The lead up to this year’s summer of cricket has been chock-full of uncertainty, but with restrictions lifting and India finally allowed into the country, we’re happy to say the first ball will officially be bowled at the SCG on Friday afternoon!
This three match ODI series should provide the perfect backdrop heading into the Test Series, and not surprisingly, there is plenty of value to be found in the market.
Both Australia and India have a mutual respect for one another, but at the same time, there’s certainly no love lost between these two sides.
With the first match on Friday, the second on Sunday and the third next Wednesday, you can find our complete ODI Series Preview below!
The Aussies have opened as the slight $1.70 favourite in head-to-head betting following a successful tour of England earlier in September.
Justin Langer’s side won the series 2-1 against the poms with Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey steering the ship in the decisive third rubber match.
India’s return to the pitch, meanwhile, has been far more turbulent after playing the waiting game for so many months.
The pandemic put both the ODI series and the Test series in serious doubt earlier in the year, while it’s also cost the Indian team nine months of preparation after last taking the pitch back (at an international level) back in February during their Tour of New Zealand.
With this in mind, Australia has to feel pretty confident in their chances not only during this quick ODI series, but also looking ahead to the Test series starting a week before Christmas.
Also working in Australia’s favour is their enviable batting order depth that eventually proved too much for England to handle a few months back.
Steve Smith remains one of the toughest batsman to face in any facet of the game, and with India maybe a little rusty from a long layoff, it’s going to take a special performance from Jasprit Bumrah or Mohammed Shami to get him out.
If India do succeed in dismissing Smith, they then have to deal with Marnus Labuschagne, Dave Warner, Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell – all names that contributed during the England tour.
Of course, India can remain competitive thanks to one man alone: Virat Kohli.
The world’s No. 2 ranked batsman tormented Australia over in India when these two sides last met back in January.
Kohli put up 78 in the second ODI and 89 in the third to secure India a series win, and with his departure back to India imminent for the birth of his child, it’s likely he’ll be hungry to make an impact right away.
Still, if Kohli fails to fire, India are in all sorts of trouble with their second-best batsman Rohit Sharma absent.
Considering the Aussies own a 26-15 record against India in ODI’s, they look impossible to back against fielding a full-strength squad looking to make amends for January’s disappointment.
Tip: Australia to Win @ $1.70
Top India Series Run Scorer
Given what we mentioned above, you’d be mad to back against Kohli with the $2.50 value on offer.
In 40 career ODI’s against Australia, India’s most famous batsman has averaged 47.25 runs and scored a century on eight occasions.
Sydney hasn’t been his most productive ground when it comes to One Day cricket, but with some rest on his side and a point to prove before he goes home, the captain should be leading the way.
Tip: Virat Kohli @ $2.50
Top Australia Series Run Scorer
Smith is a god, but it’s no real surprise to find Warner as the $3.25 favourite to lead Australia to victory.
Call him a flat track bully all you like, the man has produced the goods, especially against India where he’s averaged 49.29 runs in 19 ODI’s.
In case you aren’t convinced, Warner has also never registered a duck in One Day cricket against India.
Tip: David Warner @ $3.25
Top India Series Wicket Tacker
It’s tough to feel confident in any of the Indian bowlers after the long layoff, but Yuzvendra Chahal does appear decent value at the $4.00 mark.
The 30-year-old was outstanding during the tour of New Zealand taking six wickets in both ODI’s back in February.
He’s never bowled at the SCG before, but after taking a couple of wickets at the Adelaide Oval back in June last year, he shouldn’t be short on confidence.
Tip: Yuzvendra Chahal @ $4.00
Top Australia Series Wicket Taker
Mitchell Starc was in superb form during the English tour where he took five wickets across the three-match ODI series, so it’s hard to see him not finishing up as Australia’s top bowler.
He also put in some big spells in the first ODI against India in Mumbai back in January where he took three wickets, while his recent form in the Sheffield Shield (nine wickets across two matches) is hard to fault.
Tip: Mitchell Starc @ $3.00