England can regain the Ashes with a win at Trent Bridge
England’s wildly inconsistent year of cricket continued at Edgbaston last week as Alistair Cook’s side won the third Test with two days to spare. The home side now have a 2-1 lead in the series and the focus and recriminations are once again on Australia who need a result at Trent Bridge.
Keep reading for our cricket betting preview.
England looking to seal a series win in Nottingham
Just as they did in the summer of 2005, England bounced back from a big defeat at Lord’s to win the Test match at Edgbaston. In a dizzyingly quick Test, the home side won by eight wickets with more than two days to spare to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
It was a terrific performance from England helped by some mediocre batting and bowling from their opponents. Steven Finn finished the second Australia innings with six for 79, his best Test match figures, and eight for 117 in the game and his form could be invaluable considering the injury that will keep James Anderson out of the Trent Bridge Test.
Mark Wood is likely to return to the team in Anderson’s absence although both Liam Plunkett and Mark Footitt have been called up as cover should Wood fail to recover from the injury that kept him out last week.
Before the match Ian Bell was the man under most pressure but the Warwickshire batsman scored two excellent half centuries in difficult conditions to guide his team to victory. England’s new number three believes his side will have a fight on their hands at Trent Bridge. He said: “We fully expect Australia to come back harder and this is going to go right to the wire. We have to front up because the next two weeks are going to be extremely hard.”
Australia need a result to keep their Ashes chances alive
Having won so convincingly at Lord’s it was hard to understand how Australia’s performance could be quite so inept at Edgbaston with both bat and ball. Defeat leaves them 2-1 down in the series with just two matches to go and only in the 1936-37 series in Australia has a team, that of Don Bradman, overcome such a deficit as there now exists to win the series.
The man at the focus of debate at home is captain Michael Clarke. No Australian has now overseen more losing Test matches away from home than the dozen for which Clarke has been in charge, and his repeated failures with the bat mean that there are now increasing calls for his removal not just as captain but also from the team.
Clarke will keep his place but the tourists may well call on the services of Shaun Marsh. Marsh scored hundreds in Australia’s warm-up matches and could replace Adam Voges who had a second-innings golden duck at Edgbaston.
The Aussie batting coach Michael Di Venuto believes the left-hander should enter the selector’s minds this week. He said: “Shaun’s just got to the stage where he’s really comfortable with his game. He knows how to score runs, and now he’s turning it into hundreds. There’s someone who’s ready to go.”
If England’s recent run of Test results continues (WLWLWLW) then this is set to be an Australia victory, setting up an Ashes decider at the Oval. However, the home side generally do well at Trent Bridge although the pitch will need to be better than the surface for last year’s Test with India.
After their win at Lord’s, Australia were awful at Edgbaston and the pressure is really on the visitors. With rumblings of discontent emanating from the tourist’s camp and with some of their players starting to struggle England can win the Ashes in Nottingham at 5/4.