The Test series that everyone has been waiting for – The Ashes – finally gets underway on Wednesday as the first match of five comes from Trent Bridge in Nottingham.
England and Australia have had some epic battles over the years and this looks set to be the same, but many feel as though the former are going to be too strong for the touring side.
It is safe to say the Aussies aren’t in the best of shape after plenty of off the field controversy and a number of poor performances on the pitch, but you can never write them off, especially in the Ashes.
When looking at the betting for this encounter though, you can see that it is the Three Lions who are favourites to go 1-0 up in the series as Paddy Power have odds of 10/11 on a home win.
Alastair Cook seems to have an excellent balance in his team right now and he will hope to set the tone at the top of the innings with his new opening partner – Joe Root – who is sure to be relishing the chance to compete in his first Ashes Test.
The only real selection headache for Cook and Andy Flower is whether to choose Tim Bresnan or Steven Finn as the fourth bowler. If they trust the batting enough, then it is Finn who is likely to get the call as he is more of a wicket-taker.
England do come into the first Test in good shape and it is vital that when batting they get off to a good start to allow the likes of Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and Jonny Bairstow the chance to express themselves. If they do that, the Three Lions can score in excess of 500.
As for Australia, they simply aren’t as strong as England when it comes to players in the squad, but in the Ashes, it is all about how you perform on the day and whether a player can do something special.
Many bets might just be placed on the Aussies as they have odds of 16/5 with bet365, which is decent value from the bookmaker.
There is no doubt that the key man is the captain Michael Clarke as not only does he need to score runs, but he must get his tactics spot on and give his bowlers the best chance of taking early wickets.
The bookies are sure to see a number of bets placed on the top batsman market for this Test and it isn’t a surprise to see Clarke leading the way as he is at 11/4 with SkyBet to be the main man for Australia with the bat.
Then, Alastair Cook is a 7/2 shot with Ladbrokes to be the leading scorer for the top side.
When it comes to a recommended bet for the first Test, we like the look of the Man of the Match market and think Kevin Pietersen is the man to back here as he has odds of 12/1 with StanJames.
Bring on the biggest Test series of them all from 11am on Wednesday. Expect a special atmosphere at Trent Bridge on the opening morning.
Category: Cricket Betting Previews