Australia v India @ SCG
Not many thought after the disaster of Adelaide and with Virat Kohli on the plane home that the Indian’s would be able to square the series at one all in Melbourne but that is exactly what they did.
India set the game up in the first innings with a terrific bowling effort once again lead by Jasprit Bumrah. He took 4 for 56 as India restricted Australia to 195 in their first innings. Ravi Ashwin was good also. He took 3 wickets and is having his best tour of Australia – a place that he has previously struggled.
When Cheteshwar Pujara was caught behind off the bowling of Pat Cummins the Indian’s appeared in trouble at 3 for 62. Enter Ajinkya Rahane. The stand in captain made a sublime 112 and India went onto post 326.
Australia was again poor with the bat in their second innings and India were left with just 70 runs to chase to win the test match. They did so 2 wickets down.
We are unlikely to know the exact make up of the Australian team for this test until the toss. Opener Joe Burns has been dropped, which looked a forgone conclusion after two more failures in Melbourne. David Warner looks likely to be fit to play and will replace Burns at the top of the order. A huge inclusion for the Aussies.
There is also strong talk that Will Pucovski will make his long awaited test debut. He has been cleared to play after missing the first two tests with concussion. If he is to debut this would likely push Matthew Wade to the middle order. Travis Head, who has been short on runs, would miss out.
Wade proved he can make crucial middle order runs under pressure during the 2019 Ashes and will be a welcome addition back into that middle order. He will likely bat five if the Aussies do go with Pucovski which leaves Cameron Green at number six. Green was the shining light with the bat in Melbourne and there is little doubt he has a big future.
The Sydney wicket historically turns so this should work in favour of the Indian’s for two reasons. Firstly they prefer playing on turning tracks as that is how the wickets are prepared in India and secondly they have two recognised spinners in their side – Jadeja and Ashwin. Australia have just the one – Lyon – but a good one at that I might add.
In terms of a suggested betting strategy, I am looking to the most run scorer markets. There has been rain around in Sydney this week and the toss could be crucial so I am loathed to get involved in head to head markets. Instead, backing both Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith most first innings runs for their respective sides.
There are two reasons for this. Firstly, they are their teams best batsman. Rahane has been in superb form and Smith while not at his best this series is too good a player not to bounce back and will be hungry to do so. Secondly, there has been significant rain in Sydney leading up to the test match and both bat in the middle order so won’t be exposed straight away to a new ball that may be swinging or seaming.