Another potty couple days in the world of Australian cricket, and more adverse publicity for the Aussies in the build up to the 2nd Test match starting at Lord’s on Thursday 18th July.
The Mickey Arthur furore doesn’t seem to have had any major impact on the cricket betting odds with England favourites at 10/11 to win the 2nd Test. The fact that Mickey Arthur has stirred the pot by claiming that Michael Clarke doesn’t particularly get on with Shame Watson doesn’t seem to have sent Australia backers running to the hills in fear.
And why would it? It was hardly a well kept secret that Watson and Clarke aren’t great buddies. So why would it cause panic in the betting ranks now?
Australia have a colourful recent history of players not getting on well, or players and coaches not seeing eye to eye over issues. It hasn’t done them any real harm in the past, although the players involved were the likes of Shane Warne, and he was in a slightly different class to the current bunch.
Never the less, it would be very naive to think that the relationships within the camp haven’t had an effect on the team at times, a look at the Aussies recent tour of India would suggest it has.
It’s the extent of the personality clash that is the main thing. Is it manageable? Or is it having an adverse effect on the team? The 1st Test suggested it isn’t having a negative effect, but that was before Mickey Arthur’s unhelpful contribution.
While I don’t doubt that Arthur may have over cooked his story of the level of disharmony to further his own needs, the words he is alleging Clarke has used to describe Watson clearly aren’t helpful.
Another thought that I have had is the relationship between Clarke and Lehmann. If Clarke’s main source of disagreement with Watson is over where he bats, what will Clarke make of Lehmann’s decision to put Watson back up to open? It’s surely a slap in the face for Michael Clarke?
Anyway, enough of that, onto cricket trading
. Four of the last five Test matches at Lord’s have had a positive result. The last draw was England V Sri Lanka back in 2011.
Last year’s Test match with South Africa was played in similar conditions to this one, and I believe it probably would have been a draw had England not had to go for bust to try and salvage something from the series.
The earlier Test this year against New Zealand was played in very differing conditions. I’d imagine that most of the Test matches played at Lord’s over the last few years haven’t been played in as batsman friendly conditions as we are currently experiencing in England.
My conclusion of that is that I expect the draw price to trade low in this Test match, but I’m not convinced that the match won’t be a draw. Then again, after the 1st innings batting of both sides in the 1st Test, surely anything is possible.
I expect the draw to come in from it’s current 3.50 over the next couple of days. But I couldn’t back it (for a trade) with any certainty, as it’s not impossible to envisage either side being all out on Day 1. If players bat properly, then I expect a slower paced Test match with the draw shortening, but as we seen at Trent Bridge, nothing is certain with these two teams.