Cook and Bell can pile on the Ashes runs at Old Trafford

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For whatever reason, some batsmen just have a knack of scoring runs at specific grounds. Former England middle-order player Graham Thorpe averaged over 90 in Tests at Trent Bridge and ex-captain Mike Gatting virtually 75 at Edgbaston.

Of England’s current crop of batsmen, Jonathan Trott averages 70 at Lord’s and Kevin Pietersen 60 at The Oval, which bodes well for the second and fifth Tests respectively in the upcoming Ashes with Australia.

However, when looking to uncover which of the five hosting Ashes grounds will witness the most runs, it is hard to look past Old Trafford.

Ladbrokes are offering the top price of 4/1 that Old Trafford is the ground that sees the most runs scored in the Ashes and Ian Bell and current skipper Alastair Cook have both shown a fondness for conditions previously.

Bell has had eight international innings at Old Trafford previously and scored a total of 486 runs at an average of 81, which includes two 100s and another three half-centuries.

Meanwhile, Cook is another to have registered two centuries at Old Trafford from just six innings and his average is a healthy 61.

Old Trafford will host the third Test of the upcoming series and on the only other occasion since 1997 that it was used as an Ashes ground, centuries from Michael Vaughan, Andrew Strauss and Ricky Ponting helped ensure that 1397 runs were scored.

This was the most at any ground that hosted a match in the 2005 Ashes series.

What is also noticeable is that Old Trafford has gained a reputation for being a ground where big first-innings totals can be expected in Test matches.

A score of over 370 have been put on the board by the team batting first in seven of the last eight series at the ground and a total in his region this time between England and Australia should ensure a decent overall total across four innings.

Lord’s is regarded as the favourite to be the highest scoring Ashes ground at 5/2, but based on England’s recent series with New Zealand where no more than 232 runs were scored in a single innings, this is a pitch that is more bowler friendly than favouring batsmen.

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

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.