Warm-ups are over, it’s just five days until the Ashes begins
Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss couldn’t have asked for a better warm-up three weeks in Australia and now England are as short as 15/8, the shortest they’ve been, to win the first Test.
These past three weeks have seen Australia suffer a huge loss in confidence, the selector’s don’t know what the best eleven is, team-mates are laying down gauntlets to each other and the Australian public has lost all confidence in their side.
Which has led Ladbrokes to lengthen Australia out to 10/11 to win the Ashes after they were 8/13 before England arrived in Australia.
Meanwhile, England have strode through three warm-up games, winning two and drawing one, and all who have featured have proved their worth to the squad.
Flower knows the side that will line-up against Australia in the first Test in Brisbane on Thursday, and with three of his batting line-up making centuries, two in Stauss’ case, the England coach will be confident of a strong start to the Ashes series.
Of the England top order, only Jonathan Trott failed to better a half-century in the three warm-up Test’s, but his average of 80 against Australia suggests Trott should do just fine in Brisbane.
With Ladbrokes offering a top England Ashes series runscorer market, the results of the last few weeks now mean there is plenty of value to be found.
Ian Bell is now as short as 5/1 after opening in the market at 8/1, Strauss remains the 7/2 favourite but Is joined at 7/2 by Kevin Pietersen who was cut from 4/1.
Alistair Cook’s poor average in the past against Australia sees him as big as 6/1, but the opener has already shown fight in the face of adversity on this tour and that could be a big price.
Paul Collingwood is 7/1 while Trott has drifted to 9/2 from 4/1 after not standing out in the warm-ups.
A £10 stake on Ian Bell to be England’s top Ashes runscorer at 5/1 would return £60. See the full Ashes betting odds here.