It’s been exactly 460 days since the last Ashes ball was bowled at The Oval in 2009, but England are in Australia and the Ashes kicks off at midnight.
England have their best chance of completing a series victory over a Australian team in disarray for the first time in Australia since the 1986-87 tour.
Having opened in the Ashes betting market at 9/4 to win the series, England are now 13/8 to win the Ashes having watched Australia drift from 8/13 to 1/1.
And Andrew Strauss’ side are finding plenty of confidence in the market and are 15/8 to win the first Test which starts in Brisbane at 00.00am on Thursday.
Strauss will lead Alistair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Ian Bell, Matt Prior, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Steven Finn and Jimmy Anderson into the Gabba as England look to secure their first win inBrisbane since that successful 1986/87 tour.
A strong start is imperative to each sides chances of winning the Ashes and Ricky Pontin will lead Simon Katich, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke, Mike Hussey, Marcus North, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Xavier Doherty, Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus as Australia look to overcome their recent troubles.
Australia can never be written off, especially on their own turf, and Ponting’s men are 6/5 to win the first Test, although they would take a draw if offered and that is available at 3/1.
The Gabba wicket suits the batsman and Australia have declared in their last four second innings against England which suggests a high scoring match.
Australia are 5/6 to score over 365.5 runs in their first innings, something they have done in their last four Tests and England are 5/6 to score over 355.5 runs in their first innings.
A £10 stake on Ricky Ponting being the man of the match in the first Test would return £130. New customers can sign up here for a free £10 bet.