With the ODI World Cup 2023 coming up later this year, all eyes in the cricket world are on two exciting Test matches this week. Australia will be looking to bounce back from their poor start to the four-match Test series against India, while England travel to New Zealand to take on the Black Caps in a repeat of the last World Test Championship. We preview each of these games, and break down the best Cricket bets to make ahead of the week.
Weekly Rundown of Cricket | All You Can Eat for Test Fans
New Zealand vs. England – First Test
When: Feb 15th
Where: Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui, New Zealand
Time: 8:00 PM EST
TV: ESPN +
While New Zealand is busy being ravaged by a tropical cyclone this week, both the Black Caps and England are doing their best to prepare for the first of two Tests that kicks off this Thursday afternoon local time.
This series presents a fascinating contest. New Zealand are the defending World Test Championship winner, but are already out of contention for the final this cycle. England are also out of contention, despite the fact that they have won nine of their last ten Tests.
The reason for this hot winning streak is what makes this series fascinating—the most influential player of the past decade in New Zealand cricket, Brendon McCullum, will be at the center of this series. But not on the Kiwi’s side—he is coaching England now, and leading them to great success.
With England second favorites to win the ODI World Cup later this year at +295, and New Zealand sitting fifth at +740, both will be wanting to build some early momentum this year, albeit in a different format. Providing the weather plays ball, this should be an excellent first Test, with our experts picking New Zealand to be a dampener on England’s current hot streak.
India vs Australia – Second Test
When: Feb 16th
Where: Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi
Time: 11:00 PM EST
TV: ESPN +
A day after New Zealand and England begin their match, India and Australia will walk out for the second of four Tests being contested in India.The first Test couldn’t have gone worse for Australia. After some bright patches in the first session, where Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith were scoring runs at ease, things quickly began to fall to pieces for the visitors. After winning their last two series by significant margins over South Africa and the West Indies, Australia were left in tatters, having been bowled for 177.
India piled on a cool 400, before dispatching Australia in the third innings for a measly 91. If the visitors want to have any hope of making a contest out of this series, then they’ll need to adapt to the Indian conditions—and the spin of Jadeja—much quicker than they did last week.
With these two sitting at +230 and +400, the first and third favorites for the ODI World Cup 2023, fingers crossed we get more of a game on Friday. Expect Australia to do better, but India ultimately to win this one and claim an unassailable 2-0 lead in this series.
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