The first of the three-test series between Australia and South Africa will start at the WACA in Perth tomorrow. The good news for the visitors – and something to be noted by those planning for cricket betting on this series – is that Australia have never won at the WACA against South Africa. The Perth pitch was once famed (even notorious among batsmen) for its pace and bounce. Over the years, the pitch has evolved into a batting paradise. High scores, especially in the second innings, have become a norm these days. None of these teams have the dominant aura of their past. Still, this could end up a marquee series of world cricket.
Preview – Australia
Australia have a strong bowling attack. Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Nathan Lyon select themselves. The fourth bowler’s spot will witness a toss-up between Peter Siddle and uncapped Joe Mennie. Siddle has the experience, but Mennie is a better batsman. Australia’s batting unit is short in confidence and runs. Mennie could find himself in the eleven, due to the lack of confidence among top order batsmen.
This is good chance for the Australian batsmen to find form, though. After all, there is no better place than at home for batting in test matches. Skipper Steven Smith and his deputy David Warner will be the mainstays. For cricket betting, Usman Khawaja could be a good choice to bet on for most runs.
Preview – South Africa
South Africa will go into this match with the confidence of a team that has never lost at WACA. In fact, their last match in Australia was played at this very ground, which they won by 309 runs. It was a match in which Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers scored centuries and Dale Steyn bowled supremely well. de Villiers will miss this series as he is still recovering from injury. Amla will once again lead the batting unit comprising Faf du Plessis, Jean-Paul Duminy, Quinton de Kock and Dean Elgar. The absence of de Villiers is likely to give a chance to Rilee Rossouw.
South Africa have an embarrassment of riches in the bowling department. Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, and Kagiso Rabada will all fancy their chances on the WACA pitch, especially on the first two days. Vernon Philander or Kyle Abbot too will feature in the line-up. If the team management decides to field a spinner too, one of the untested left-arm spinners, Tabraiz Shamsi or Keshav Maharaj, will make the debut.
On paper, South Africa will have the advantage. It will reflect on the odds of cricket betting too. But it would not be a surprise if Australia produce the first win over South Africa at WACA.
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