Australia hold first Ashes Test aces if history is anything to go by

Opinions on how the latest Ashes series will play out are varied and readily available. Glenn McGrath thinks, as usual, that it’ll be 5-0 to the tourists, while Kevin Pietersen reckons a tighter, 2-1 Australia win is in store.

Michael Vaughan and Andrew Flintoff are among the more optimistic England supporters, but Ladbrokes disagree. The bookie makes Australia the 4/11 favourites to win the series, and 10/11 pokes to take the first Test.

Within that first match at Cardiff there are yet more unanswered questions waiting to be solved. Will Mitchell Johnson run through the England batting order like a hot knife through butter again? Is Moeen Ali’s spin good enough for the fire of an Ashes battle? Are England going to stick to their new-found aggressive approach?

Amid so much uncertainty it can be comforting to find a few constants to bet on. Luckily for those safety-blanket seekers, Ladbrokes have poured over the scorecards of each of last 15 Ashes openers to find the things that always happen.

Among the findings was concrete proof to avoid the draw in the match-betting market and reasons to back an Australian man-of-the-match:


All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.