Michael Carberry staked a claim for Ashes selection after producing a stunning knock of 153 not out as England reached 318 without loss on the opening day of their tour match with Australia A.
The Hampshire star’s magnificent innings in Hobart has seen Ladbrokes slash his odds from 12/1 to 7/1 to be England’s Top Series Runscorer.
The left-hander’s powerful performance came a day after Australian legend Shane Warne backed his former Hants team-mate to open England’s innings, in the place of Joe Root, when the teams meet in the first Test at the Gabba.
Carberry, following on from hitting 78 against the Western Australia Chairman’s XI, seized his opportunity at the top of the order with 22 fours and consecutive towering sixes off spinner Jon Holland in his mammoth knock.
The 33-year-old is now in pole position to add to his solitary Test cap against Bangladesh in March 2010, where he scored 30 and 34 on debut.
While Carberry was passing his Test audition with flying colours at one end, there was no let-up at the other as for the Aussie second-string attack as his opening partner, Alastair Cook, played himself into form with a chanceless 154 not out.
The whole of Australia will still be having nightmares about Cook from the last time the two sides met Down Under, when he scored 766 runs at an average of 127.
The England captain was not quite as prolific in last summer’s Ashes contest scoring just 277 and creeping past 50 on just two occasions.
But the Essex left-hander was back to his sublime best against Australia A and he is now the 9/4 favourite to repeat his runscoring feats of the 2010/11 series and top England’s run chart.
With Cook and Carberry excelling against Australia A, Root, who could now be deployed at number six when the action gets underway in Brisbane, saw his odds on being Andy Flower’s side’s top runscorer drift from 6/1 to 8/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.