Ashes 1st Test Preview
Welcome to our Ashes Betting Preview, the long awaited start of the biggest rival in Cricket is here, and our Cricket Correspondent Phil Haigh has cast his ete over the first ashes test at Trent Bridge.
With rugby, tennis and football all out of the way it is time for the sporting focus of the summer to switch entirely to cricket and a series that has been built up for months, the Ashes.
Whenever England meet Australia on the cricket field it is a fantastic spectacle and something that any fan of the sport thoroughly looks forward to but this series has something different about it to any in living memory near enough; England are overwhelming favourites to win it.
Having won the last two test series between the two countries, once at home and once away, the Three Lions have shown themselves to be the far superior team in the last four years, and with various trials and tribulations within the Australian setup in the build-up to this summer’s clash there is little to suggest that the pendulum has swung back the way of the men in baggy green caps.
The battle commences on Wednesday morning at Trent Bridge which has been the scene of many Ashes encounters over the years, most recently in 2005 when England scraped a three wicket win. This was a rare English triumph in Nottingham though, it being only the fourth win over the Aussies at the ground in 20 encounters and the first since 1977.
The prevailing result between the two sides at Trent Bridge has been a draw with nine emerging from the 20 tests between the teams, but if that is to be the case this time around then it should not be due to the weather with the forecast looking splendid for all five days.
As mentioned England are clear favourite for the series and a best price of 10/11 with Paddy Power to win this first test with Australia lagging well behind at 10/3 with Stan James. Despite all the positive feeling towards the English team there will be plenty who see this as a great price on the Aussies. New coach Darren Lehmann is roundly thought to have made a positive impact on the camp, the bowling attack is decent and the questionable batting line-up looked to be finding form in the final warm up game against Worcestershire.
The centuries for Shane Watson and inspirational skipper Michael Clarke in that last match will have worried England and proves that no matter how much the Aussies are struggling they will put up a fight.
Having said this though I expect England to win given the strength of their four pronged attack, especially James Anderson who has been in fine form of late. If there is any swing to be had at Trent Bridge he will utilise it and will sorely test the technique of the Australian batsmen. There has been plenty of talk of the trouble Graeme Swann will give the large number of left-handers in the Aussie side but Anderson remains the main man especially given his superb record in Nottingham. The Lancastrian has taken an incredible 39 wickets in his six test matches at Trent Bridge at an average of under 18 which is a record that should make us sit up and take notice.
Anderson may well be the favourite to be England’s top bowler in the first test, but with that kind of record he still looks fantastic value at 9/4 with Paddy Power.
In terms of batting the value appears to be with the Australian skipper when looking at both teams. The England team have so many potential stars amongst their top five that picking a top performer is tricky whereas the Aussies really only have one man you would back with confidence. Again he is the favourite in the market to be the Australian’s top batsman but at 3/1 with Paddy Power looks a great bet.