewood to end the match.
The series heads to Perth on Friday in what promises to be another exciting affair. The brand new Optus Stadium in Perth will host red ball cricket for the first time this week, but the pitch is expected to be fast and bouncy in a bid to replicate the traditional WACA pitches of old.
In the past, the conditions would have been a big advantage to Australia, however, the Indian fast bowling unit is different from any they have ever brought to Australia, led by Jasprit Bumrah, who consistently finds the high 140km/h.
It’s unlikely that India will make a change to their line-up for the Perth Test, however, with some quality fast bowlers waiting in the wings in the likes of Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, it's possible that we get an adjustment in the pace attack. 19-year-old opening sensation Prithvi Shaw is making his case for selection in Perth his recovery from an ankle injury suffered in a warm up game ramps up.
For the Aussies, the selection meetings will likely revolve around a few things. One of the issues is whether or not Aaron Finch can be trusted at the top of the order. Finch made just 0 and 11 in the first Test and is probably more suited down the order. Likely replacements could be Matt Renshaw or a move up the order for Usman Khawaja.
Another question mark for the Australian selectors will be the all-rounder position. An extra frontline batsman was selected in Adelaide, however, Marcus Stoinis was fantastic in Western Australia’s recent Sheffield Shield game, making a match saving 85 in the second innings to help WA hold on for a draw. Stoinis could come into the side at the expense of Finch or possibly Peter Handscomb if the selectors want an extra bowler.
As we mentioned above, the Perth wicket will likely be fast and bouncy, which we think should actually favour the Indians in this Test. Their fast bowling trio was ultimately the difference in Adelaide as spinner Ravi Ashwin picked up just six wickets in the match.
India have started as slight $2.15 favourites here, which we think is great value. It’s unlikely that we will see the tourists' bat as poorly as they did in the first innings in Adelaide again this series. They were dismissed cheaply playing uncharacteristic shots and still managed to win the Test match. At the same time, we can't seem to rely on the volatile Australian batting lineup for a total of 300+, especially with the extra pace and bounce for Bumrah and co.
We expect India to take a 2-0 series lead here.
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