England a strong shout for 4th Test victory despite price


Next stop in the Ashes series, after the raucousness of Edgbaston, is the tranquillity of Trent Bridge. The Barmy Army’s trumpeter is banned there and the ground carries a penchant for classical cricketing spectatorship over the song-filled noise of other grounds.

Considering how effectively the Edgbaston atmosphere threw the Australians – Mitchell Johnson in particular – off their game, the Nottinghamshire ground’s more serene setting is only likely to play into the visitors’ hands as they bid to make a second comeback in the series.

Ladbrokes make Michael Clarke’s outfit the favourites to do just that, at a price of 11/10, but England’s six-game unbeaten stretch at the ground suggests an investment in the hosts at 9/4 would be wise.

If the pitch, once again a central focus to the build-up, is a replication of the featherbed that greeted India last summer then a draw, as that match was, will be a popular bet at 5/2.

Having seen the electric cricket the Birmingham surface produced though, it would be extremely unlikely to see England sanction a docile offering at Trent Bridge.

Should conditions suit, a number of bowlers will be rubbing their hands together in anticipation of performing on it.

Stuart Broad’s record at his home ground, with bat and ball, has already been highlighted on these pages as a likely sparkplug for his assault on the Top Series Wicket-Taker market.

However it is a possible change to the Australian attack that warrants the most investment for the 4th Test.

Despite being the leading wicket taker in the series, Josh Hazelwood is rumoured to be in danger of losing his place to Peter Siddle, who holds a favourable record at Trent Bridge during his career.

A spell in county cricket with Nottinghamshire last season plays a helping hand in the 30-year-old’s haul of 29 first-class wickets there. He took 5-50 in the first innings of the 2013 Ashes opener there too.

Siddle is 7/2 to be Australia’s leading first innings wicket taker this time around, with Mitchells Starc and Johnson sharing the market lead at 5/2.

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.