Lyon offers the value to out-bowl Swann in Ashes opener

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There has been some speculation that Australia will line-up with four pace bowlers for the opening Ashes Test with England, but the recent form of Nathan Lyon and his previous efforts at the Gabba in Brisbane certainly suggest he is worthy of a start.

And should he start, Lyon is a massive price at 2/1 to take more first-innings wickets than his opposite spinner Graeme Swann in Brisbane.

Lyon was called upon for the last three Tests of the Ashes series in England earlier in 2013 and was among the wickets in the first innings at Old Trafford, Chester-le-Street and The Oval.

Meanwhile, he has been racking up victims in recent First Class matches for New South Wales, claiming two first-innings victims against both Victoria and Queensland.

Finally, Lyon has previously proved that he is capable of having an impact at the Gabba, with his two Tests at the ground bringing a combined 11 wickets against New Zealand and South Africa. His first-innings returns from these fixtures were two and four respectively.

In contrast, Swann was a thorn in the side of Australia for much of the summer series when claiming 16 first-innings wickets across the five Tests.

However, his bowling in the early tour matches in Australia has not set pulses racing, with his match figures from the latest clash with a Cricket Australia Invitational XI being 2-135.

In his only previous Ashes series Down Under in 2010/11, Swann failed to take more than two wickets in any of the first innings of the five Tests and only dismissed two players in total at the Gabba.

For those fancying Swann to get over his jet-lag quickly and bowl through Australia like he did in the summer, it is 5/6 that he takes more first-innings wickets than Lyon in Brisbane.

Alternatively, it is 7/2 that the two spinners take the same number of wickets.

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.