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Aussies short-priced favourite to win series against Pakistan

Sun, Dec 11, 9:54am by Jake Equid

The Australian Test squad has assembled in Brisbane having won its past four matches in all formats and in red-hot form. A huge turnaround, considering that less than a month ago, Australian cricket was in apparently in “crisis”.

David Warner’s seventh one-day century in 2016 and a return to form for Mitchell Starc, who we backed at $3 for most wickets. The latter delivering some searing Yorkers, helping Australia wrap up the Chappell-Haddlee ODI series with a 3-0 whitewash of the Black Caps in Melbourne on Friday.

The tourists have had just the one warm up fixture on Aussie soil, a three-day game against a Cricket Australia XI that they won comfortably by 201 runs. Opener Azhar Ali scored an unbeaten 82 and spinner Mohammad Nawaz took three wickets to help Pakistan thrash the young CA XI.

The tourists declared their second innings at 216 for six and then bundled the CA XI for just 109 off 27.3 overs to win early on the final day of their day-night game.

Depsite this strong performance, Pakistan are given little hope in the betting market. Australia is $1.25 to win the series with the visitors at $7.50 and a drawn series also at the juicy odds of $6.50.

Last time they met it was Yasir Shah who spun the Aussies in circles, taking 12 wickets at 17.25 in the October 2014 series in the UAE that Pakistan won 2-0. In big selection news, he may not be fit for Thursday’s opener due to a back injury.

That was Yasir’s debut Test series and only two Aussie batsmen remain in the squad from that crushing series loss, David Warner and Steve Smith. The pair are both coming off a brilliant series against New Zealand though and are $6 and $6.50 respectively to be named player of the series.

While the tourists are confident Yasir will be fit to play the first Test in Brisbane, 17-year-old left-arm spinner Mohammad Asghar has been called into the squad as cover. If Yasir does play and play as well as he did last time he faced Australia, you can get $31 for him to win the player of the series trophy.

The Aussie squad is unchanged from the third Test victory over South Africa with the final spot up from grabs once again the third seam bowler spot. This race is down to a choice between Jackson Bird, who played the last Test and in form swing bowler, Chadd Sayers.

Pakistan are coming off a Two-Test series defeat in New Zealand and have lost their last nine Tests in Australia going back to 1999. The visitors are not completely foreign to day/night Tests however, they won their first match with the pink ball against the West Indies in Dubai in October.

The Aussies are $1.45 to win the First Test with Pakistan at $5.90 and the draw at $5.25. The tourists have a deplorable recent record in Australia with their best chance of a result coming in the third and final Test in Sydney, which is the most spinner friendly pitch in Australia.

Best Bet: Series Correct Score – Australia 2-0 $3.75 

Sportsbet Market

Series

Australia $1.25

Draw $6.50

Pakistan $7.50

Series Correct Score

Australia 3-0 $2.70

Australia 2-0 $3.75

Australia 2-1 $5.00

Australia 1-0 $11.00

Draw 1-1 $8.00

Draw 0-0 $81.00

Pakistan 1-0 $34.00

Pakistan 2-1 $15.00

Pakistan 2-0 $41.00

Pakistan 3-0 $81.00

Player of the Series

David Warner $6.00

Steve Smith $6.50

Mitchell Starc $7.00

Josh Hazlewood $8.00

Usman Khawaja $8.00

Matthew Renshaw $13.00

Peter Handscomb $15.00

Mohammad Amir $15.00

Nathan Lyon $18.00

Jackson Bird $21.00

Misbah ul-Haq $21.00

Wahab Riaz $21.00

Azhar Ali $21.00

Younis Khan $21.00

Babar Azam $26.00

Sohail Khan $26.00

Nic Maddinson $31.00

Yasir Shah $31.00

Sami Aslam $31.00

Asad Shafiq $41.00

Chadd Sayers $41.00

Imran Khan $41.00

Sarfraz Ahmed $51.00

Rahat Ali $51.00

Sharjeel Khan $51.00

Matthew Wade $67.00

Mohammad Nawaz $67.00

Mohammad Rizwan $67.00


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