Mon, Nov 13, 5:28pm by Head Editor
Australia’s odds to regain the Ashes have come in from $1.40 to $1.36, despite England beating a Cricket Australia XI by 192 runs at the Adelaide Oval.
England’s pace trio of Chris Woakes, Jimmy Anderson and Craig Overton were all among the wickets, taking 10 wickets between them in the final innings of the match, which saw the hosts bowled out for a paltry total of 75.
The result of the pink ball match sends an ominous warning to the Australian side, who will meet the old enemy in Adelaide, in the first Ashes day/night Test, in the second match of the series, starting December 2.
While England’s squad looked impressive in the win, several Aussie Test hopefuls were plying their trade for their respective states in the third round of the Sheffield Shield.
Much of the attention for some weeks now has been on the wicket keeping position, with a three-way battle between the incumbent Matthew Wade, the man he replaced last year – Peter Neville – and the bolter, Cameron Bancroft.
While Neville and Wade have failed to cement their spot in the XI, Bancroft added another half century to his strong start to the season.
Victoria’s Glenn Maxwell failed to cement his spot at No.6, making just four runs in Victoria’s outing against Tasmania.
As Australia’s number six and seven batsmen failed to take their chances, the bowlers are in fine form, especially Mitchell Starc, who became the first man to take two hat-trick’s in a Sheffield Shield game.
The left-armer’s amazing feat means he has now taken an incredible 17 wickets at 12.70 in two Shield matches for NSW this season, which is a perfect lead-up for the 27-year-old, who’ll be leading the Aussie bowling attack this summer.
The Australian squad is to be announced by Cricket Australia on Friday. The hosts remain $1.70 favourites to win the series opener in Brisbane, which starts on November 23.
England remain a $4 outsider to retain the Ashes, with slightly shorter odds of $3.40 on offer for the hosts to start the series with a win.
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