After a one-sided victory for England at Lord’s talk of an Ashes whitewash is on the agenda, but whilst the hosts seem to have too much for the tourists in almost every area, the durability of the Aussie openers relative to the hosts’ pair is at least one cause for muted pride.
England’s mercilessly dominant win over Australia at Lord’s may have hurried the memory of a nip and tuck first Test at Trent Bridge away to the dustiest vaults of the Barmy Army memory banks, but the hosts’ openers struggled again to add a decent portion of runs before the Aussie bowlers drew first blood.
At Trent Bridge Andy Flower’s charges managed 11 and 19 runs before the first batsmen began wending his way back to the pavilion and hardly improved on those totals at Lord’s despite the lopsided end result.
The 22 they reached before skipper Alastair Cook’s stumps were spread-eagled in the second innings was England’s highest first wicket partnership of the series so far, meaning Aussie openers Chris Rogers and Shane Watson have outscored them for the first wicket in three of the four innings in the series.
Rogers and Watson have managed to add more than 40 runs before one or other was removed in three of their four Ashes innings together so far.
As a result Australia look a decent bet in the first innings opening partnership match bet market at 5/6, especially considering they’re afforded the scarcely needed luxury of a +3.5 run handicap.
England Captain Cook – fancied by many to be England’s top run-scorer before a ball was bowled – has struggled for form so far and his wobbles – rather than those of Joe Root – have dissolved their partnership in three of the four innings of the 2013 series.
Root will be full of the joys of spring after his 180 in the second innings at Lord’s and Ladbrokes will be offering punters money back as free bet on losing match bets if he scores in the first innings at Old Trafford (for terms and conditions click here).
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.