It all starts in Cardiff on Wednesday morning, England and Australia will resume battle in the latest Ashes instalment. The bookmakers have this test match a close call in the betting with Australia at 2/1 and England are close behind at 12/5, with the draw a best price 7/5.
In the overall betting it’s not so tight with the bookmakers fully expecting an Australia win. Although the Aussies have drifted from an earlier price of 8/11, they are still the 10/11 favourites to take the series outright with 888sport, Blue Square, Ladbrokes, Sportingbet, Stan James and William Hill.
England have been cut from 9/4 to now being 15/8 with Totesport and Paddy Power, while a drawn series is 9/2 with Bet365, Boylesports, Paddy Power, Sportingbet and William Hill.
On the field England would appear to have only one choice to make, with Ian Bell released back to Warwickshire it leaves just a straight fight between Monty Panesar and Graham Onions for the final bowling spot.
Panesar was the favourite, but it now would appear that with the conditions likely to be a bit overcast that Onions may well get the nod – it will very likely come down to how things look on the morning of the match.
Australia will be missing Brett Lee from their 1st test line up. Lee hadn’t been certain to start up until his performance last week against the England Lions, the fact that he performed so well and looked back to somewhere near his best must have heartened Ricky Ponting, so to lose him with a rib injury at this late stage is a blow.
Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson and Stuart Clark may well now be joined by spinner Nathan Hauritz, Hauritz has come in for much criticism so far on this tour and probally wouldn’t have been in the frame for a start until Lee picked up this latest injury.
A lot of the English press and public will probally be wondering who Peter Siddle is, from what I seen of him against South Africa he looks a decent bowler and could be a value bet for leading series bowler at 15/2 with Bet365. The only real down side to him is his confidence, he looked a bit down and lost early in the series against South Africa and needed a lot of pushing and encouragement from his team mates, but when he got it together he more than looked the part. If he gets off to a similar shaky start here though he might struggle to pull it back round.
1st Test Odds
The draw is 6/4 favourite with Paddy Power
Australia are at 2/1 with Bet365, Boylesports, Ladbrokes, Sportingbet and William Hill.
England are 12/5 with Totesport.
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