Tue, Feb 27, 8:05am by Staff Writer
The first test between South Africa and Australia commences this Thursday at the Kingsmead, Durban to kick off the four-match series between the two nations.
Australia have completed their first and only tour game for the series, defeating South Africa A by five wickets over the weekend in Benoni in a three-day contest.
With both sides raring to go, it is the tourists who head into the first test a narrow $2.22 favourite, with the hosts South Africa rated a $2.50 chance with the Draw at $4.60.
Both sides enter the series coming off winning test series with Australia defeating England 4-0 and the South Africans taking a 2-1 win over India.
However, the South Africans have had injury setbacks to a number of their stars with captain Faf Du Plessis, AB De Villiers, Temba Bavuma and Quinton De Kock all having missed either some or all of the recent ODI and T20I series against India as a result. The four have been named in the 15 name squad for the first two tests.
The question marks over these key players may have played a role in the current odds for the first test.
Australia will enter the contest with a decent hit out over the weekend where all their batsmen got a decent hit out while their bowlers were able to take 20 wickets over the three-day contest, with Pat Cummins having a terrific all-round game taking 4/32 with the ball in the South Africa A’s first innings and scoring 59 not out with the bat.
The first test will be an interesting gauge to see how the Australian batsmen shape up against the South Africans who are bowling in familiar conditions. With a strong pace attack consisting of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Patrick Cummins, Australia’s bowlers are expected to be a consistent threat.
However at $2.50 the South Africans are definitely worth a look and present solid value from a risk versus reward perspective.
Suggested Bet: South Africa to win (Match Betting) @ $2.50
Australia are also favourites in the series betting market, priced at $2.20, with the South Africans at $2.62 and a Drawn series rated a $4.50 chance.
There are plenty of markets to choose from in relation to series betting, where you can bet on who will be the top Australian and South African run scorer and wicket takers as well as combo bets which include selecting the top run scorer and wicket taker for each country.
With South Africa having not yet defeated Australia in a home test series since their reintroduction to test cricket in 1992, they will be determined to break this streak here.
Suggested Bet: South Africa to win 3-1 (series betting) @ $7.50
Other series markets
Suggested Bet: Usman Khawaja (top Australian run scorer) @ $5.00
Suggested Bet: Hashim Amla (top South African run scorer) @ $4.00
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