When Mitchell Starc bowled England keeper Jonny Bairstow on Wednesday afternoon, Australia moved into an extremely strong position in their quest to regain cricket’s oldest trophy, The Ashes urn.
After being sent into bat on Day One of the first Day/night Ashes Test in history by England skipper Joe Root, Steve Smith’s charges showed plenty of discipline and skill, in grinding out a total of 442 runs declared, for the loss of eight wickets.
The hosts didn’t show the same resilience with the bat in the second innings, but Australia’s bowling attack of Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and off-spinner Nathan Lyon, ensured the Aussies would head to Perth with a 2-0 lead, with the final margin of 120 runs.
Only one side in the history of The Ashes, which dates back to 1877, has come back from 2-0 down to win a series and that was Australia led by the greatest batsman of all time, Don Bradman back in 1936-37. Hence, the series odds have now shifted dramatically in favour of the men in the baggy green, who are now into $1.04
to regain the famous urn.
England, who have shown throughout the opening two Tests, that they are capable of winning a match or two in this series, but haven’t been able to put it together at the right time, are out at $26. That unlikely result would just the second time that the Old Enemy’s have secured a second series Down Under since 1987, while a drawn series, which is enough too see the Three Lions retain the trophy, is now out at $18.
The odds for the third Test, which begins at Perth’s WACA ground next Thursday, sees Australia at $1.53 for a win which would seal a series win, England are at $4.40 to win just their second Test in 14 appearances at the home of Western Australian cricket, the draw, which has been seen just three times in Ashes contests at the venue, is at $5.30.