Melbourne:Once an undisputed favourite, the on-decline Australian cricket team is no longer a safe bet for the bookies, who for the first time in 17 years fear losses if they back Ricky Ponting's men to win the upcoming Test series against South Africa.
"Punters can get black and white figures (two dollars or better) about the Aussies for the first time in a home Test since 'Pup' (Michael) Clarke was indeed a pup," Betfair's Jake Norton was quoted as saying by 'The Herald Sun'.
An Aussie win has been put at 2.10 dollars, while South Africa has been backed rather well at 3.60 dollars.
Sportingbet Australia's Michael Sullivan said punters' confidence in the world champions has been shaken by their lackluster performances off late.
"The confidence of punters in the Australians is gone, no doubt about it. We can hardly write a bet on them to win the series at $1.85," Sullivan said.