Tue, Jul 30, 6:12am by Rob Sheeley
Match: England vs Australia – Third Ashes Test
When/Where: 1st-5th August at Old Trafford
AUD $100 Free Bet: www.IASbet.com
What a difference one match can make. After coming agonisingly close to winning the first test match at Trent Bridge, Australia were handed a cricketing lesson in the second test at Lords.
As we suggested before the second test, it was probably going to be the last opportunity to back England at any sort of price to retain the Ashes. England are now all but unbackable in series markets as punters think they are as close to a certainty as you will see. They are now at the prohibitive price of $1.03 to win the series, which could well happen in this match.
The series moves to Old Trafford for this third encounter, a venue conducive to spin bowling. This is good news for the home team given the fact that they took eleven of Australia’s twenty wickets with spin in the second test. Australia’s fragility against spin has been well documented and there is no doubt that England will look to take advantage of that.
England have also named an extra spin bowler in their extended fourteen man squad with veteran Monty Panesar recalled. Panesar has an exceptional record at the venue and is a much more experienced option than Joe Root who supported their main spinner Graeme Swann in the second test.
It’s do or die for the Australian’s in this match, a loss means the series is over as a competition and they can start looking to build form for the home series later this year. A draw is also not enough for the Australian’s, it’s win at all costs.
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England have exhibited their class edge in the first two games, couple that with their extra experience and stability and it bodes well for a third consecutive victory here.
English selectors have also shown that they are comfortable with the depth that they have at their disposal in this series. Despite two wins they are still tinkering with the line up. With the additions of Monty Panesar and James Taylor to their squad as well as Kevin Pietersen racing the clock to return from injury, they have plenty of options heading into the match.
The good news for punters is that, despite leading the series two nil and having won eight of their last ten ashes matches, the English side, although favourites, are very backable at $1.83. On form it would seem that only a couple of days of inclement weather could thwart them making it three from three.
Even the most staunch believer in the Australian team would be harboring at least a modicum of doubt as to whether or not they can bounce back from such a devastating loss in the second test to win this game.
There is the “dead cat bounce” theory that some punters subscribe to that a side who has been badly beaten and embarrassed are likely to put in a much better performance in their next outing. But even if Australia are to improve sharply it may mean that they are good enough to compete with England; beating them is another thing.
Australia are yet to name their squad but there is no doubt there will be changes. Fast bowler James Pattinson is out for the remainder of the series and there are plenty of options being put forward as his replacement. There is also a myriad of rumors that David Warner may return in a bid to strengthen the top order after his sabbatical to South Africa for a stint in the Australian A team where he made one decent score of 193. Nathan Lyon is also being mentioned in dispatches as a possible replacement for Ashton Agar who’s second test was not as spectacular as his memorable debut.
Australia have everything to play for and if that isn’t enough to bring out the best in them then nothing is. They face a real Everest if they are to win but if they can replicate a contest like the first test, they may go that little bit better and snatch a victory that will keep the series alive.
England – $1.83 Head to Head with IASbet.com
Draw – $2.90
Australia – $5.75
I honestly think there is no reason that England can’t win this match just as easily as they did the second test. Punters seem to agree to an extent with them being slightly shorter than the last match. I think they represent massive value and it looks a great bet at $1.83. The only disclaimer I’d include is to keep an eye on the weather report for Old Trafford for the course of the game a little closer to the event.
England – $1.26 Head to Head with IASbet.com
Australia – $3.75
If you are concerned about the weather this is a safer bet. If the match is a draw bets are refunded. I think England will be winning unless the weather intervenes. This is a good bet on that premise and I will be betting with confidence.
England – $1.71
Australia – $2.14 with IASbet.com
We got this right last test and I think the Australians represent value again. The combination of Watson and Rogers look to be possibly the sturdiest part of the Australian batting line up at present and they may well be ready to compile a big stand. England have looked a little shaky at the start of their innings but have managed to recover. Australia look the bet here.
England – $1.53 with IASbet.com
Australia – $2.46
This is one of the better bets of the match again. England led the first innings by the proverbial country mile last match and based on that, this looks like stealing corn from a blind cocky.
IASbet.com offer markets on the leading run scorer and wicket taker from each team.
In terms of run scorers, England’s Jonathan Trott has displayed handy form this series and the $4.50 on offer looks inviting. For Australia Shane Watson, as controversial as he may be, looks to be one of the more consistent players at the top of the order, he looks a solid bet at $5.00.
Given the propensity for spin to dominate at Old Trafford, I’m going with Graeme Swann to be England’s leading wicket taker in this third test, Swann is currently $3.75 with IASbet. With Australia unsettled on their line up at the time of writing I like the old workhorse Peter Siddle. Siddle will keep trying regardless of the situation and is currently $3.50 with IASbet.com to be top wicket taker for the Aussies.
England – $1.03 with IASbet
Australia – $51.00
Drawn Series – $15.00
It’s quite obvious that punters see only one result possible in this series now. England have become a very short conveyance and are all but unbackable. The value looks to be more so in them sealing that series win in this test by betting in the head to head market.
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