Australia v West Indies Second Test Tips: Back Head and Brathwaite to score fifties

Australia cricketer Mitchell Starc
Starc has a great record under lights

Ed Hawkins previews the second Test from The Gabba under lights from Thursday and finds bets at 6/52.20 and 12/53.40...

Australia v West Indies
Thursday 25
January, 04.00
TV: Live on TNT Sports

Australia v West Indies 2nd Test team news

Australia have had Covid in the camp but they are likely to remain unchanged. Travis Head is fit after a negative test, Cameron Green is positive but will have his own dressing room.

Usman Khawaja plays after being cleared for concussion following a nasty blow in game one.

The hosts will resist the temptation to test bench strength, specifically by using Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood again.

Probable XI: Khawaja, Smith, Labuschagne, Green, Head, Carey, M Marsh, Cummins, Starc, Lyon, Hazlewood

This is a green West Indies side who rely heavily on senior players to lead the way. That means Kraigg Brathwaite needs to step up as he so often does. Tagenarine Chanderpaul, too.

New vice-captain Alzarri joseph was disappointing in Adelaide. He was put in the shade somewhat by namesake Shamar on debut.

Gudakesh Motie is expected to miss out with all-rounder Kevin Sinclair being added.

Probable XI: Braithwaite, Chanderpaul, McKenzie, Athanaze, Hodge, Greaves, Da Silva, Sinclair, A Joseph, Roach, S Joseph

Australia v West Indies 2nd Test pitch report

At The Gabba only two visiting sides have made more than 350 in all innings in 10 years (nine Tests). West Indies have gone under 275 in first innings against Big Six teams 12 times in 19.

A day-night Test and a pink ball do little to dispel the idea that their batters struggle again. They were rolled for 188 and 120 in Adelaide. Laying 250 or more may may be available at around 2.001/1. It is certainly one to short in-play with any hint of a partnership.

Australia v West Indies 2nd Test match odds

Australia are 1.211/5 with West Indies at 28.027/1 and the draw 7.06/1. The weather is important here. A cyclone is in the area and forecast rain for days two and three could have an impact.

A rain trade on the draw into skinny prices is worth considering if you're one for watching radars.

That brings some competition to a heat which is tepid. We suppose there's some possibility of sugar in that Windies price were they to bowl first and do damage in chunks with the pink ball under lights.

Australia v West Indies 2nd Test player bets

Mitchell Starc loves the pink ball with 61 wickets in 11 games. He is 11/43.75 for top Australia bowler in the first dig. With the bat we're concerned about a top-bat pick getting pipped despite a big score so we will be cannier.

Travis Head has eight half-centuries in 13 Tests so there's an edge at 6/52.20 that he cops another in first dig.

For West Indies, Brathwaite is 12/53.40 for a first-innings fifty. He has seven in 18 against the top sides so it's worth a play with a chunky edge in our favour.

Back Kraigg Brathwaite 1st inns 50 @ 12/53.40

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Back Travis Head for 1st inns 50 @ 6/52.20

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Now Read Ed Hawkins' India v England first Test player bets

Watch Cricket Only Bettor on the 1st Test

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