Ashes 2015 England vs Australia: 3rd Test Preview
The Aussies bounced back at Lord’s with a comprehensive victory in the 2nd Test match to level the 2015 Ashes at 1-1. Winning the toss was crucial and the Aussies set the tone by dominating with the bat with Chris Rogers and Steve Smith making the big scores that Australia had been lacking. They then followed up with the ball, showing their customary venom on a rather lifeless pitch to take the twenty wickets required to grab the win.
England have been forced to make changes to try and respond for the 3rd Test at Edgbaston starting Wednesday. Gary Ballance has been dropped from number three with Ian Bell moving into that important role. Joe Root will move up to four, while Jonny Bairstow will come in at number five. Bairstow has been averaging 108.88 this summer in the County Championship, so was an obvious choice, but I don’t think he will install any fear in the Aussies.
There are also reports that Mark Wood is struggling to overcome an injury so Steven Finn may come into calculations. England coach Trevor Bayliss hinted that he would like to play two spinners at some point this series, but the Edgbaston pitch preparation was offering a thick, lush grass cover, so it looks one suited to the quicks rather than spin.
That will again suit the Australian pace contingent with Mitchell Johnson back to his best in the 2nd Test. Josh Hazelwood has been a rock and Mitch Starc has been able to overcome his own injury niggles to be a genuine wicket-taking threat.
Mitch Marsh came in for the 2nd Test and made the key breakthroughs when required which is exactly what was missing from Shane Watson’s bowling, so Marsh now looks set to play the rest of the series.
Peter Neville also looks set to retain his place after seven catches and an impressive 45 runs on debut. It’s a tough way for Brad Haddin to go out, if indeed he has played his last Test, but it seems the right decision to move on.
Chris Rogers was the only batsman in doubt after a dizzy spell caused him to retire in the 2nd innings. The word is that it’s unrelated to his previous concussion scares and he should be right to play in the 3rd Test. Rogers is proving to be a vital cog in Australia’s plans to win the Ashes, and also in our plans to make a profit this series! Rogers has already passed his line of 300.5 runs for the series to lock in a nice win for us after just two Tests. He’s also in great shape for leading run scorer, only narrowly trailing Steve Smith.
Verdict: It’s been a series full of unexpected results, but it’s hard to ignore how strong Australia were in the 2nd Test. The toss has been important to win so far, but if Edgbaston is a little bit green then maybe bowling first might be an option. Weather may play a role on the first day, but there should be enough clear skies on the remaining days to achieve a result.
Australia look the goods but there’s little value at $1.85 at William Hill Australia.Ashes Betting
Series Betting Total: +5.98 units
The 2nd Test had some mixed results for us. We missed out on our leading run scorer bets and split both our leading wicket taker bets. Josh Hazelwood looked set to win before Mitchell Johnson picked up a cheap last wicket to tie it up and reduce our profit.
We’ll take advantage of a good promotion at Sportsbet to make a play on the leading run scorer markets for both England and Australia.Steve Smith and Dave Warner are both quite short, and while Michael Clarke offers some value, the skipper hasn’t been in the best of form. There’s no real reason to jump off Chris Rogers right now. If he’s fit, then he’s shown the consistency to be a great bet with money back if he scores 50 or more.
Chris Rogers Top Australian Run Scorer 1st Inns - $5.00 at Sportsbet (2 units)
By process of elimination, there’s only two batsmen for England that I would put my money on. Joe Root is clearly England’s best batsman and Ben Stokes is their most dangerous. Root is very short, while Stokes offers great value.
Ben Stokes Top England Run Scorer 1st Inns - $8.00 at Sportsbet (1 unit)
And we’ll continue to back Josh Hazelwood with the ball. He’s the leading wicket taker in the series so far without yet taking a bag. With Mitchell Johnson firing, his price really has shortened in this market, so we’re getting great value on Hazelwood.
Josh Hazelwood Most Wickets Australia 1st Inns - $4.75 at William Hill (3 units)
Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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