Bollinger loses place in Test team but Clarke offers Australia hope
Australia will head into the first Test with England on Thursday with a bowling attack of three seamers and a spinner after Doug Bollinger was axed from the Test team.
Bollinger remains a 5/1 shot to be Australia’s leading Ashes wicket-taker despite his absence from the first Test, leaving Peter Siddle, also 5/1, the value in the betting market as it is expected he will take the new ball.
Ben Hilfenhaus will join Siddle in opening the attack for Australia with Mitchell Johnson bowling first change.
Xavier Doherty is set to replace Nathan Hauritz as Australia’s number one spinner and Doherty has been cut to 8/1 after opening in the betting market at 25/1.
Shane Watson proved in India that he has what it takes to shake up the bowling attack if Ricky Ponting needs some freshness, and the opener is a huge price at 16/1 considering he is likely to be handed the ball at some point.
Watson should be joined in the batting line-up by his vice-captain after Michael Clarke came through a light training session.
Clarke is 5/1 in the top Australia series runscorer market and his pedigree against England is unquestionable.
A massive doubt for the first Test in Brisbane just a few days ago, Clarke averages 55 in 15 Tests against England and is massive boost for Australia as they continue to drift in the betting market.
Having opened in the online Ashes odds at 8/13 to win the Ashes, Australia are now 10/11 and odds against at 11/10 to win the first Test.
Clarke will continue to be monitored throughout the next two days as the build-up to the Ashes intensifies, but it’s looking positive for the Aussie vice-captain as he looks to lead the side to a series victory.
A £10 stake on Michael Clarke being man of the match in the first Test would return £170. New customers can sign up here for a free £10 bet.