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Australian Cricket: India v Australia Third Test preview

Australia have so far had a Test series to forget out in India but they do get the chance to restore some pride to the Baggy Green during the third Test which gets underway on Wednesday.

It is fair to say that Australia have been humiliated in the opening two Test matches. They lost the first by an innings and 132 runs before collapsing to a six-wicket defeat in the second.

The coaching staff and players have come in for fierce criticism regarding tactics and shot selection, while a number of players have returned home to Australia for various reasons. The Border-Gavaskar Trophy may have gone, but Australia do have their pride to play for and the nation will be expecting them to show more fight.

There is still a chance to draw the series. That is a huge ask which is reflected in the odds of 21.00. A series whitewash looks more likely with India available at 1.80 to win 4-0 but the Aussies have to go out there and give it their best shot.

It will be a patched up side that takes to the pitch, but surely they cannot do much worse than the previous two Tests, while Steve Smith is back as skipper in the absence of Pat Cummins. So with the action in Indore set to get underway, let’s take a closer look at the third Test.

What:India v Australia
Where:Holkar Stadium, Indore
When:1st to 5th March 2023
How to watch:Foxtel Go, Kayo Sports
Odds:India 1.40, Draw 7.00, Australia 5.00

Team news – Starc fit to return for Australia

Australia will be forced into changes for the third Test after losing a number of big players for various reasons. It may turn out to be a good thing as some fresh faces could help them bounce back from losing the opening two Test matches.

Related Australian Cricket News

Poor shot selection costs Aussies

Aussies wait on key duo for second Test

Murphy set for Test debut

There is no David Warner after the opening batsman suffered injury and concussion in the second Test and has since returned home to Australia. Fast bowler and captain Pat Cummins has also returned home for family reasons. Ashton Agar and Josh Hazlewood are back Down Under having not bowled a ball in anger all tour.

So the Aussies have plenty to think about regarding their starting side for the Test. The batting line-up seems to sort itself as Travis Head is set to replace Warner and open the batting with Usman Khawaja.

Then come Marnus Labuschagne and Smith, followed by Peter Handscomb who will move up to five in place of the under-performing Matt Renshaw. Smith can be backed at 6.00 to be the Top Match Batter, with Labuschagne available at 7.00.

All-rounder Cameron Green has recovered from a finger injury and will take his place in the side batting at six, with wicketkeeper Alex Carey batting at seven. Australia face a dilemma over their bowling attack but are boosted by the return of Mitch Starc who has not played a Test since Boxing Day because of his own finger injury.

Starc is not 100% fit but has declared himself available and his ability with the ball and bat will be a huge boost to Australia.

Australia did opt to go with three spinners in the second Test but that looks unlikely in the third. Starc and Scott Boland look set to lead the pace attack, supported by spinners Nathan Lyon and Matt Kuhnemann and all-rounder Green.

Todd Murphy seems to be out of the equation as he struggles with a side strain while Perth pace bowler Lance Morris may have to wait a while longer for his Test debut. Nathan Lyon can be backed a 4.75 to be the Top Match Bowler.

India to replace Kahul

India have no fresh injury worries to concern them and will be able to field a strong side, but it is unlikely to include the struggling KL Rahul. Rahul has played three innings in the Test series so far but has managed a total of just 38 runs, which is way below the standards expected.

It means the vice-captain is set to be left out with Shubman Gill set to come in as his replacement. Gill has been in red-hot form in white-ball cricket when smashing three centuries and a double century in his last seven games, and India will be confident he can reproduce that kind of form in Test cricket.

Gill can be backed at 8.50 to be Top Match Batter.

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