The second test match in the three-test series between Sri Lanka and Australia begins at Galle tomorrow. Yet another spin test awaits the Australian batsmen, if the first test is any indication. Sri Lanka won the first test, despite conceding the first innings lead. It became apparent in the fourth innings that the Aussie batters are still clueless about playing high quality spin. All the cricket betting will be favoured towards a Sri Lankan win. But the weather forecasts are for heavy rain. So draw could also come into play in online betting odds.
At the moment, the best chance for Australia is to win the toss, bat first and score a huge first innings total somehow. May be David Warner can blast a quick-fire hundred and the likes of Steven Smith and Usman Khawaja can build on it when the pitch is still fresh and the ball is new. When the pitch gets deteriorated, it is difficult to handle Rangana Herath and Lakshan Sandakan, especially for batsmen from outside the sub continent.
A good thing for Australia is the form shown by their bowlers. Both the pacers and spinners stuck to the task. Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon would have won the match for Australia had Kushal Mendis not scored the hundred of his life. His 176 stands like a timeless monument among the batting ruins all around. The next highest score in the entire match is Steven Smith’s 55 in the second innings.
One thing is clear. If the batsmen score sufficient runs, the Australian bowlers are more than good enough to push for a win.
Sri Lanka’s chances
The win actually masks some crippling deficiencies. Their batting was woeful in the first test, except for that innings from Mendis. None of the other batsmen managed even a half century. That would worry the Lankan team management, but encourage those who want to cash in on the big odds for the Australian win in cricket betting.
Sri Lanka are likely to put all eggs in one basket: spin. Herath, Sandakan and Dilruwan Perera are likely to play a key role in it once again. They understand that Australian batsmen have both technical and psychological flaws when it comes to playing decent spin bowling. They can exploit it like a long-standing fixed deposit in banks. In fact, all sub-continent teams do that.
Sri Lankan speedster Nuwan Pradeep is injured and is unlikely to feature in this match. Australia have no injury woes, but only spin-playing woes. Australia’s overall record is not that bad in Sri Lanka: six wins in 14 tests. They have lost just two tests in Sri Lanka, including the first test of this series. Even during the halcyon days of Muttiah Muralitharan, they managed to find a way to tackle spin. But do not go by those stats for cricket betting on this match, as the current lot of batsmen do not inspire much confidence.
Australia have played three tests in Galle and not lost a single one. They won in 2011 and in 2004 and drew in 1999. Only Nathan Lyon and, surprisingly, Usman Khawaja, have the experience of playing on this ground among the current Australian players. Lyon got a five-wicket haul and Khawaja got starts in both the innings in 2011.
Sri Lanka may do well not to look at the stats. They will be focusing on spin, spin and more spin.
It is going to be either a Sri Lankan win or a draw for all cricket betting purposes. It is too risky to bet on an Australian win, as things stand now, even though the odds are attractive.
Photo Credit: Mirror