Australia’s crushing first Test victory over England sees the hosts installed as the clear favourites to go on and win the series, while Jonathan Trott’s decision to leave the touring party only adds to England’s sense of disarray Down Under.
After England were taken apart by the Aussies inside four days at the Gabba, the hosts’ odds to claim an Ashes series win on home soil have now been slashed to 4/7, while the shell-shocked tourists have drifted out to 3/1 for victory.
A drawn series – which of course would still see England retain the urn – is deemed a 9/2 shot with Ladbrokes, though it’s odds-on at 4/6 with the firm that they fail to hold on to the Ashes and 11/10 that they do.
England’s chances of getting back into the series at the Adelaide Oval have just taken another significant dent though, with the news of Trott’s decision to leave the tour.
The South African-born batsman has cited a long-term stress-related illness, which would seem to account for a sustained dip in form for England’s number three this summer, culminating in knocks of just 10 and nine in Brisbane.
Comments during the first Test by divisive Aussie batsman David Warner, who singled out Trott’s performance as “poor and weak”, have been shrugged off as insignificant in his decision, though England captain Alastair Cook has labelled the remarks as “disrespectful”.
Despite the developing war of words, the facts are that Andy Flower and co now have a huge decision to make in reshuffling the top order for the second Test.
It seems likely Ian Bell will move up to three from five, or Kevin Pietersen could shunt up a spot and either Jonny Bairstow, the uncapped Gary Ballance or all-rounder Ben Stokes will come in to fill the vacant middle order slot.
Having played a significant role in the summer, Bairstow looks the obvious choice to fill in, though moving Bell up to three where he has struggled in the past for England may not be favourable for the Warwickshire man.
Whichever order they do end up in, Pietersen is 11/4 and Bell is a 4/1 shot to top score when England take to the crease for the first innings in Adelaide on December 5th.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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