Fixed Odds: 2010 Test series - India v Australia October 6, 2010

Can Australia fight back?

India pulled off a dramatic victory one of the most exciting Test matches in recent times to take a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series against Australia. They can't be beaten, but can they avoid defeat in the second Test to earn a series win and clinch the No 1 ranking?

Click here to bet on India v Australia at bet365

The two sides go into Saturday's second match in Bangalore both having something to prove; Australia that they can square the series and India that they can claim top spot in the world rankings, something more figurative rather than anything, but still significant.

India are 13/5 with bet365 to win the second Test, with Australia the same price and the draw on offer at 10/11. The latter would be enough to give India the series win they want and it has to be a good bet that they will play slightly more cautiously in a bid not to get beaten.

Their hopes will not be helped by a couple of injuries to Gautam Gambhir and Ishant Sharma, who will both miss the Bangalore clash because of knee trouble. Opener Abhinav Mukund was added to the squad while fast bowler Jaidev Unadkat was also called up, though Sreesanth may make it into the side ahead of him.

What their absence will mean to India's chances remains to be seen but they will also be hoping that VVS Laxman recovers from the back injury that hampered him in Mohali, even if it didn't stop him from completing a match-winning innings as India chased down 216 for victory.

Of the 18 Tests to be played in Bangalore, eight of them have been draws, with India winning only four and losing six, so they may not be that confident, but ground history is not always relevant or important as it goes so far back.

On the other hand, for an individual player, it can be important from a betting point of view. Sachin Tendulkar averages 50 there, just below his overall average; Rahul Dravid averages only 21 (way below his 52+ average), Virender Sehwag averages 56 there but it's skewed by a double century, and VVS Laxman has scored only 64 runs in three Tests there.

Of course, form plays a massive part, so all four India batsmen should be pretty confident anyway, but bet365 make Sehwag and Tendulkar joint favourites to top-score in the first innings of the second Test, at 3/1. Dravid and Murali Vijay are both 5/1, Laxman is 6/1 and Suresh Raina is 8/1.

Last time the two sides met in Bangalore - two years ago - Ricky Ponting scored a century while six years ago Michael Clarke smashed 151 in another good effort by the tourists, so both those two should have good memories.

Bet365 can't split Ponting and openers Simon Katich and Shane Watson, making all three 10/3 to top-score for the Aussies in their first innings. Clarke looks tempting at 9/2, while Phil Hughes is 5/1, Michael Hussey is 6/1 and Marcus North an 11/1 chance.

Australia will come out strongly, of that there is no doubt, but India's batsmen are good enough to cope and with the priority being simply a series win, the draw looks the most likely outcome.

Cambers' Call
India and Australia to draw 2nd Test - 10/11 bet365
Michael Clarke to top-score in Australia's 1st innings - 9/2 bet365

Original series preview
It seems just yesterday that India were coming from behind to upset Australia in one of the best Test series in living memory, back in 2001 when Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne were in their pomp. Nine years on and it's India who top the Test rankings and they will be eager to prove they belong there by winning their two-Test series.

Amazingly, five of the India side who completed that incredible turnaround in the second Test in 2001 - when they won having been forced to follow on - will be in the side for the first Test, starting in Mohali on Friday.

Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan were all there when they won the series nine years ago, while only Australia captain Ricky Ponting remains from that Australia side.

This time round, it's India who hold the edge, just about, and probably only because of home advantage. India have lost just two Tests out of 10 in the past year - winning six - while Australia have actually performed better, winning eight and losing just one of their 10.

Something's got to give, you would think, but bet365 are struggling to come up with a winner, making the drawn series and an India win joint favourites at 13/8, with Australia hardly outsiders at 2/1.

It's 13/5 that India win it 1-0, 11/4 that the series ends 0-0 and just 3/1 that the Aussies come out on top 1-0 themselves. It's 17/2 that India win both matches, 9/1 that Australia pinch a 2-0 win and just 6/1 that the two sides battle it out and end up 1-1.

Both sides ought to be at full strength and if anything, India should be boosted by the return of some of their first-string bowlers who missed recent series. Zaheer Khan is back to lead the line with his left-arm pace, while Harbhajan Singh, who has caused Australia so many problems and who simply loves playing against them, is also set to be fit.

Australia may have one eye on the Ashes, which start in just two months, but don't expect them to put in any less than 100 percent. This is a series they will want to win, knowing the confidence they would receive from a win could spur them to Ashes glory this winter.

Their biggest problem, though - as it may prove to be in the Ashes - is how they are going to bowl out the opposition twice to win a match. Their pace attack will not frighten the mighty India batting order and on the slow pitches, it will be a huge task for them to take 20 wickets.

India, on the other hand, don't want to let Australia get back to the top of the world rankings and with home advantage, a settled side and with Sachin Tendulkar in great form - averaging 81 over the past 12 months, including six hundreds - they do just about look to have the edge.

Cambers' Call
India to beat Australia in Test series - 13/8 bet365

Please note that odds are correct at time of publication and are subject to change.

Simon Cambers is Cricinfo's betting correspondent