The second cricket match between Australia and South Africa starts at Bellerive Oval, Hobart, tomorrow. South Africa lead the three-match series 1-0, following the convincing win in the first test held in Perth. Australia are facing the moment of truth. They have to either produce results or face the sack. Nothing less than a victory in the next two tests will douse the anger and disappointment among Australian cricket circles over the team’s performance in the last few months. However, problems are opportunities – both on the ground and in cricket betting.
A good thing for Australia is that they are playing in one of their favourite grounds. They have won nine of the 12 tests played at this venue, including five of the last six tests in a span of 15 years. This is a good hunting ground for the Aussies, even though the Springboks are not going to be easy preys this time.
Preview – Australia
The Australians are usually confident on and off the field. But this Australian team is not. The Perth defeat has punctured their aura of bullishness. They are down at the moment, and they have to get from there. Batting remains the biggest worry for them. David Warner looks commanding when he gets going, but is vulnerable. Usman Khawaja looks elegant. But the rest of the batting, including captain Steven Smith, is anonymous. Their current batting form does not warrant any adventurous punt on them in cricket betting. But still, you never know.
The bowling too lacks the venom it used to have. Even Mitchell Starc is struggling to recapture his World Cup form. He is likely to play this test match even though he is nursing some injuries. No such chance for Peter Siddle. He is injured. Uncapped fast bowler Joe Mennie is likely to take his place.
Preview – South Africa
South Africa won in Perth even after missing Dale Steyn from the second day itself. They bowled Australia out twice with just three frontline bowlers. They had done a Donald Trump even before Trump himself did it.
Kagiso Rabada was awesome in the first test. Kyle Abbott is likely to come in for Steyn in Hobart. The batting clicked in Perth, especially after a poor first day. Still, South Africa will look for more solid contributions from Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla. Hobart is usually a good batting wicket. It is an ideal ground for Amla to regain his touch.
On current form, South Africa are the clear-cut favourites for cricket betting. But batting-friendly conditions Hobart could lead to a draw.
Photo Credit: ABC