- Australia v India
- ICC World Test Championship Final
- Wednesday June 7 - Sunday June 11, 2023, 10.30am
- The Kia Oval
The top two sides in the ICC’s two-year Test cycle meet in South London to crown the latest winner.
New Zealand claimed the inaugural title - against the odds - and now their trans-Tasman rivals have a chance to inflict more disappointment on Rohit Sharma and India.
And I think they will do just that.
India are the number one side in the rankings at present, but it’s number two ranked Australia who go into this one as the favourites. They are 10/11 to win with William Hill, a price I would be taking.
Their favouritism is likely owed to India’s sketchy record in England. They have only ever won nine Tests in this country.
India’s preparation has been limited to purely IPL cricket, whereas the Aussies have been building up to a full Test tour.
Ok, some of their players have been at the IPL. But others, Starc, Cummins, Smith to name just a few, have concentrated purely on Test preparation. I think that could be a significant factor as well.
Marnus magic and Gill will again
In terms of top batters for these two sides in the first innings, I will be going with Marnus Labuschagne and Shubman Gill.
Labuschagne is one of those Aussies who has been concentrating on Test prep, playing the early stages of the County Championship summer with Glamorgan.
In five Championship matches, he posted scores of 64, 65, 170, 42 and 138.
He is 13/4 with SportingIndex to be Australia’s top first-innings run-scorer.
I’m going to offer you two bets regarding Shubman Gill success, both of which are with Ladbrokes.
The first is their 9/4 on him to score a first-innings fifty. It amazes me that Gill is 9/2 to be India’s top run-scorer.
The opener is riding the crest of a wave following a stunning run of recent IPL form - three hundreds in his last five innings - and he also scored a century in his last Test innings in March. That came against Australia in Ahmedabad.
He will be full of confidence, and I would absolutely be siding with him.
Postman Pat to deliver for Aussies
I’ve just made up a nickname for Australian captain Pat Cummins, one which he probably wouldn’t be too enamoured with in truth. But at the start of an Ashes summer, all’s fair in love and war.
What do they call it? Mental disintegration.Joking aside, Cummins is a fantastic fast bowler and one who loves bowling in England.
Three prices involving him for you here…
I quite like the look of Paddy Power’s 5/4 on him and fellow quick Mitchell Starc to take two wickets apiece in the first innings of this match.
I also like the 9/4 Ladbrokes have on Cummins to be Australia’s top first-innings wicket-taker and the 11/2 bet365 have on him to be the overall top wicket-taker in the first innings for both sides.
In 2019, he claimed a superb 29 wickets in five Ashes Tests in England.
* Betting odds correct at the time of publication. All odds are subject to changes.