Australia’s 185-run victory at Old Trafford means there is nothing but pride for England to play for in the fifth and final Ashes Test at the Oval this week. An England victory would at least level the series at 2-2 while the tourists, who had possession of the urn before this series got started, will want to win the series on enemy soil.
|Thursday – 11.00am||Odds||Bets|
|Charlie Mullan’s 5th Test Ashes Tips|
|Australia to win 5th Test Best Bet||1/1|
|Steve Smith to be named Man of the Match||5/1|
|Stuart Broad Top England Bowler in First Innings||5/2|
Odds correct as of 2019-09-10 13:04:20
This is a chance for players to redeem themselves for a poor series, or will either side use the match to give untested players a chance to see how they perform on the biggest of stages.
England have named an unchanged squad and perhaps Sam Curran will finally get his chance in this series 12 months after being named England’s player of the series against India last summer.
England’s goal this year was to win the World Cup, which they did for the first time ever. Practicing with the red ball was included in their training sessions, but the home side has struggled to switch to the five-day format of the game.
Charlie Mullan takes a look at some of the bets available ahead of the series finale.
Australia to win @ 1/1 William Hill
Win, lose or draw, Tim Paine and his Australia side will celebrate retaining the Ashes on the Oval outfield at the end of another pulsating Ashes series.
England only have themselves to blame for not performing well enough throughout the series. The loss of James Anderson during the first Test at Edgbaston didn’t help as his decision to declare himself fit without playing a warm-up game backfired.
England will want to end the series with a morale-boosting win, while Australia would love to end their tour with back-to-back Test victories. England hasn’t hosted many Tests this deep into September and with that comes the risk of weather-affected matches. We have seen in this series already, how play has been disrupted resulting in periods of the fourth Test being played with no bails on top of the stumps because of strong winds at Old Trafford.
The fifth and final Test is an opportunity for batsmen to stake their claim in future Tests series with memorable knocks. With the threat of bad weather and the intensity reduced because the destination of the Ashes has been determined, players are now playing for their Test futures.
Question marks are now being raised about Joe Root’s captaincy and a win will help ease the pressure building on Root. Defeat for England and we may be looking at odds for England’s next Test captain. But with momentum and with world number one batsman (Steve Smith) and bowler (Pat Cummins) in their ranks, Australia are favourites to win the fifth and final Test at Evens with William Hill.
Odds correct as of 10th Sep, 13:08 Odds subject to change.
Steve Smith to be man of the match @ 5/1 William Hill
What else can be said about Steve Smith that hasn’t been said before in this series? This has been his series with 671 runs – 371 runs more than Ben Stokes who is second on the list. And Smith missed three innings as he recovered from concussion.
Smith, who celebrated his double century at Old Trafford with a bar of chocolate, could be indulging in chocolate again as he chases more memorable milestones. Smith has been dubbed ‘Baby Bradman’ for his brilliance at the crease and the current day batting genius needs 303 runs at the Oval to match Don Bradman’s total of 974 in the 1930 Ashes series in England. That total would be described as improbable for any other player, but for Smith, it’s completely achievable.
Smith is averaging 134.2 in this series and his overall Test average currently stands at 64.81. Smith’s average would remain over 50 even if he was dismissed without scoring a single run in his next 30 innings. Smith has been Australia’s top batsman in all five of the innings he has batted with his replacement Marnus Labuschagne topping the runs in the three innings Smith was absent for.
Expect Smith, whose lowest score so far is 82, to end his tour with more runs. He’s already the man of the series and a man of the match award (5/1 with William Hill) at the Oval would be a fitting end to his Ashes summer.
Stuart Broad to be top wicket taker in England’s 1st innings @ 5/2 Betfred
Cricket fans were denied the chance to see James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer terrorising Australia’s batsmen this summer in the same Test. Archer missed the first Test as he recovered from a slight injury picked up during the World Cup. Anderson unfortunately broke down with a calf injury at Edgbaston which ended up ruling him out of the remainder of the series.
In Anderson’s absence, Archer has had moments of brilliance, but sadly there were not enough of them to help England win back the Ashes. The one bright spot for England in this Test series has been the consistency with which Stuart Broad has bowled. His 19 wickets have included the dismissal of David Warner six times in the eight innings they have faced each other.
Don’t be surprised if Broad claims Warner’s wickets again at the Oval. However, while Broad has the wood over Warner, England’s top bowler has only managed to get Smith out once and that was after Australia’s former captain had scored 144 in the first innings at Edgbaston.
England’s bowling has let them down in the series so far. Only once have the home side managed to take all 20 Australian wickets in a match and that was in the third Test which England won, thanks to Ben Stokes’ heroics at Headingley.
Australia have taken 20 England wickets in the first and fourth Test which resulted in victory for the visitors highlighting the importance of being able to bowl a side out twice in a Test.
With the exception of the Headingley Test, Broad has been his country’s leading bowler in the first innings in the other three Tests (5/2 with Betfred to be top England bowler at The Oval in the first innings). Broad, who was not part of England’s World Cup winning squad, will want to end the summer on a high, even if his efforts have not been able to help England win back the Ashes.