Australia v India
Sunday November 29 03:40
TV: live on Sky Sports
Australia’s expected dominance materialised in game one as they amassed 374 runs batting first and won by 66 runs. It came at a cost, though, with Marcus Stoinis suffering a side strain.
Stoinis looks certain to miss out for the rest of the series. His replacement could be the uncapped Western Australia all-rounder Cameron Green or veteran Moises Henriques. The latter may be the more sensible short-term approach because Green’s record is modest and has been picked because of first-class form.
For back-to-back games Australia have now throw caution to the wind and attacked right to the death. If they keep that up they will rival England as the best in the world.
Possible XI Warner, Finch, Smith, Labuschagne, Maxwell, Carey, Green, Cummins, Starc, Hazlewood, Zampa
India looked underprepared and undercooked. Surely they will be better for the run, particularly as they won’t have to adapt to a different pitch.
Still, there’s not much they can do about the balance of their XI. When faced with such a monstrous chase, their weakness is exposed
Really, Ravi Jadeja is a place too high at No 7. Navdeep Saini is at No 8. It puts tremendous pressure on the top order but the reality is that they have a dearth of all-rounders.
Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya aside, India wilted. Virat Kohli made a pleasing start but failed and KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer failed to another establishment test. Yuz Chahal could be dropped for Kuldeep Yadav.
Probable XI Agarwal, Dhawan, Kohli, Iyer, Rahul, Hardik, Jadeja, Saini, Kuldeep, Shami, Bumrah.
Six of the last seven day-nighters at the SCG have been won by the side bating first. But instead of reckoning that there is something in the night sky that impacts batting, it’s more down to the team batting first getting best use of a flat wicket and piling on the pressure. In five of those seven, 300 or more has been busted. It is the bare minimum and even 320 is not safe. Going overs at 340, 350, 360 for big numbers is shrewd.
Take on favourites
Australia are 1.584/7 and India 2.6613/8. That price about the hosts is way too short to consider getting involved with but that’s ok because the reliable nature of the pitch gives us a profit route.
If India were to bat first they are more than capable of getting up to the 320 to make this a competitive chase. And they won’t be in the 2.608/5 region if they manage that. They may even trade as slight favourites. Depending on nerve, one could let that run with a couple of early wickets sending the price crashing. Backing India and then booking a lay at [1.80) could be the way to go, with the original stake plus half.
We note Glenn Maxwell’s price is into 7s with Sportsbook for top Aussie bat. Do Australia move him up to No 3 to replace Stoinis? Possibly, although such a move would seriously undermine Marnus Labuschagne who looks a spare part.
Virat Kohli has now failed to land top-bat honours in his last 18 ODI and T20 matches for India. He is 15/8 to end the drought. It’s not value on win rate.