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India v Australia third Test preview: Home spinners primed to dominate again

India proved far too strong for Australia in the first two Test matches and they are widely expected to take an unassailable 3-0 lead by winning the third game of the series in Indore.

Rohit Sharma's men have a formidable Test record at home and they are 2/5 to keep alive their hopes of a series sweep, although conditions at the Holkar Stadium could help the seamers on show, rather than just the spinners.

WhatIndia v Australia, 3rd Test
WhereHolkar Stadium, Indore
WhenFrom 04:00, Wednesday 1st March
How to watchBT Sport 1
OddsIndia 2/5, Australia 4/1, Draw 6/1

Depleted tourists may struggle to stop the rot

India bowled out Australia for 177 and 91 to claim victory by an innings and 132 runs in the first Test in Nagpur before wrapping up a comfortable six-wicket win in Delhi.

That extended their superb run of form at home to 17 wins in their last 20 Test matches and they should be confident of more success at the Holkar Stadium in Indore, where they thrashed New Zealand by 321 runs in 2016 and beat Bangladesh by an innings and 130 runs in 2019.

Turning things around in India is never easy. England won the first Test on their 2021 tour before crumbling to a 3-1 series defeat and Australia's cause has not been helped by the absences of captain Pat Cummins, opener David Warner and paceman Josh Hazlewood.

Steve Smith will lead the tourists in the third Test and he has a huge role to play with the bat for his side. He is 11/4 to be Australia's Team - Top 1st Inns Batter, but he was dismissed for 0 and 9 in the second Test in Delhi.

The right-hander has some decent pedigree in India, scoring three centuries in four Tests on the 2017 tour, although he has been eclipsed by home skipper Sharma in this series.

The India opener has scored the only century of the series so far, 120 in the first Test in Nagpur, and he is 5/6 to make over 73.5 Batter Match Runs in Indore.

Virat Kohli, who cracked 211 against New Zealand in the 2016 Indore Test, is 5/6 to score over 75.5 runs.

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All-rounder Jadeja shines on return to action

After a frustrating injury lay-off, India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has made a sparkling return to action, being named Player of the Match in the first two Tests, and he is 11/2 to pick up the award once again in the third match of the series.

Jadeja picked up seven wickets and scored a vital 70 in the first innings of the first Test before recording career-best figures of 7-42 in the second innings of the win in Delhi.

It took him just 12.1 overs to claim those seven scalps although Australia's batsmen will also be wary of ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who is 6/1 to be Player of the Match.

Ashwin troubled Australia's top order in Delhi, dismissing key man Smith in both innings and also seeing off Marnus Labuschagne, Alex Carey, Travis Head and Matt Renshaw - he has taken 18 wickets in just two appearances at the Holkar Stadium.

Jadeja is 10/3 to be the Top 1st Innings Bowler on either team, with Ashwin 10/3 and Australia spinner Nathan Lyon, who took 5-67 in the first innings in Delhi, 4/1.

Aussie batters target first century

Australia's Usman Khawaja (81) and Peter Handscomb (72 not out) provided some resistance in the first innings of the second Test, but the Aussies' highest individual scores in their other three innings of the series were 49, 25 not out and 43.

In the Team Batter to Score a Fifty in 1st Innings market, it is 6/1 that no Australian player reaches the milestone in Indore.

More bullish Australia supporters can get 9/2 for Smith and 11/2 for Labuschagne in the Batter to Score a Hundred in 1st Innings market although only one of Labuschagne's 10 Test centuries has come away from home.

Meanwhile, the third member of India's spin attack, Axar Patel, has been more effective with the bat than the ball in this series.

Only India captain Sharma has scored more runs in the first two Tests than the left-hander, who made 84 from number nine in the opening game and 74 from number eight in the Delhi victory and is 25/1 to be India's Team - Top 1st Inns Batter.

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