After defeating New Zealand 2-0 (which landed us a handy $4.75 winner), Australia continue their Test cricket summer by welcoming the West Indies for a three-match Test series commencing on Thursday at Blundstone Arena in Hobart.
The Windies arrived on Australian shores talking up a big game. Comments were made about exposing Australia’s weaknesses. Comments were made that the next “big thing” of West Indian cricket could be in their current squad.
They were then rolled by ten wickets in a warm-up game against a Cricket Australia XI who had six rookies and an average age of 21.
Okay, so touring sides often struggle when they first land in the country, but the West Indies have a serious lack of credentials to be smack talking at all. They have numerous problems, both on and off the field, and it doesn’t matter how many superstars they have in the coaching box, or playing in the Big Bash League, when the eleven on the park aren’t performing.
The main problem for the tourists is their batting, and it’s been that way for many years now. They just can’t find the next Brian Lara. It speaks volumes of their lack of ability with the willow that online sportsbooks are framing markets around their anticipated horrible performance.
Sportsbet have opened a market for David Warner and Steve Smith to score more runs on their own than the entire West Indies team during the series. You can back the Aussie stars at $6.00 and it's probably not a bad bet.
The embarrassment for the tourists doesn’t end there with the six West Indian players featuring in the Big Bash League priced at $3.50 to combine for more runs than their compatriots in the Test arena. The BBL list includes the likes of Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Lendl Simmons.
The best backed batsman of the Windies line up has actually been skipper Jason Holder at $13, who will likely bat as low as number seven.
“The way they’ve been going, Jason Holder might only need to make it to double figures to top score,” said sportsbet.com.au’s Christian Jantzen.
Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels will carry a lot of the responsibility for the tourists as their most experienced batsmen, but the task looks too great for them to overcome.
With the ball, Jerome Taylor and Kemar Roach former a strong opening combination that could trouble the Aussies while the shine is on the ball. Their best hope is for a couple of early wickets with the new ball to expose the middle order. If not, then they will struggle.
Australia have made one change to their side with James Pattinson getting his chance after Mitchell Starc was ruled out through injury. Pattinson’s last Test was in March 2014 and he has battled to overcome injuries since. Pattinson pipped Nathan Coulter-Nile for the final bowling spot and will be itching to be let loose at the Windies.
Pattinson and Josh Hazelwood, with Peter Siddle in support, should simply have too much fire power.
David Warner will be the man to stop with the willow after the opener had a tremendous series against the Kiwis and is worth a bet at $3.50 at Ladbrokes to be the Aussies top run scorer in the 1st innings, while the Marsh brothers will be desperately wanting to get some runs under their belts in the middle order.
Australia are an extremely short $1.10 to win the first Test with the Windies at a massive $24. There’s no value there, while Sportsbet are offering $17 for any of the Tests to end within 2 days.
“The Aussie cricketers will be spending as much time on the golf course as they will be in the outfield by the looks of it,” said Jantzen.
With some grass on the wicket and poor weather in Hobart during the preparation, playing the totals might be the better play, with the Windies Under 235.5 for the first innings paying $1.82 at Luxbet. There's also a decent promotion at Ladbrokes for the 1st Test to be wrapped up inside three days at odds of $4.00.
For the series, a 3-0 result for Australia looks a near certainty with odds offered of $1.44 at Bet365.
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