The first Test match between Australia and West Indies is set to begin on January 18 at the Adelaide Oval. The Aussies are looking to keep the wins rolling and the Windies want to start the year with a win and gain some momentum for the rest of the series. The bookmakers have Australia as the clear favourites, with odds of 1.25 to win, while West Indies are priced at 9.00. The draw is also unlikely, with odds of 5.50.
Why I think the Aussies will get up
The first Test match in Adelaide is shaping up to be a belter. The hosts are the favourites to win the series, according to the bookies, and I totally agree with them. They’re legitimately the best team in the world right now. Here’s why I think the Aussies will get up in the first Test:
- They have a strong batting line-up, featuring Steve Smith, who is in sublime form. He scored a double century in the last Test against England and averages over 60 in Tests. He will be supported by Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head and Matthew Renshaw, who can all score big runs.
- They have a potent bowling attack, featuring our fearless captain Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon. Cummins is the world’s number one Test bowler, Hazlewood is a master of line and length, Starc is a lethal left-arm pacer and Lyon is a crazy off-spinner. They can exploit the conditions at the Gabba, which favour pace and bounce.
- They have a home advantage, as they have not lost a Test in Adelaide since 1988. They know how to play on the pitch and in front of their fans. They also have a psychological edge over the West Indies, who have not won a Test in Australia since 1997.
The Aussies will get up in the first Test because they have a superior batting and bowling unit, and a formidable record here in Adelaide. The West Indies will have to play out of their skins to challenge them, but I don’t see that happening.
Who to watch: Usman Khawaja
Position: Top-order batter
Jersey #: 1
The elegant left-hander is in sublime form after scoring a century in the third Test against Pakistan in Sydney. He has amassed 909 runs in 10 Tests at an average of 47.84 in the past year, making him one of the most consistent performers for Australia. He has also scored two centuries and four fifties against West Indies in six Tests, including a career-best 174 at the Gabba in 2015. Watch out for his stylish strokes and solid temperament in the first Test in Brisbane.
Why I think the West Indies could get up
The West Indies are not the favourites to win the first Test against Australia, but they have some factors in their favour that could give them a chance. Here are some reasons why I think the West Indies could get up:
- They have a strong pace attack, led by Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel, who can exploit the bounce and seam of this pitch.
- They have some experienced batsmen, such as Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope and Roston Chase, who have scored centuries against Australia in the past.
- They have a fearless captain, Jason Holder, who can inspire his team with his all-round skills and leadership.
- They have nothing to lose, as they are expected to struggle in Australian conditions, so they can play with freedom and confidence.
The West Indies have shown glimpses of their potential in recent years, but they need to be more consistent and resilient to challenge Australia. If they can bat well in the first innings, bowl with discipline and field sharply, they might surprise everyone and pull off an upset.
Who to watch: Kemar Roach
Position: Top-order batter
Jersey #: 24
The experienced fast bowler is the leader of the West Indies attack and has taken over 200 wickets in Test cricket. He has a lethal bouncer and a potent yorker that can trouble any batsman. He also has a good record against Australia, having taken 42 wickets in 14 Tests at an average of 29.35. He will be keen to add to his tally and help his team win the first test..
What do the bookies say?
The first Test is the first since the two teams played a Test series in December 2022. Australia won both matches convincingly. The hosts are the overwhelming favourites to win the series and the first Test, according to the betting odds from various Australian bookmakers.
As of Tuesday, 1th January 2024 here’s the odds:
These odds suggest that Australia have a very high chance of winning the first Test, while West Indies have a very low chance of pulling off an upset. The draw is also considered unlikely, given the expected conditions and the recent form of both teams.
The Bottom Line
This Test match between Australia and West Indies is expected to be a one horse race despite both teams having strong batting and bowling line-ups. The bookies are favouring Australia, but West Indies have shown resilience and flair in their recent performances. While there is no sure way to predict the outcome of a cricket game, some factors that may influence the result are the pitch conditions, the weather, the toss, and the form of the key players. I’ll be backing Australia to win, but am prepared for a possible upset
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