The Ashes 2nd Test Preview and Tips

July 18th 2013, 12:03pm, By: Mr.Cricket

Game: The Ashes 2nd Test Match: England versus Australa
When: Starting Thursday, July 18th at 8:00pm AEST – Live on GEM and Fox Sports

The 1st Ashes Test match is in the books and what a classic it was! So many twists and turns, controversies and plenty of drama. It was Test match cricket at its finest.  It’s been a very slow four days waiting for the next one to start but the 2nd Test is upon us with England taking on Australia at the traditional home of cricket at Lord’s starting tonight.

The 1st Test went pretty much as suggested in our first article. Australia showed glimpses of domination with the ball, but ultimately England’s overall class shone through. Interestingly, despite England being bowled out on Day 1, the Test still went deep into Day 5. More on that later.

England are likely to make one change with Tim Bresnan coming in for the expensive Steven Finn. As I also suggested in the1st Test preview, Finn bowled way too short, and the England backup seamers really need to give more support for Jimmy Anderson who was superb. He’s really going to take some stopping in this series. He’s threatening our pick of Graeme Swann for most wickets in the series, but I’m confident that Swann can turn things around. Anderson bore a very heavy workload in the first Test, so I expect him to be eased a little, while Swann was clearly rusty yet still grabbed a handful of wickets.

For the Aussies, their competitiveness in the match has masked the continued failures of their batsmen. If Ashton Agar didn’t pull off a once in a lifetime innings like he did, then it might’ve been all over on Day 3 or 4. I’m a fan of Ed Cowan but changes have to be made. I’m no fan of Steve Smith or Phil Hughes but they chipped in with some handy runs, although it’s much easier coming in at 5 and 6, than opening or number 3. That said, Cowan has to go and Usman Khawaja given a long overdue opportunity.  I would’ve preferred to see Usman eased in at number 6, but he has the class to become a long term number 3 for us.  I’ve heard talks of James Faulkner coming in, but that seems a poor choice when we need more batting depth, not bowling support.

With the bowlers, they were pretty good, so I wouldn’t make any changes there. But the coaching staff may be keen to monitor workloads in which case Ryan Harris would probably come in for Mitchell Starc.

Australia has performed well at Lord’s over the years, but the advantage in this match still lay with the English side. Now that we’ve had a chance to see how each team will perform, I think England have a lot of upside ahead with their batting and their support bowlers, whereas Australia competed to expectations and I don’t know how much more upside is left in their batting. They can't rely on their tail to save them. So I don’t mind a small play on England at the $2.02 on Betfair if you’re looking for a straight up bet in this match.

However one of the trends of the 1st Test was the dramatic swings that we saw throughout the five days.  Check out the graph below which illustrates how the game swung:


Almost $100 million was traded on Betfair during the game, and a lot of people would’ve found these swings very profitable. Trading during the game is not a bad approach to this series. There seems to be little value pre-match, but the tight contests and high liquidity in the market provide a great trading platform. In Australia, you can either set back/lay marks before the game starts, you can trade between each day’s play, or you can call up and place a live bet over the phone.

I think a play on the Draw might prove to be a profitable trading play in the 2nd Test. I expect the batting of England to definitely improve, and Australia only has to improve a small % to push this match deep into Day 5. The weather will be fine, but again the pitch will be dry which should provide a good batting surface. If we look at the 1st Test, England were bowled out on the first day, yet the game went until after lunch on Day 5. Both Australia and England took up a lot of overs in the second innings, and in recent times, that has been England’s style.  I like a play on the draw at $3.75 with the intent to lay it off during the early innings.


Series Leading Wicket Taker: Graeme Swann’s odds are steady at around $6 while the big mover is Jimmy Anderson. As I mentioned, I think his workload will be closely managed with more expected from the support bowlers. Swann’s form was down, so expect him to improve and grab a bag at some stage. Our other pick, James Pattinson, looks to be Australia’s most dangerous bowler, picking up 5 wickets in the 1st Test, and will be regularly threatening for a big bag.

Series Leading Run Scorer: Our pick was Shane Watson, and he’s eased out to $15 on Betfair. I think those odds are very juicy.  Watson had two starts in the first Test and with no other batsman dominating (besides perhaps Ian Bell), he’s still well in contention.

Series Score: We picked a 3-1 series score, and that has come in from $7.50 to $6 for a nice position.

2nd Test Plays

- England to win at $2.02 at Betfair, or take advantage of the Sportsbet promotion (see below) and back England to win at $1.90 at Sportsbet

Back Draw at $3.75 to lay in play (use judgment) at Betfair

- Shane Watson to reach 25 runs before Chris Rogers 1st Innings – Watson at $2.10 at Luxbet. We had this play in the 1st Test. It didn’t get up after Watson was out cheaply, but as long as Watson doesn’t get out, he’s going to always get to 25 runs before the notoriously slow Rogers. Watson aggression makes this an appealing bet which we only need to land 50% of the time to show a profit.

- Steve Smith vs Phil Hughes 1st Innings runs – A bit of a coin flip, but give me Steve Smith at $2.05 at Centrebet any day.

- Team with the Most Run Outs – Draw at $2.10 at Luxbet. I am making a strong play on this bet and it would be my highest confidence play here. In Test matches there should never be run outs, but obviously they do sometimes happen.  In the first Test there were none.  More often than not, there won’t be a run out, and sometimes there will be one from each team, so this bet is very appealing.

- Graeme Swann to take over 1.5 wickets at $1.88 at Sportsbet. This bet landed for us in the 1st Test and see no real reason to get off now. Swann will only get better while Anderson is likely to bowl far less overs than before. Can easily see a couple of cheap wickets going Swann’s way.

- Any Australian batsman to get out for a duck in the 1st Innings at $1.91 at Sportsbet.  A nice fun wager to get some benefits from Australia’s poor batting. There were three ducks in Australia’s 1st Innings at Trent Bridge, and another one in the 2nd Innings. You’d have to favour one Aussie getting a blob, but only a small wager here.



Good luck with your bets but remember to gamble responsibly.  Hopefully this Test will have half of the excitement of the first, and then we’ll be in for a treat!


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