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Focus shifts to Ashes after India series ends with a washout

Mon, Oct 16, 4:23pm by Head Editor

Australia’s tour of India ended with a washout on Saturday morning (AEST), which means that the focus of the national team now shifts to the biggest series of all, the Ashes.

Having won just four games from 14 away from home across all formats in 2017, the green and gold will be happy to be back on home soil, where they’ve lost just two Test series’ this decade.

The strong home record also extends to Ashes series in general, with the home side having lost just one of the last eight editions of cricket’s oldest rivalry.

The hosts are deserved favourites when the Ashes begin on November 23 in Brisbane and Sportsbet currently has them at the short price of $1.31 to begin the five-match series with a win. England are out at $3.32 to salute at the Gabba for the first time since 1986.

In series betting, the Aussies are at $1.40, while England are at $4. A drawn series, which hasn’t happened since 1972, is at $8.

The market for the correct score in the series sees an Australian 3-1 win $6 favourite, with a drawn 2-2 series at $7. The lowest odds for an England series win is the $10 on offer for a 3-2 win.

A repeat of the 5-0 success by Australia the last time England toured here in 2013 has come in from $15 to $10 after Ben Stokes – who is arguably England’s most important player – was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm outside a nightclub in Bristol last month.

The 26-year-old all-rounder will not travel with the England squad, when it departs for Australia on October 28.

The hosts have not named their squad yet, but one name that won’t be on the list is James Pattinson, who was ruled out with a lower-back stress fracture that he picked up towards the end of the recently completed county cricket season in England.

Left-arm quick Jason Behrendorff staked his claim to replace Pattinson by taking 4/21 in the second T20 against India, which Australia won by eight wickets.

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