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Australia v India Test preview: Top Test teams set for epic final

Australia's Ashes series against England begins next week but before then the Aussies take on India in the World Test Championship final at The Oval.

The two most consistent teams over the past two years of Test cricket have qualified for the final, which starts on Wednesday, and Australia are 20/21 to beat 7/4 shots India, who lost to New Zealand at the Rose Bowl in the inaugural WTC final in 2021.

WhatAustralia v India
WhereThe Oval, London
When10:30am, Wednesday 7th June to Sunday 11th June
How to watchSky Sports Cricket
OddsAustralia 20/21, Draw 9/2, India 7/4 

Aussies aiming to end lean run against cricketing powerhouses

Australia are eager to make a winning start to their Ashes summer in England and they would love to go into the first Test at Edgbaston having been officially crowned as the world's best Test team.

They are 20/21 to win the World Test Championship final at The Oval, where India are 7/4 and the draw is 9/2

The weather forecast suggests there should be no interruptions to play on the first three days, but some showers are expected at the weekend and, if the final ends in a draw, the teams will share the WTC trophy.

Recent history gives India the edge over Australia as they have won seven of the last nine Test series between the teams, including the last four – two at home and two away.

India's last four victories were all by a 2-1 scoreline in four-Test series, so there has not been much to choose between the sides, and Australia showed plenty of spirit on this year's tour of the subcontinent.

After two comprehensive defeats on spinning pitches in the first two Tests, the depleted Aussies hit back with a victory in the third Test and a much-improved batting display in the drawn fourth Test in Ahmedabad.

Conditions will be very different when the cricketing powerhouses reconvene in south London, where India skipper Rohit Sharma scored a second-innings 127 to set up a thumping victory against England in September 2021.

Rohit is 15/4 to be India's Team - Top 1st Inns Batter in the WTC final while Shubman Gill, the leading runscorer in this season's Indian Premier League, is 9/2.

Smith hoping to pick up where he left off in 2019 Ashes

Australia's batting line-up looks stronger than it has for some time with Usman Khawaja and Travis Head racking up the runs in Test cricket recently.

Marnus Labuschagne has warmed up for the WTC final with a prolific County Championship stint at Glamorgan and Cameron Green and Alex Carey are dangerous hitters further down the order.

However, all eyes are on the Aussies' two senior batters, Steve Smith and David Warner, who had vastly contrasting fortunes on their last Test tour of England in 2019.

Smith, whose first-innings scores in his three Test appearances at The Oval have been 138 not out, 143 and 80, made 774 runs in seven innings in the Ashes four years ago and is 5/6 to score Over 86.5 Match Runs against India.

Opener Warner was tormented by England's Stuart Broad in the 2019 Ashes, finishing the series with just 95 runs from 10 innings, and he is 10/11 to outscore 10/11 Rohit Sharma in the Batter Matches (Most Runs) market.

Cummins could be key against depleted India

With Josh Hazlewood still recovering from a side strain, Scott Boland is likely to get the nod in Australia's bowling attack at The Oval.

India's selectors have some big decisions to make, as star fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah is sidelined along with wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and batters KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer.

Ishan Kishan, uncapped in Test cricket but with an ODI double-century on his CV, is vying with KS Bharat for the wicketkeeper position and India must also decide how many of their ace spinners should make their line-up.

Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel are all top-class operators but pace is expected to be more of a factor than spin in early-season conditions in England.

Australia captain Pat Cummins certainly enjoyed himself in the 2019 Ashes, finishing as the leading wicket-taker in the series with 29 scalps in five Tests and bowling England captain Joe Root with an absolute beauty at The Oval.

Fast-bowling Test captains are rare but Cummins seems to relish the responsibility and he is 11/1 to be Player of the Match in the WTC final.

He took 5-38 against England in Brisbane in December 2021, on his first day as Australia skipper, and is 11/2 to be the Top 1st Innings Bowler this week.

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