Cricket Betting: South Africa vs India Test Series Preview

January 4, 2018 by Posted in Cricket Tips


With the dust over the Ashes series settling down, at the other end of the world, another marquee series is about to start. South Africa and India are not exactly eternal rivals like their Ashes counterparts, but the intensity in the ‘Freedom Series’ is no less than what you witness in the Ashes.

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That said, there is so much of excitement on this Indian team led by Virat Kohli, as they start their overseas journey with this trip to the rainbow nation. Their ability to forget the past debacles and forge a new chapter will go a long way in stamping Kohli’s mark in Indian cricket. It won’t be easy though, as the three-match series will be a real test of their technique and character.

South Africa – a chance to continue the domination

For the first time in almost two years, the Proteas have their first-choice XI at their disposal, without any injury worries. Talisman AB de Villiers returns to action and so do the bowlers Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, and Kagiso Rabada.

With Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla, and captain Faf du Plessis lending solidity to their batting, the hosts are looking very formidable. With Chris Morris, Keshav Maharaj, and Andile Phelukwayo pencilled in to be their all-rounders, the only concern for the hosts remains their ‘problem of plenty’!

India – can they bring their best to the rainbow nation?

A line-up that has Murali Vijay, Cheteswar Pujara, Virat Kohli, and Ajinkya Rahane should surely be one of the best. But, Indians have traditionally been poor travellers, although this unit under Kohli is confident of starting a new era.

Much of the confidence stems from the bowling attack that the visitors have. In Bhuvneswar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, and Ishant Sharma, India have a bowling unit that can be confident of picking 20 wickets. Kohli too has a selection headache as he needs to choose between Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

Stats

South Africa have a proud home record and their record against India is mighty impressive (P17, W8, D7, L2). So far, after their re-admission, South Africa played six home series against India winning five of them. The only time they failed to do so was in 2010/11 when the series ended 1-1.

Key players

Amla’s serenity and crease presence make him a vital player for the hosts. If he can blunt the Indian attack and lay the platform, the visitors may find things tougher than usual.

There’s so much talk about his struggles in Indian conditions, but Rahane is a different proposition in away games. He is one of those rare players who score more away from home! For India to be competitive, Rahane’s runs will be the differentiator.

Picks

Whatever is the pre-series talk, South Africa remain strong favourites to win the ‘Freedom Series’. Back the hosts at odds of $1.53 (William Hill).

TIP: South Africa to win – $1.53 at William Hill

Rahane is a great chance to top the batting charts for India and at odds of $7 (Ladbrokes), he is a good pick.

TIP: Rahane top Indian batsman – $7 at Ladbrokes

With the ball, it must be Philander, who should lead their charge. Back him at odds of $3.75 (CrownBet) to be the top South Africa bowler for the series.

TIP: Philander top SA bowler – $3.75 at CrownBet

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