Most of the attention seems to be focused around Mitchell’s Starc and Johnson, but sneaking in slightly under the radar is Australia’s latest fast bowling sensation, Josh Hazelwood.
A few weeks back, before the Australia tour of West Indies to be precise, most observers were of the opinion that Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, and one off Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, or James Pattinson would make up the three man seam attack in England, but the arrival of Hazelwood on the scene has totally blown that belief out of the water (Pattinson didn’t even make the Ashes squad).
Hazelwood made his Test debut against India late last year. He has only played in 5 Test matches to date, taking 24 wickets at an impressive 19.08. Such is the impact he has already made, there is already talk that the pace trio for Cardiff will be Hazelwood, Starc, and one other, suggesting that Hazelwood has already overtaken Mitchell Johnson in the pecking order.
This doesn’t seem to be totally lost on the bookies in the top Australian Ashes bowler betting. They are obviously expecting a close contest between the three, as they make Mitchell Johnson the 3/1 favourite, with Starc at 10/3, and Josh Hazelwood a close third at 4/1 with bet365.
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In the overall Top Ashes Bowler Betting, Hazelwood is fourth favourite at a best price of 15/2 with Stan James, with only England’s Jimmy Anderson breaking up the Aussie trio in the betting.
Hazelwood is also regarded as the most ‘English type bowler’ in the Aussie ranks, which also adds to the belief that he is a serious contender to take a glut of English wickets this summer.
Personally, I believe if Josh Hazelwood takes more wickets than Johnson or Starc, he will probably also be ahead of Jimmy Anderson and any of the other English contingent. This makes the 15/2 available in the Top Ashes Wicket Taker Betting, a better value bet.