England Odds On to beat Pakistan and level the Test Series

England go into todays’s 2nd Test against Pakistan at Headingley, with Mark Stoneman out, and Keaton Jennings in. That is one definite change, with Chris Woakes possibly in line for a recall, and Ben Stokes is also struggling with an injury.

England’s main problem would seem to be a lack of form, and the subsequent confidence crisis that ultimately will follow such a dismal run in form.

Such is England’s form of late, it seems to be a massive leap of faith for any punters wishing to back England at odds of 4/7 with Betfair. The draw is 4/1, with Pakistan at 16/5.

England can still win this series, and a win for Joe Root’s side wouldn’t be a massive shock, after all they do have a fairly decent home record over the past few years. It’s just, can you trust them at such a short price?

The possible recall of Woakes in English condition – where he has an outstanding record – will no doubt strengthen England and increase their chances of finishing the two match series on level terms, but will it help England build a side capable of winning outside of England (an area where Woakes has a poor record)? Probably not.

Similar to the inclusion of Keaton Jennings, they look like short term fixes, rather than long term ones. But with Joe Root’s honeymoon period as captain well and truly over, and possible pressure building on Trevor Bayliss’ position as head coach of the Test team, surely England will play safe and bring Woakes back for Wood, rather than Stuart Broad or James Anderson, as suggested by Michael Vaughan.

I can totally see where former England captain Vaughan is coming from (he has suggested that too many players are comfortable in this England team), but in England’s current plight, it would be a brave call for Root to drop a guy with over 400 Test match wickets in Broad, or England’s all time record wicket taker in Anderson.

Ashes Betting – 3rd Test Day 2, Betting Preview

Could any chance of the whitewash have gone yesterday? Possibly, as England have some work to do to get back in this Test.

It was always going to happen, England couldn’t expect to dominate every day of every Ashes Test match, and Day 1 proved this to be the case. It was also proof that nothing can be taken for granted in this great game, as Australia showed England that they can play.

Australia are now in the stronger position, but not necessarily in the box seat. This is reflected in the odds, as the Draw is now favourite with the online bookmakers.

The Draw is 8/13 – Australia are 2/1 – England are 6/1

This is the sort of match situation made for David Warner. He is not going to come out and play a conventional Test match innings, as he isn’t that sort of batsman. Warner is stroke player, this match situation is perfect for him, there is no scoreboard pressure on him, and he will be able to express himself and play with freedom. At the same time, conditions are going to be different on Day 2, and the ball could maybe talk today.

Yesterday was probably the first time in three Tests that someone has played properly in the 1st inninngs. What happened yesterday, should have happened in the first two Test matches. Win the toss, bat properly in reasonable to decent batting conditions, and the draw odds shorten.

With the fragility of both teams’ batting, it would have been hard to have the confidence to put your money on the draw with a view to trading out after the expected draw price crash. If you had done that in all three Test matches, you would be 1 from 3 at the moment.

In all honesty I haven’t a clue how to call this one now. Australia should press on from here, but from what we have seen so far in this series, they are just as likely to be all out by lunch. Warner could come in and smack a ton in 75 balls, it could rain, take your pick!

I placed a lay of Australia on Betfair pre lunch yesterday, and although their price continually shortened from that moment, due to some green I had from pre Test match trades, I could have traded out for a small profit right until the start of the last hour yesterday evening.

In the end I traded out last night for a single figure loss, just to play safe, as I can’t see where we are going here. If the draw continues to shorten, and the weather forecast looks okay, I may lay the draw later on in the match. For the time being though, I plan to sit back and wait and watch now, and see if an opportunity arises.