Cricket

India vs Australia: 2nd Test Preview & Betting Tips

After an embarrassing defeat in the First Test, it’s do-or-die for the Australians as the series heads to the capital of India. Can the Aussies bounce back? Or will the Indians continue their dominance over the number one ranked Test team at home?

Jack Tobin has got you covered a full preview for the 2nd Test of the Border-Gavaskar series, and be sure to check out our Cricket Tips page for previews of every match of this series!

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India vs Australia 2nd Test Betting Tips

Nagpur, 17th-21st February, 3.00pm (AEDT)

India

Predicted XI: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Srikar Bharat, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj

After a dominant performance in the opening Test of the series, it’s difficult to see there being any changes to the Indian eleven. There were a couple of slight surprises for the First Test as Srikar Bharat got the nod over Ishan Kishan as the keeper and performed well, while Suryakumar Yadav was rewarded with selection after a dominant year in white ball cricket.

After a lean year in 2022 where he didn’t post a half century in Test cricket, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma returned to form when his team needed him most. Sharma took the game away from the Australians right from the start of the Indian innings, en route to a brilliant 120. Axar Patel (84) and Ravindra Jadeja (70) produced crucial knocks in the lower-middle order to keep India’s stranglehold on the game, and further highlight the depth they have in their side.

India will be thrilled that they won a Test match by an innings without requiring a big performance by either Virat Kohli or Cheteshwar Pujara. Kohli and Pujara have tormented the Australians across the entirety of their careers, with the duo averaging 47 and 52 respectively against Australia. If they can hit form this series, it’s going to make life incredibly difficult for the Aussies.

Australia

Predicted XI: Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Cameron Green, Peter Handscomb, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy

Australia made a shock decision at the selection table for the first Test leaving Travis Head out of the side as Peter Handscomb made his return to the Test team. With Cameron Green also a chance to be available for selection, it looks likely that Matthew Renshaw will lose his spot after a nightmare performance in Nagpur with scores of 0 & 2. Mitchell Starc is expected to return from a finger injury, meaning Scott Boland would be left out of the eleven.

Australia once again failed horrendously in Indian conditions, and now face an almighty challenge to win the Border-Gavaskar trophy. The Australians look to have steadied in the first innings with Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith guiding Australia to a solid position at 2/84, before the Aussies were all out for 177. From there on it was all India as they posted 400, and rolled the Australians for 92.

It goes without saying, but if Australia are to have any chance to win a game in India, they’re going to need to get a much greater production out of Usman Khawaja and David Warner. The opening pair combined for 2 runs in the first innings and 15 in the second innings, which simply doesn’t cut it. The easiest time to bat in these conditions is at the top of the order, and the Australians can’t afford to be two down for little on a consistent basis.

Match Prediction

Australia’s biggest fears were confirmed in the opening Test, regardless of some solid performances in the first innings by Labuschagne, Carey and Handscomb, the Australians simply don’t have enough players to go with Steve Smith to produce winning scores on the subcontinent. Outside of Pat Cummins, the Australian bowling attack performed admirably in Nagpur, however the batting deficiencies are going to be too much to overcome.

The fact that KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav scored less than 21 runs, and India still won by an innings and 132 runs should be causing major alarm bells in the Aussie camp. This Delhi pitch is expected to spin a lot more than the surface in Nagpur, which is going to make Ashwin, Axar and Jadeja even more difficult to face. Sixteen of the eighteen Australian wickets in the first Test fell to the spin trio, and proceedings will remain in the second Test.

 

Prop Bets

Ravindra Jadeja’s long awaited return from injury was a special one, tearing through the Australian middle order with figures of 5/47. Jadeja added 70 runs with the bat and another two wickets in the second innings to round out a man of the match performance. Jadeja has loved playing against Australia, taking 70 wickets at an average of 18, and has taken multiple 2+ wickets in 21 of his 24 innings against the Aussies.

Ravindra Jadeja Over 2.5 1st Innings Wickets, $2.20 with Ladbrokes

David Warner’s horrible form in India continued, with scores of 1 and 10 further highlighting Warner’s inability to produce in the conditions that present themselves on the subcontinent. Warner has averages just 22 in India, and the line of 26.5 presents as a very easy selection to take the under. 

David Warner Under 26.5 1st Innings Runs, $1.83 with Ladbrokes

 

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