A remarkable batting performance got India out of jail in its Second One Day International versus Australia but the home side still has glaring weaknesses that mean it should not be the favourite for the third match of the series.
Australia was backed in a very hot favourite by the end of its Second One Day International innings at Jaipur’s Sawai Mansingh Stadium, with the Australians scoring an imposing 359 runs for five wickets. Each of Australia’s top five batsmen scored half centuries as they feasted on India’s below-par limited-overs bowling. Top-line India seamer Ishant Sharma was embarrassingly poor and he was very fortunate not to go for more than eight runs an over.
All Australia’s batsmen, particularly George Bailey, Aaron Finch and Phillip Hughes, are in tremendous form and India looks incapable of restricting the away team to ordinary scores. Australia has plundered a total of 663 runs in the first two games of the seven-match series and one would be a brave punter to bet against that trend not continuing.
India pulled off the second highest run chase in One Day International history to defeat Australia in Jaipur, with Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma scoring centuries and Shikhar Dhawan falling five runs short of a ton. India reached its 360-run target with 39 balls remaining in what will go down as one of the great One Day International batting efforts. India’s strength is its batting line-up – that is why it beat Australia in the Twenty20 International that preceded the One Day International series – but its side is not as well balanced as that of its opponent. Hence why it is puzzling why bookmakers favour India over Australia so strongly, with the home team trading at odds of 1.57 with Stan James to win the third game.
The Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Ajitgarh, the city previously known as Mohali, is the venue for the Third One Day International between India and Australia and there is no reason to abandon the Australians, especially as BetVictor are offering odds of 2.50 about Bailey’s in-form tourists.
Australia’s mood may be down after losing what Australian media outlets are calling the unlosable match but Bailey and his colleagues will take heart from their country’s record at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium. Australia has won four of its five One Day International games at the ground, including each of its last three matches, two of which were versus India. The venue holds happy memories.
Once again, the best exotic bet pertaining to a One Day International between India and Australia is a punt on the Australians to be the side that hits the most sixes. The bookmaking fraternity has worked out that Australia should be the favourite but, even so, the Australians are over the odds at 1.95 with 888sport. Australia beat India 9-3 in the First One Day International. And Australia defeated India 12-11 in the Second One Day International even though the Indians blasted their way to an unforgettable victory.
Bookmakers think that there is a decent chance of a batsman scoring a century in the Third One Day International but a trawl through the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium records suggests that odds of 1.73 with BetVictor about no ton is on the generous side. The Ajitgarh ground has staged 21 One Day Internationals since 1993. Only five of those games have had a centurion, with the matches being New Zealand against Pakistan in 1997, Sri Lanka versus Bangladesh in 2006, India against Pakistan in 2007, South Africa versus the Netherlands in 2011 and the West Indies against Ireland in 2011. Exclude the games featuring one or more of cricket’s minnows – and, like it or not, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe fall into that category – and the century statistics become only two out of 14 matches. BetVictor’s quote is wide of the mark even allowing for the good form of the two batting line-ups and the ongoing frailties of India’s bowling roster.