The Ashes series comes to a conclusion this week as the 5th and final Test gets underway from Hobart on Friday. Mr. Cricket is 4/4 on betting tips throughout the series so far and will be looking to finish off with another win! Check out his full preview and betting tips for the clash below.
Ashes 5th Test Betting Tips
Hobart, Friday 14th January, 3.00pm
4th Test Recap
While we didn’t actually get a result either way, the 4th Test in Sydney was by far the most exciting of the series so far. The contest went down to the very last ball on day five, with the Aussies needing one wicket to win and England successfully holding out for a draw.
Usman Khawaja was the story of the game, compiling two centuries in his return to Test cricket after two years out of the team.
There were some promising signs for the English as well, with Jonny Bairstow compiling a brilliant century in the first innings as well as Zak Crawley impressing in the second.
When all was said and done though, the draw always looked the value bet as rain played a part in four of the five days. Mr. Cricket tipped the draw at $2.10, taking his series tally to 4-0.
Predicted XI: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland
Throughout the series so far, we have predicted Australia to make changes based on rest, but they just haven’t done that so far. Mitch Starc would have been the obvious candidate for a spell in Sydney to freshen him up for the pink ball Test in Hobart, but he ended up playing and it’ll be hard to rest him now given his stellar record in day/night Tests. Scott Boland was arguably Australia’s best bowler again throughout this Test, so it’ll be unlikely that he gets dropped, especially with Josh Hazlewood still injured.
The only change I think Australia makes is at the top of the order. Under normal circumstances, Marcus Harris probably did enough in this Test to keep his spot with a scores of 38 and 27, however, Travis Head is almost a certainty to come back into the side at No.5 and how can you drop Usman Khawaja after back to back centuries in his return Test? Harris will have to be the one to make way, sending Uzzy to the top of the order with Warner, the way a large majority of Aussie fans wanted it from the start of the series.
Predicted XI: Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Dawid Malan, Joe Root, Ollie Pope, Dan Lawrence, Sam Billings, Chris Woakes, Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson
Expect changes galore from the English outfit ahead of the final Test. Haseeb Hameed almost certainly has to come out after a horror three Test stretch which has seen him score 6, 0, 0, 7, 6 and 9. He’ll be replaced by Rory Burns giving the English their 3rd opening combination of the series.
Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler are all injured so will likely come out of the side. In their place will probably be Ollie Pope, Dan Lawrence and Sam Billings, who was called in as a late replacement from the BBL.
When England haven’t had the security blanket of Ben Stokes as their fifth bowler in the past, they have generally played four seamers and given it’s a pink ball Test, I think they do again in Hobart. Woakes, Robinson, Broad and Anderson seem the obvious quartet as there are some concerns over the fitness of Mark Wood.
If I’m honest, I probably like England’s chances of winning this Test more than any so far in this series. I think it was time to get a little bit of new blood into the side, a few players that don’t have some of the mental scars from the first four Tests. Losing Bairstow is an issue given his form but I think Sam Billings is a big improvement over Jos Buttler with the bat at the moment, and Dan Lawrence is capable on Australian pitches. Anderson and Broad should also enjoy bowling with the pink ball under lights.
HOWEVER, after all that confidence in England, I still think the Aussies win this match. Their bowling attack is just too god damn good at the moment. In just two Tests, Scott Boland has become a force in international cricket and I think he only gets better with the pink ball in his hand. Mitch Starc is the most successful day/night Test bowler in history and while Pat Cummins has had a bit of a quiet series to date he is still, in my opinion, the best fast bowler in the world.