There has been plenty happening in the build up to the Ashes over the past few days, and this has resulted in a price movement in the Ashes Betting odds, with England getting cut in the series winner market.
Since last weekend, for England, we have seen Kevin Pietersen return to playing action with a magnificent century. And we got a very subtle tip off Geoff Miller that Joe Root will be promoted to open the batting, at the expense of Nick Compton.
On the Australian side of things, we have seen the changing of coach, with the sacking of Mickey Arthur and the appointment of Darren Lehmann as his replacement, and have heard news of Michael Clarke’s imminent return to playing action.
Something in amongst all that has seen England’s odds cut from 2/5, to 1/3.
The Ashes Betting for outright series winner is now – England 1/3, Drawn Series 6/1, and Australia 4/1.
I’m not too sure what to make of it all to be honest. The majority of the positives seem to be with the Australians from what I can see. Michael Clarke retuning is vital, and by all accounts, the appointment of Lehmann is a major plus to the Australian dressing room.
If ever a sporting unit needed to be managed/placated by one of their own, I’ve always thought it was the Australian cricket team. To go from a team that basically managed itself, to needing to get in a foreign coach in less than 7 years is staggering for a side like the Aussie cricket team.
This is the Australian cricket team, not the Australian gymnast team. I can understand an under developed sport looking abroad for help, but the Aussie cricket team! It just made no sense.
Whether players liked Arthur or not, they surely couldn’t take a foreigner running them. Bringing in Lehmann, will surely give that dressing room it’s Aussie spirit back.
As for England, the return of Pietersen is obviously a huge positive, as is his form with his century at the weekend.
The slight concern for me is moving Joe Root up the order to open. I have no doubt that Root will make that spot his own for years to come, I just wonder if he would be better off staying where he is for the time being though. He seems to have settled into the middle order reasonably well and was looking comfortable there.
I understand it is a tough call for England. Someone has to miss out for the returning Pietersen, and it was always going to be one of Jonny Bairstow or Nick Compton. The problem with dropping Compton is that it means re-jigging the batting line up, something I’m sure the selectors are loathed to do. At the same time, they can’t keep a bloke in who’s not scoring runs just for the sake of not moving another batsman around, or up the order.
The start of the Ashes is just two weeks away now, and the Ashes Betting for the 1st Test match sees England at 5/6, The Draw 9/4, and Australia 10/3. Expect that to change though, what with weather, form, etc.