Confidence in English cricket has probably never been higher.
After a dramatic maiden ICC World Cup victory over New Zealand, England now look forward to an arguably far greater challenge of attempting to regain The Ashes from the Australians in a five Test series.
The action gets underway on 1st August with The First Test at Edgbaston. By far the most significant fixture on the world cricket calendar, The Ashes test series between the Poms and Baggy Caps couldn’t have come at a better time.
Interest in the English cricket team has greatly increased since the sensational win at Lords last week and the country is expected to get firmly behind the side, echoing the fever and glory of the memorable 2005 Ashes victory. We’ll assess the chances of both sides and select some of the best Ashes betting offers around.
Therefore can England continue the momentum and bring back the little urn once more?
BETTING ON THE WINNER
England have been swept by a tide of optimism and hope after the World Cup and find themselves odds on favourites to win The Ashes.
England to win 4/5 (William Hill)
Australia to win 7/4 (Bet Victor)
THE ENGLAND BOWLING ATTACK: WILL THEY REVERT TO EXPERIENCE?
James Anderson is almost certainly expected to take his place in the starting XI although the question marks surrounding the participation of Anderson’s equally experienced sidekick, Stuart Broad is very much open to debate.
Broad clearly has the Test experience against the baggy caps but the selectors may opt for the World Cup experience factor and stick with Chris Woakes. The first test being at Woakes’ home ground Edgbaston will also play favourably for the Warwickshire paceman.
The other inclusion is almost certainly going to revolve around the exciting Jofra Archer who bowled superbly in The World Cup and captured the public’s imagination with his Super Over winning antics. He will almost certainly be buoyed with his confidence from his World Cup experience and he has bags of pace which is important for a test match.
BETTING FOR TOP ENGLAND BOWLER
The experienced James Anderson unsurprisingly leads the market although Jofra Archer stands out for me at 7/2 (William Hill).
James Anderson 5/2 (William Hill)
Stuart Broad 3/1 (William Hill)
Jofra Archer 7/2 (William Hill)
Ben Stokes 8/1 (William Hill)
BATTING: ROY TO OPEN AND FOAKES TO TAKE THE GLOVES?
The opening pair is also open to speculation. Jason Roy could come in and partner Rory Burns although Roy’s defence play will need to tighten up for the test match game demands. It would be no surprise either if Jonny Bairstow was spared the gloves and selected as an all-out number 4, whilst bringing in Ben Foakes as wicketkeeper.
Ben Foakes is very much in the vein of the wicketkeeper-batsman status (test average of 41), although he has defied the much maligned belief that this status has often meant sacrificing the skills behind the stumps. Foakes has certainly escaped this label in his performances for Surrey.
Skipper Joe Root looks set to hold the crucial number three position whilst the exciting Jos Buttler will work effectively as a middle order anchor at number 6: he could also be an enticing fun punt for top England batsman bet (16/1, Paddy Power, Betfair).
BETTING FOR TOP ENGLAND BATSMAN
Joe Root 5/2 (William Hill)
Jonny Bairstow 4/1 (William Hill)
Ben Foakes 10/1 (William Hill)
AUSTRALIA’S REHABILITATION AFTER BALL TAMPERING SCANDAL
The main issue surrounding the Australian selection is the inclusion of the ball tampering banned players, David Warner and Steve Smith who are slowly rehabilitating themselves back into test cricket after the year ban.
However, both players had respectable World Cups with Warner notching up 679 runs whilst Smith ran up a tally of decent half centuries in the tournament.
Warner looks set to open although his partner is open to speculation with Cameron Bancroft, Marcus Harris and Joe Burns all in the mix.
STARC SET TO LEAD BOWLING ATTACK
Mitchel Starc had a superb World Cup and is expected to lead an attack comprising of himself, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, and James Pattinson. Peter Siddle and Jackson Bird may also come into the reckoning in light of their experience of English wickets through county cricket.
BETTING FOR TOP AUSTRALIAN BOWLER
Mitchell Starc is deservedly leading this market and looks to be the most feared bowler in the Australian attack.
Josh Hazlewood 7/2 (William Hill)
Peter Siddle 4/1 (William Hill)
Nathan Lyon 5/1 (William Hill)
BETTING FOR TOP AUSTRALIAN BATSMAN
Smith and Warner lead the market with the latter slightly standing out for value at 3/1 (William Hill).
David Warner 3/1 (William Hill)
Marcus Harris 6/1 (William Hill)
BETTING ON THE ASHES SERIES CORRECT SCORE
The correct score outcome of the series could be an interesting wager and will of course be entirely reliant on the British summer weather. Edgbaston has always been a good batting track so a full five days could be guaranteed there, whilst Lords has never been a great hunting ground for English test victories.
Headingley could go either way and the Old Trafford test in September has to be heavily considered for the draw based on the Manchester rainfall in the early autumn. Therefore, a 2-1 overall score line for either team would be my preferred option.
England 3-2 13/2 (Betfred)
Draw 2-2 7/1 (Betfred)
This should be an enthralling test series featuring a confident, dynamic and now world champions England XI.
If young pretenders like Jofra Archer fulfil their widely publicised potential and key players like Root, Buttler and Bairstow continue their World Cup form, this can easily go England’s way, especially as some key Australian players are lacking recent international experience due to the ball tampering ban.
I have therefore picked the following three recommended best bets:
Best priced odds. All odds are correct at the time of publishing (18:00 23rd July 2019) and are subject to change.