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Australia v India - T20 World Cup preview

Squeezed amongst all the racing, golf and various codes of footy this weekend is the T20 Cricket World Cup in Sri Lanka. With the minnows seen off, now we get into the Super Eights section, a bit of pfaff before the knockout stages finally commence. Sharing his preview of the match is Stephen Maher - @gamblerfalls

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Australia v India

We have an exciting clash between Australia and India in Colombo today at 3PM British time. Looking at the pitch while Pakistan and South Africa are playing at the moment, it looks like 160+ would be a great score possibly match winning, 150-140 competitive and spin should play a big part. The match odds is a difficult one with India 4/5 and Australia 11/10, I’d say whoever bats first is at a massive advantage, if they dont aim too high which is highly possible considering the scores so far in the tournament. The pitch will no doubt help Indias bowling, and Australia will really need a good start from Warner and Watson so they can see off the spinners and not have to attack them – IMO Australia definitely need to bat first, you dont want to be trying to up the rate against spin.

So far in the games at Colombo, Ireland got 123 against Australia which they chased down in 15 overs, India got 159 against Afghanistan (136), England got 196 against Afghanistan (80), West Indies got 191 against Australia who won on D/L 100/1 after 9.1 overs, India got 170 against England (80) and the last game was rained off after Ireland got 129. Looking at the pitch now you’d be shocked if we saw a score of 190 again, and in those games (in same order) we had 4, 8, 12, 17, 4 and 4 sixes. I don't fancy India as a six hitting team personally, as odd as that sounds with their reputation (Sehwag will probably go mental now!). If you recall they were hot favourites for most sixes in the ODI WC, reached the final (ie more games than everyone else) and still couldnt win, they’ve only hit five sixes in the tournament so far, compare that to Australias nine and they’ve only played 15 overs chasing a small total (123) and 9 overs before the rain against West Indies.

I’d be inclined to go under 9.5 sixes at evens, but Warner and Watson do scare me (they can cover that on their own sure), but looking at the pitch someone will have to play bloody good to have 10 sixes in the game. I think on balance I’d prefer to back Australia most sixes at 11/10, or 75/25 stakes Australia most sixes and under 9.5 sixes, Australia really do go for their sixes and in some games they all get caught on the rope (the collapse in Dubai against Pakistan) but Indias bowling isnt as good as some of the other teams so I’m happy to take a chance of them at 11/10, I’d have them odds on personally.

On the wides front, Australia have bowled 3 wides so far (1 and 2) and India have bowled 4 (3 and 1), both teams have been pretty good at that discipline so far, especially Australia, so under 8.5 match wides at 5/6 appeals considering both have bowled 75 overs between them (England only lasted 14.4) and they still havent covered the line. The pitch is only going to get slower you’d imagine so hopefully that will take away the chance of a five wides ball, both have played both their games here too so that might help conditions wise as well.

It's worth noting William Hill have stopped doing their ‘Total Boundaires’ market today, maybe they gave up after being miles off in Pallekele, there was 40, 43, 51 and 40 yet they still put the line at 35.5 for the England game – they would have had a better chance of getting their money back in Colombo too IMO, worth keeping that stat in mind if they put the market back up for games at Pallekele. And Sporting Bet have an interesting market today in ‘Total Stumpings,’ just looking at the pitch it popped into my head it really does look like a stumping wicket, I only thought about it because you’d normally get at least 10/1+ next dismissal being a stumping and they go 1/2 zero and 7/5 more than one, its hard to decided whether to do that straight up or wait until spinners are bowling and take a chance with the 10/1+, you’d imagine the Australian lower order will give a few chances trying to score runs in the last six overs plus we know India will bowl plenty of spin and Ashwin has been known to bowl the final over too.

Possible teams from Cricinfo:

Australia (possible) 1 David Warner, 2 Shane Watson, 3 Michael Hussey, 4 George Bailey (capt), 5 Cameron White, 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Daniel Christian, 9 Pat Cummins, 10 Mitchell Starc, 11 Brad Hogg.

India (possible) 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Irfan Pathan, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Rohit Sharma, 6 Suresh Raina, 7 MS Dhoni (capt, wk), 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 R Ashwin, 10 Zaheer Khan, 11 L Balaji/Ashok Dinda.

You can read more of Stephen's expertise on his blog - GamblerFalls

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