The highly anticipated four-test series between Australia and India will begin at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday afternoon.
Australia drew first blood in the summer of cricket with a handy 2-1 ODI series win, but India immediately struck back with a 2-1 T20 series win.
The serious stuff begins now.
There is little doubt that this is the series that both nations are desperate to win, but Australia’s dominance at home has been well documented, and they are on track to start favourites in Adelaide, currently $1.80.
The Adelaide test will be played with a pink ball and in the day/night format, and a win is almost vital for India, who will be without Virat Kohli after this test. They are currently available at odds of $2.63.
We’ve briefly previewed the first test between Australia and India and provided our best betting plays below.
Australia are the world’s current number one-ranked test side, and they are full of confidence ahead of this four-test series with the third-placed India.
Rarely does the first test take place away from the Gabba, and while that in itself removes Australia’s incredible thirty-year unbeaten streak from the beginning of the series, this still shapes as their match to lose.
Australia boasts the world’s best test bowling attack, which will see all of Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins take their places alongside the GOAT, Nathan Lyon.
The three pace bowlers will be right at home with the pink ball and under the conditions, but Lyon remains as dangerous as anyone under any conditions, and he has reportedly developed a new delivery and has been gaining purchase in the lead-up to this match.
Australia’s batting line-up is yet to be confirmed, but it appears likely that Matt Wade will be promoted up the order to fill in for the injured David Warner at opener, and young all-rounder Cameron Green will gain his debut.
India will be eager to take a 1-0 advantage in Adelaide and they will be quietly confident in doing so.
Given that captain and (arguably) the world’s best player, Virat Kohli, will be available only for this match, it’s also almost vital to their chances of a rare series win in Australia.
India consistently boasts one of the world’s sturdiest batting line-ups. Kohli is ably supported by several other big-scoring names like Chateshwar Pujara, KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane.
Their small weakness undoubtedly lies with a lack of depth in their bowling ranks.
At his best, fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah would be selected in a World XI, but he appears to be lacking confidence currently and really does need to find form in Adelaide.
Ravi Ashwin is one of the world’s leading spinners, but away from those two players, the Indian bowling attack lacks fire, variation and genuine world class.
Australia vs India Betting & Tips
There is no doubt that Australia is one of the hardest trips to make in world cricket, and Tim Paine’s men will start justifiable favourites ahead of the Adelaide test.
There is still plenty of meat on the bone at the $1.80 quote, and I am happy to take that.
Further into the First Test betting markets, there is plenty of value to be extracted.
Australian Top Runscorer betting has typically been a race in two between Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne for the last couple of years, but I am going to back the former Captain to step up in the first innings.
Smith was excellent for the Aussies in the recent ODI series, and there is no doubt that he’ll be even better under Test conditions.
For India, it’s an open and shut case. Virat Kohli is a $3 favourite in first innings top runscorer betting, and I am more than happy to take that price. He is my best bet ahead of the Adelaide test.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, those two players, Steve Smith and Virat Kohli, are the only two players currently available at odds of less than $10 in Man of the Match betting.
For either nation to win, it is more than likely that one of those two players will have a starring role, and I am happy to back both at their current prices.
- Australia to Win @ $1.80
- Steve Smith to Top Score for Australia (1st Innings) @ $3
- Virat Kohli to Top Score for India (1st Innings) @ $3
- Steve Smith to be named Man of the Match @ $7
- Virat Kohli to be named Man of the Match @ $8