Friday's second game at the T20 World Cup pits together two of the finest teams in the cricketing world - Australia v India. Richard O'Hagan runs through the betting
"It may be absurdly unfair that the four best teams in this tournament find themselves in the same Super Eight group, but it does also mean that every single one of the six ties in Group Two is an absolute humdinger."
It may be absurdly unfair that the four best teams in this tournament find themselves in the same Super Eight group, but it does also mean that every single one of the six ties in Group Two is an absolute humdinger. The highlight of day two is arguably the day's latter fixture.
Australia v India
Australia have relied upon one man to get them to the Super Eight stage, Shane Watson. Whilst the vice-captain's 91 runs and five wickets have been instrumental in getting them this far, the concern must be that the bowling has looked less than devastating, whilst such has been the form of Watson, opening partner David Warner and veteran batsman Mike Hussey, no others have been able to spend any real time at the crease.
Despite the Aussies looking like a class act, there's a sneaking suspicion that two early wickets could see them in real trouble. It might be harsh to suggest that in this form of the game their tail starts with Cameron White at number four, but it pretty well does, especially without David Hussey, the leading T20I run scorer of all time, in there to prop the lower order up.
India have issues of their own, albeit much happier ones. After the crushing win over England, who do they leave out after making three changes to their side for that game? Irfan Pathan, having failed as an opening bat and been the weak link of the bowling attack, may well miss out to accommodate the return of either Virender Sehwag or Zaheer Khan, but expect both Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla to retain their places after their exploits against England, despite captain MS Dhoni's preference for batsmen who can bowl a little over genuine bowlers.
Top Australia Batsman
It probably isn't worth looking outside those top three Australian batsmen, where the safest bet (and yet the best odds) are to be found on Hussey, who will be the one to anchor the innings and keep the score ticking over if an early wicket goes down. Look to back him at odds of around [4.4]
Top India Batsman
Where India are concerned the value always lies in steering clear of the big guns such as Sehwag and Dhoni. Rohit Sharma has hit a rich vein of form in this tournament and has been one of India's top scorers in both games so far. Look for him at odds of around [4.6]