A lot went wrong for the Aussies in Adelaide, but there’s still plenty to feel good about as the Test series swings to Perth on Friday.
Alongside a standout performance from Cheteshwar Pujara, mistakes with the bat and the ball gave India a narrow 31-run victory in the First Test.
The selectors now have their hands full as they not only attempt to tweak Australia’s lukewarm batting order in the span of four-days, but also a bowling attack that looks to be in desperate need of an all-rounder.
Just like in Adelaide the bookies have the Aussies well under the odds ahead of the Second Test, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of value before the first ball is bounced.
As always, all of our best bets can be found in our complete Second Test Preview below!
Best Bet: Australia To Win @ $2.20
We know the difference in Adelaide was 31-runs, but where exactly did they come from?
Simple, mistakes. Mitchell Starc bowled 16 byes during the First Test, although wicket keeper/captain Tim Paine will likely shoulder the blame.
Despite the blunder, Starc bowled well in Adelaide. He finished the first innings 2-63 and the third 3-40, encouraging signs ahead of what will be a very speedy wicket in Perth.
If Starc can limit the mistakes, the pace should pose plenty of problems for the Indians. Throw in a talented all-rounder and a little luck with the bat, and the Aussies are a real chance to even up the series.
Man of the Match: Josh Hazlewood @ $11.00
Winning the toss is crucial in Perth. Both sides will be looking to bowl first, and if Australia wins, look out.
There should be plenty of speed on the wicket at Optus Stadium, which will not only suit Starc, but also Josh Hazlewood. The paceman took four wickets in Adelaide and will take plenty of confidence away from his last inning performance with the bat.
Australia Top 1st Innings Runscorer: Travis Head @ $7.00
It’s difficult to feel confident in any Australian batsman right now.
For what it’s worth, the 50-run partnership of Travis Head and Pat Cummins was the most successful in Adelaide with so many of the Aussie openers playing poor shots.
Head was by far the most composed at the crease, though. His 72-runs in the second innings gave Australia life after losing five wickets on Day 2, and since he looks to be the most in-form batsman, he could easily light it up in Perth.
Aaron Finch is also worth a look here at $5.00 odds if he does move down the order.
India Top 1st Innings Wicket Taker: Ravi Ashwin @ $5.00
Ravi Ashwin silenced his doubters with a huge six wicket haul in Adelaide. That takes his international Test wicket total to 65, proving he isn’t just a sensation at home in India.
A much quicker pitch will make Ashwin work for wickets, but the Optus surface is reportedly in bouncy condition. That plays into the hands of the spinners as much as it does the fast-bowlers with plenty of seam and swing available. By Day 2, don’t be surprised if we’re looking at a dry pitch with a few bunkers worth exploiting.