Australia are all set to host India for three T20 internationals, four test matches and three one-day internationals. The two-month long tour will begin with the T20I series starting from November 21 at Brisbane which will then be followed by the test series from December 6 at Adelaide before the ODI series kicks off from January 12, 2019 at Sydney. India will round off their tour of Australia with the third and final ODI at Melbourne on January 18, 2019.
Read on for team previews, betting odds, betting tips and series predictions for India tour of Australia 2018/19...
Australia have named a 13-man squad, that will be led by Aaron Finch, for the upcoming T20 international series against India. The hosts have rested a few of their test regulars in Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Marsh, Nathan Lyon and Peter Siddle to prepare for the following test series. Fast bowler Jason Behrendorff and all-rounder Marcus Stoinis have been included in the squad.
For the tests, Australia have named a 14-man squad which includes two fresh faces in uncapped batsman Marcus Harris and seam bowler Chris Tremain. Both are in line to make their test debuts against India. While wicketkeeper-batsman Peter Handscomb makes a comeback into the test set-up, spinner Jon Holland and batsman Marnus Labuschagne who were part of the Australian test team in the UAE have been left out.
Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell are among the leading run-getters for Australia in the twenty-over format. Skipper Finch is currently the world's second-best T20I batsman and he has an impressive strike-rate of 158.26. Maxwell is sixth in the ICC T20I batting rankings and is coming off a 23-ball 38 against South Africa. Chris Lynn and D'Arcy Short who has elevated to eleventh place in the rankings are two other key figures for the home team. With the ball, Andrew Tye, Billy Stanlake and Nathan Coulter-Nile will pose the main threat to the visiting team. Stanlake was the best bowler for Australia in the recent UAE series against Pakistan while Tye is the highest wicket-taker in T20Is from the current squad. Coulter-Nile has troubled the Indian batsmen in the past and he could trouble them again with the extra bounce that he can generate.
Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch were Australia's best batsmen in the test series against Pakistan in the UAE. Khawaja scored 229 runs in the two tests which included a century and a fifty. Finch finished among the leading run-scorers and it will be crucial that he sees off the new-ball threat and provides his team with a steady start at the top. Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb are the other key figures in the batting department. Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon will be the main weapons for Australia when it comes to bowling. Cummins is sixth in the ICC test bowling rankings and he together with Starc will be the team's best bets to rock India's top order early on with the new ball. Lyon, due to the extra bounce in the Australian pitches, could also trouble the Indians with his off-spin.
Since winning the Trans-Tasman tri-series at home in February, Australia have lost four of their last five bilateral/triangular T20 international series. And the only one that they did win was a one-off match against the UAE. The Aussies lost to England 1-0, then lost to Pakistan in the final of the Zimbabwe tri-series, were thrashed 0-3 by Pakistan in the UAE before going down to South Africa in a one-off T20I at home last week.
In the game's longest version, Australia have won just two, drawn one and lost the rest of their last eight series. In Australia, however, the hosts have won seven of their last eight series which is quite an impressive record. The Aussies played their most recent test series in October against Pakistan in the UAE. It was a two-match series which they lost 1-0.
India have named a 13-man squad for the T20 international series and an 18-man squad for the test series. The most notable exclusion from the T20I squad is that of MS Dhoni who was also ignored for the recent T20I series against the West Indies. Shikhar Dhawan did not find a place in the team for the longest format while Rohit Sharma has been recalled into the test set-up.Meanwhile, opening batsman Prithvi Shaw injured his ankle during the tour game against Cricket Australia XI and has therefore been ruled out of the first test at Adelaide. Shaw's untimely injury will pave the way for KL Rahul who is now likely to open the batting alongside Murali Vijay.
The top three - Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli - will hold the key to India's batting. Dhawan and Rohit finished as the top two batsmen in the recent T20I series against the West Indies. Skipper Kohli has been a run-machine for the team for a long time now and he is currently in tremendous form. Lokesh Rahul, who is fourth in the ICC T20I batting rankings, can also be dangerous on his day. Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah are the ones in this bowling group that the Australians will be wary of. Chahal is the fourth best T20I bowler in the world while Kuldeep topped the wickets charts in the series against the Windies. Bumrah has taken the most wickets for India in this format after Ravichandran Ashwin while Bhuvneshwar's ability to swing the ball both ways makes him a big threat, especially with the new ball.
India's batting in the test series will rely heavily on their skipper Virat Kohli who is currently the world's best batsman in test cricket. He is averaging 54.57 in the format and will find himself right at the top on the Australian bowlers' hit list. Cheteshwar Pujara likes to grind it out in the middle which makes him another batsman in this line-up who will be expected to play the big innings. The visitors will also hope for strong showings from Ajinkya Rahane and Murali Vijay who possess decent overseas records. With the ball, India will turn to their go-to men Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah to make the early inroads while backing Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja to do some damage later on. Ishant Sharma is likely to be their third seam option. He has gained some extra pace over the past couple of years and will be threatening in these conditions.
India are coming into this series undefeated in their previous nine T20 international series. They have have won their last seven bilateral/triangular series in a row which includes clean sweeps over Sri Lanka, Ireland and the West Indies. India's most recent T20I assignment was at home against the Windies. It was a series of three matches with the hosts emerging victorious in each of them.
India have a mighty impressive record in tests in recent times - they have won 11 and lost just 2 of their past 13 series. However, they lost their last two series played away from home. The Virat Kohli-led side first faced a 1-2 defeat in South Africa in January and were then hammered 1-4 in England in August-September. India's previous test series came against the West Indies at home in October and they swept the touring side 2-0.
Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa
Tim Paine (c), Mitchell Marsh, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Chris Tremain
Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, K Khaleel Ahmed
Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Parthiv Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Australia and India have played six bilateral T20 international series against each other in the past. While three of those have been won by the latter, only one has been won by the former with two resulting in draws. India have played a three-match T20I series against Australia in Australia only once before. The series was played in January 2016 with India securing big wins in all the three games.
India seem to have the upper hand when it comes to recent head-to-head record against Australia with four wins in the last six test series. However, they have never been able to win a test series in Australia. Out of the eleven series played in this country, the hosts have won eight and drawn three. The two nations last squared off in a test series last year in February-March. It was a four-match series played in India which the hosts won 2-1.
India start off as the bookmakers' favorites to win this three-match T20 international series with a 1.80 offer on Bet365. Australia have not been performing too well in the twenty-over format which is why it isn't surprising to see them as underdogs for this series, even though they are playing at home. The hosts are being offered at a little higher price of 2 on Bet365.
Australia have the home advantage on their side and they begin as favorites to win this test series at odds of 1.83 on Betway, 2.25 on Bet365 and 2.64 on Betfair. India begin as the bookmakers' underdogs and are being offered at a price of 1.90 on Betway, 2.50 on Bet365 and 2.38 on Betfair. The odds for this test series to end in a draw currently stand at 4.33 and 4.30 with Bet365 and Betfair respectively.
India are currently second in the ICC T20I rankings while Australia are third. However, the difference between the two sides in terms of their on-field performances in recent times is quite huge. While the hosts have lost four of their last five series in this format, the tourists have won each of their last seven. India boast an impressive win percentage of 66.67 against the Aussies in T20 internationals which certainly will give them a big morale boost going into this series. Moreover, the absence of stalwarts like Steven Smith, David Warner, Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Marsh could once again hurt Australia badly. India swept the T20I series 3-0 the last time they toured Australia and we expect them to bring home the silverware this time as well.
India are coming into this series as the top-ranked test team while Australia currently find themselves fifth in the ICC test rankings. The visitors have not won any of their previous eleven test series in Australia while the hosts have a tremendous record in their own country in this format. Australia's batting certainly looks a lot less formidable without David Warner and Steven Smith in the line-up but their bowling attack appears threatening as ever with the likes of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins. India's major concern in an overseas test series has always been their batting. While they were pretty good with the ball on their tours of South Africa and England, their batsmen faltered on several occasions and they could once again struggle against the Australian quicks on these pacey and bouncy wickets. Australia have always been a tough team to beat on their own turf in tests and we expect them to beat India to win their third consecutive test series at home.
Final Verdict: Back India to beat Australia in the T20I series at 1.80 on Bet365.Back Australia to beat India in the test series at 1.83 on Betway, 2.25 on Bet365 and 2.64 on Betfair.