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Scott Borthwick to get off to dream Test match debut at Sydney

| 01.01.2014

England will take to the field at the Sydney Cricket Ground hoping to avoid being on the losing end of their third Ashes whitewash, with a host of fresh faces likely to be in their side.

In stark contrast to their Australian rivals, who could name an fifth consecutive unchanged XI for the first time ever in a five-match series, England could hand out as many as three new Test caps to their squad.

Not since Alastair Cook made his Test match debut, along with Monty Panesar and Ian Blackwell, in India in 2006 have England named three debutants in a side and the fact that they look to do so here shows the state of disarray they’re currently in.

Gary Ballance looks set to replace Michael Carberry in the batting department while Boyd Rankin is expected to come in for Tim Bresnan.

However, it is the start of Durham legspinner Scott Borthwick’s Test career that can give England fans the most hope for success in the match.

The SCG is the one ground on the Australian tour that is renowned for its ability to take spin, something that is highlighted by the fact that the top two wicket takers at the venue are Aussie legspinning duo Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill.

MacGill’s record in particular catches the eye as in his eight appearances in Sydney he claimed a massive 53 victims, just 11 shy of Warne’s total. In the five matches the pair played together there MacGill often shone, snaring 40 wickets to his compatriot’s 21.

It all amounts to very encouraging signs for the 23-year-old Borthwick, who has been plying his winter trade in Sydney for club side Northern Districts before receiving the England call-up, and his odds of 1/1 that he takes more than 1.5 wickets in his first innings looks too good to refuse.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.