There are some sporting events that stir the soul, and England versus Australia for the Ashes is pretty high on that list.
Brisbane hosts the first Test, as is traditional, with Australia seeking to regain the urn after England’s 3-2 win at home two years ago.
The hosts start the series as favourites, largely on the back of their three-pronged pace attack, as both teams have unsettled batting lineups. That said, the likes of Michell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins are likely to cause England all sorts of trouble.
Both sides have aggressive batting lineups and are not really built for five day Tests. Consequently, we are looking for results in each Test, and with the strength of the Aussie bowling attack we will take the hosts to win 4-1.
Turning to the England batting lineup, the openers could well have their work cut out for them with the new ball attack. This would result in England’s best batsman Joe Root arriving at the crease when the ball is still hard and the bowlers fresh.
As a result, we’ll take England’s second best batsman over the last year or so, Johnny Bairstow, to take advantage of an older ball to be the visitors’ top run scorer.
By contrast to the Aussie quicks, England’s all time leading wicket taker Jimmy Anderson relies more on swing than out and out pace. The Kookaburra ball used in Australia tends to swing for only a few initial overs before losing its potency. Consequently we will take England’s spinner Moeen Ali to top his country’s wicket takers.
Australia to win 4-1, 1 pt, at 13/2, widely available
Bairstow to be top England run scorer, 1 pt, at 13/2, William Hill
Ali to be top England wicket taker, 1 pt, at 6/1, William Hill
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