Australia’s squad to take on India in this week’s two-match T20 series bears little resemblance to the Test squad that comprehensively dispatched the visitors earlier this month, but Sam Stow says they are still favourites… just.
India are probably ready to leave Australia already, but at least the torment of the Test series is over, and they now have the chance to do what they failed to do in England last summer: win a game.
The visitors looked unathletic and uninspired during the four five-day contests, but there appears to be far more menace in their T20 ranks. The addition of Suresh Raina (also an excellent fielder) and Rohit Sharma adds explosive batting to the middle-order, while the presence of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja means that the visitors have plenty of spin options.
Australia’s squad is an extraordinary mix of veterans and rookies, with the likes of Brett Lee, Mike Hussey and 40-year-old Brad Hogg mixing it alongside James Faulkner and Mitchell Marsh (whose combined ages only just trump Hogg).
With Travis Birt, Aaron Finch and Victoria’s highly-rated keeper-batsman Matthew Wade also included, the Australian public will be seeing plenty of new faces this week, while new skipper George Bailey looks to have a tough job on his hands, as he tries to get the best out of himself and his new look team in the pressure cooker environment of international T20 cricket.
That said, punters on Betfair are still, understandably, behind the Baggy Greens, with an Australian series win currently priced at 2.42 [7.5], with India at 5.4 [9/2]. The latter’s odds seem a little long, but even with a revamped outfit I can’t see them beating their more energetic hosts twice in a week.
As such, I make Australia marginal favourites, and can see the value in laying India at 5.5.
For all the latest odds check out www.betfair.com