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Australia vs India, Second Test Tips & Previews, 17th February

The second Test of the Australia & India Series kicks off on Friday and BetDeluxe has a look at both teams to give you the inside running.

The two highest-ranked Test nations in the world head to Delhi for the second of four Tests. BetDeluxe profiles both teams as they vie for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

India vs. Australia

17th February

India will be looking to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy for the fourth consecutive series when they clash with Australia in the second Test at Delhi on Friday.

And guess what? At $1.42 with BetDeluxe, they are every chance to do so.

The Indians had a mental and physical stranglehold over the Australians in the opening Test, running out winners by an innings and 132 runs. The Indian spinners were relentless, while Rohit Sharma dispatched the Australians’ second-rate bowling attack with a sensational 120 at the top of the order.

But where to from here for the Australians?

There is no doubt that Travis Head will return to the lineup after being surprisingly axed on the eve of the first Test. Head has a disappointing average of just 21.30 in Asia, but his recent form indicates a more rounded and mature batsman. He has averaged 87.50 over the past six months and is the fourth-highest-ranked batsman in the world. Head was dropped in favour of Peter Handscomb and Matthew Renshaw in the middle order and will most likely replace the latter after scores of 0 and 2 in Nagpur. Selectors are reportedly considering dropping Warner for Head as the Aussie opener grapples with the fact he’s made 50 just once from his past 15 innings.

The Australian bowling attack has just as many questions, with Josh Hazelwood, Mitchell Starc and Cameron Green all needing to prove their fitness after being sidelined in Nagpur. The one shining light for the Aussies was Victorian off-spinner Todd Murphy, who claimed an incredible seven-wicket haul on debut. Murphy and Nathan Lyon will almost certainly form another two-pronged spin attack. Still, selectors have flown uncapped left-arm finger spinner Matt Kuhnemann to India to replace Mitch Swepson and provide another bowling option.

It will be unlikely that the Indians will make many if any, changes to their starting XI after their dominant display last week. KL Rahul might feel some pressure at the top of the order, but ultimately, the Indians were a well-oiled machine with both bat and ball. Ravindra Jadeja received the Man of the Match Award as he led a successful three-headed spin attack alongside Ravi Ashwin and Axar Patel. All three should play in Delhi, with the pitch expected to be another low-bouncing turner.

At $1.42, the Indians are clear favourites to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in just two Tests, with the markets pricing the tourists at $4.15. The Australians should improve after spending some time in India and acclimatising to their conditions. Still, it will be difficult for Pat Cummins and his men to turn around such a comprehensive deficit.

Suggested Bet: S. Smith top Australian batsman at $3.20

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