Ashes Betting – Can Chris Tremlett be England’s Top Bowler?

All the rumours and stories coming out of the UK media who are currently based in Australia are suggesting that Chris Tremlett is the shoe in for England’s much talked about third seamer at the Gabba later this week.

A lot of this opinion seems to be formed on the back of comments made by England bowling coach David Saker, but could it be a bluff to try and trick the Aussies?

Either way, it doesn’t appear to have made any difference in the betting, as Tremlett is still available at 8/1 to top the wicket taking charts for England.

That makes him joint fifth favourite along with Boyd Rankin, and significantly still behind Steven Finn, who is fourth favourite.

The news that Tim Bresnan could be available for the second Test could also be another reason why the odds on this market don’t appear to have changed on the back of the Tremlett rumours.

There are so many factors to take into account if betting on this market. If everyone is fit and well, Bresnan is generally the third seamer, but England clearly expect pace and bounce given their squad selection, which goes slightly against Bresnan.

The job of third seamer is also a precarious role in the team. If England have a bad Test, and the selectors feel the need to freshen things up, they are not going to drop Anderson, Broad or Swann, so that only leaves the third seamer’s position.

So even if Tremlett does start in Brisbane, the chances are that he won’t start all 5 Test matches. But then again, if Broad or Anderson get injured, he may well do.

These are probably just some of the reasons why Tremlett’s odds haven’t really changed on the back of this news. And it goes some way to showing why picking the Top England Ashes Bowler is such a hard call.

David Saker – A Change in Attitude?

After seeing his bowlers skittle Pakistan out for scores of just 80 and 72 lately, it was strange to hear England’s, Australian bowling coach criticize his bowlers for a “complacent” showing during Sunday’s afternoon session of the 2nd test at Edgbaston.

Such criticism is unheard of in England after such a win. We usually start believing we are the finished article and have made it to the top of the tree. The ‘we are now the best side in the world crap’ usually makes an appearance after a couple of impressive wins.

In short, it was a very un-English thing for Saker to do.

But in my view it was right, and it is refreshing to hear such an honest approach after two crushing victories. Instead of wallowing in the glory and masking over the shortcomings, Saker is pointing out where his players need to improve.

Such an approach is well overdue in English sport, it would appear to be a change from the usual attitude of thinking that it’s ok to do just about enough to win.

I don’t wish to be negative about this and pour scorn on what is two good wins for England, but I am going to try to be realistic about it. England bowled out a very fragile, young, inexperienced Pakistan team for low scores twice, in swinging conditions that would have tested the worlds top batsmen.

Lets not get too carried away with this, there is still a long way too go. England still seem to lack the ruthlessness to really put a team to the sword, when they have the opposition down, the foot never seems to come out and press down on the throat – this seems to be a fact not lost on Saker.

The same could also be said about the batting. In a strong position at Edgbaston, England again failed to put up a decent 1st innings total, one that would have batted Pakistan totally out of the match.

These are weaknesses that need to be ironed out of England’s play if they are to become the top test team in the world. Also, if these failings persist this winter, you would have to imagine it will prevent England from winning, or maybe even retaining, the Ashes.

More positive thinkers like Saker is what England need if they want to become the top team, it may be a shame it takes an Aussie to point this out, but lets hope this attitude rubs off on the rest of ‘Team England’ and they can keep on striving to improve, and maybe achieve that aim.