Even the possibility of not having Kevin Pietersen in the side didn’t really scare the punters off from backing England. The days of England needing to rely on Kevin Pietersen’s batting seem to be long gone.
The hosts looking to go into a 3-0 lead and to wrap up the series, are again – obviously – heavy favourites. Online bookmakers currently have England at 8/11 – The Draw at 11/4 – Australia are 7/2.
If Pietersen is fit, I imagine England will be unchanged, as I can’t see them playing two spinners. I’m not sure if bringing Monty Panesar into the squad was just to re-familiarise him with his team mates, or to try and further spook the Aussies about their lack of spinning options.
Australia on the other hand will almost certainly bring David Warner back into the batting line up, and will relieve Ashton Agar of his duties, with Nathan Lyon coming back in as the spinner. They will probably replace the injured James Pattinson with Mitchell Starc.
There has not been too many Test matches at Old Trafford in recent years, and the pitch has been turned around, so there is no real international form to judge the wicket on. In domestic cricket, Old Trafford is regarded as a turning pitch.
If you have been trading cricket on Betfair, you will already have noticed plenty of price fluctuations, particularly on the draw.
The draw – currently trading at around 3.80 to 3.90 – has already traded as high as 4, and down below 2.7, mainly due to the longer range weather forecast before last weekend, as opposed to Kevin Pietersen’s calf injury (in my opinion).
The more I bet on cricket, the more I see that learning to read a weather forecast is nearly as important as learning to read a cricket match. Money can be made or lost, just trading price movements based on weather forecasts.
With this Test match being played in the (probably falsely) notorious rain hotspot that is Manchester, the weather needs to be watched closely – as it always does. Despite all the reports that it is going to be fine, Friday, Saturday and Monday look dodgy to me.
This will probably lead to the draw odds shortening, but as is always the case in England, it can lead to dark clouds, swing, and shortened Test matches…. so beware!