England can seal a convincing Ashes win with another victory
Anyone who was lucky enough to be at Trent Bridge for the first morning of the fourth Test saw a hundred minutes of cricket that is unlikely ever to be repeated. Australia were skittled for 60 runs in less than a session and, led by an inspired bowling performance by Stuart Broad, England eventually won the match and the series by lunchtime on the third day.
The two sides meet for the final time in a Test match this summer at the Oval this week. Keep reading for our cricket betting preview.
England are cricket betting favourites and are looking to ice the Ashes cake
After their win at Edgbaston, we suggested that England could follow up that triumph on a similar pitch by winning the fourth Test at 5/4. They duly obliged, obliterating their rivals in 18.3 stunning overs on the opening morning and ultimately winning the Test and the series in some style.
Alistair Cook’s side can now go to the Oval safe in the knowledge that the Ashes have been won and despite the match being a dead rubber there have been plenty of interesting final Ashes matches over the years.
Despite their win, the captain has admitted that he almost resigned his post during this summer’s series. Cook only decided to continue after winning the Trent Bridge test, telling The Mail on Sunday: “I woke up and immediately started thinking about trying to win the Ashes 4-1 and then about what we will have to do to win against Pakistan [in the winter]. It came quickly to me to start planning ahead and that told me that I probably wanted to carry on a bit longer.
“At the start of this summer I didn’t know what was going to happen and I wasn’t sure if I would continue beyond the Ashes. But while you’ve still got the opportunity to be England captain and you’ve still got more to give, which I now feel I have, then you need to carry on and give it your all.”
England could be tempted to include Adil Rashid in their side – possibly by asking Moeen Ali to open the batting – while James Anderson may miss out again as he recovers from the injury that kept him out of the fourth Test.
Australia playing for pride after dispiriting Trent Bridge defeat
‘Pomicide’ was the Sydney Morning Herald headline that described Australia’s terrible first innings performance at Trent Bridge. Their innings was just 111 balls over when they returned to the pavilion and not even a better second innings performance could save the Test and the series.
Coming into the summer as clear favourites it has been a chastening experience for the touring party and there are likely to be high profile victims. Michael Clarke has already announced his retirement from international cricket and the captain’s last Test will be at the Oval. Chris Rogers is also retiring after the series and apart from Steve Smith and David Warner – the new captain and vice-captain – the batting order could have one last chance to retain their place.
Smith has called on the Australian public to back the side despite the Ashes loss. He said: “I know it’s an important role I’m stepping into now and hopefully I can have the backing of all the public back home. It’s really important to have the public behind you and I’m sure they will come out and support us in numbers. I’m really excited about this opportunity and looking forward to everything that lies ahead.
“We could potentially have quite a different side going to Bangladesh for my first Test tour and we have got a few new players in the one-day team. It’s going to be about getting a team delivered and heading in the same direction, with the same goals.”
While the pitches in Birmingham and Nottingham suited the home side it is likely to be a more difficult proposition at the Oval and this could actually be the closest match of a series which has featured a lot of peculiarly one-sided outcomes.
An England win at the Oval – and a 4-1 series victory – would see Alistair Cook’s side leap from sixth in the Test rankings to second, overtaking Australia in the process. There is certainly plenty of incentive for the home side who can wrap up another Test win at 3/4Add to betslip.