India vs Australia predictions
Days after facing off in the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup final, India and Australia lock horns again in the first T20 match of their five-game series on Thursday (1.30pm, Sky Sports Cricket).
Australia defeated India in the final of the 50-over competition by six wickets, breaking the hearts of the host nation, who won every match on their way to the title showdown, only to miss out on the crown in front of 100,000 spectators at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
India now have to turn the page quickly to build form for the next major event, the World T20 next year in the United States, where they are the favourites with UK betting sites to win the title.
There will be a much-changed India line-up from the team that was beaten in Ahmedabad.
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and the majority of the 15-man World Cup squad are being rested after their exploits in the tournament.
Only Suryakumar Yadav, Prasidh Krishna and Ishan Kishan are available for head coach Rahul Dravid.
However, there is still plenty of talent to take on the Aussies. Australia have also changed their line-up, although Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Josh Inglis and the final hero Travis Head will all play.
The Aussies have the psychological edge over their opponents and the best cricket betting sites make them the favourites to get off the mark in the series with a win. Here are our India vs Australia predictions.
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Head to torment India again?
Head performed heroics in the World Cup final to orchestrate Australia’s victory. Whereas every other batter failed to time the ball on a slow wicket, Head was up for the challenge and took on the best bowling attack in the tournament with ferocity.
He was rewarded for his approach by joining an elite set of players to score a century in a World Cup final, emulating his compatriots Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist.
Head has been a thorn in the side of India in both the Test Championship and World Cup final, and now the 29-year-old will turn his attention to T20.
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The left-hander has not been as effective in T20s as the other two formats, but he will not be short on confidence. He scored 48 not out in his last T20 in India in 2017 and will not be facing the premier India attack.
We believe Head can pour salt in India’s wounds to lead the way for Australia at the top of the order. Unibet have set his run line at 27.5, so we’re taking the over with our first India vs Australia prediction at evens.
India vs Australia Tip 1: Travis Head to score over 27.5 runs – 1/1 Unibet
A look into the future for India?
India have rested the bowlers that were instrumental in their run to the final. So, they have a chance to look at the next generation of talent and Arshdeep Singh is one of the brightest prospects.
The 24-year-old has already made his mark in T20 cricket and was part of the squad that reached the semi-finals before losing out to England. During the competition in Australia, he claimed 10 wickets in six matches at an average of 15.60.
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Overall, Arshdeep has been extremely impressive in T20 cricket for India with 54 wickets in 36 matches. There’s certainly more to come from the left-armer and he will have a lot of responsibility in the series to prove that he can step up and lead.
Arshdeep has not faced Australia before, but will have come across a lot of the line-up in the IPL while playing for Punjab Kings. We’re backing him to make a good start to the series by taking over 1.5 wickets at 2/1 with bet365.
India vs Australia Tip 2: Arshdeep Singh to take over 1.5 wickets – 2/1 bet365
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Who will strike the most sixes?
Australia and India combined with 189 sixes at the World Cup, with the Aussies notching five more than their rivals with 97.
Two of Australia’s big-hitters, David Warner and Mitchell Marsh, have returned home, but Maxwell and Head remain in the ranks to clear the ropes. Tim David is also one of the most fearsome strikers of the ball in the limited-overs game.
India are without the majority of their leading batters, including Sharma, who scored almost a third of their sixes at the World Cup.
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Yadav and Kishan are two excellent batters and will provide power near the top of the order, while Ruturaj Gaikwad struck 30 sixes in the IPL in the 2023 campaign.
But, which side will come out with the most maximums in the game? Australia outscored India five to three for six-hitting in the World Cup final.
So, we’re backing the Aussies to continue to have the edge when it comes to scoring sixes with our final India vs Australia prediction at 13/10 with Betway.
India vs Australia Tip 3: Australia to score most sixes – 13/10 Betway
Simon Sinclair is an experienced sports journalist, who has written for national publications for football, cricket, NFL and many more. He contributes tips on a wide range of sports for The Independent.