The Ashes pendulum has swung right back in England’s direction after Steve Finn and Jimmy Anderson’s relentless bombing of Australia’s batsmen at Edgbaston, only one of whom, 37-year-old Chris Rogers, managed more than 16 in a first-innings collapse.
It was another horrible day at the office for Baggy Greens captain Michael Clarke, who contributed just 10 runs to his side’s 136 total after winning the toss and electing to bat first, then slumped to three in the second innings, which was at least more than Adam Voges’ zero.
Having taken a 2-1 lead in the series, England are now 4/5 to retake the urn that was lost two winters ago Down Under, but Trevor Bayliss has hit the airwaves to talk up the need for consistency, as the home coach’s Aussie compatriots have already come back from a heavy defeat to triumph with ease this summer.
Anderson’s loss through a side strain is a blow for England, at a ground the Lancashire swing-king loves, but Finn’s eight-wicket haul on return to international duty in Birmingham was a huge bonus, and the 26-year-old giant will no doubt be giving Aussies sleepless nights between now and the fourth Test.
England have a few options to look at in attack while Anderson is on the mend, including Durham pair Mark Wood and Chris Rushworth, while Stuart Broad, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali all picked up wickets in Nottingham.
After going into the series as strong favourites, Anderson’s injury seem to have tipped the betting balance in the visitors’ favour for the fourth Test at 1/1 with Ladbrokes, but England look outstanding value at 9/4.
For Australia to win this series (priced at 11/4) the likes of Clarke, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Steve Smith and David Warner all have to get their acts together in tandem, and that seems very unlikely at the this stage.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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