Mitchell Johnson well on course to claim over 30.5 Ashes wickets

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Mitchell Johnson has never been as effective in his career as he is currently. In the first two matches of this Ashes series he’s ferociously snared 17 English scalps, a better victim-claiming start to a series than he’s ever made before, and more is on the way.

The left-armer is priced up at 1/1 to claim over 30.5 wickets in the series and, going off his current form and record at the upcoming Test venues, Ladbrokes punters would be hard pressed to find a better priced banker among the Ashes markets.

Pace and aggression has formed the basis for Johnson’s strategy up to now and it is a ploy that has bested England batsmen in both halves of the order.

Nine of his victims have been players from the tourists’ top-seven batting positions, with the bowling unit falling to the Queenslander eight times in total so far.

So, with Johnson clearly possessing a hoodoo over a number of England’s players – Alastair Cook, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and James Anderson have all succumbed to him more than once this series – it’s extremely likely that the Aussie quick will continue to prey on English wickets.

What makes Johnson’s odds to sail over his series wickets line even plumper is the fact that the WACA, MCG and SCG have all been happy hunting grounds for him during his Test career.

The WACA in Perth is next on the schedule, where Johnson has 36 wickets in five games. That equates to an average of seven victims per match and with the bowler picking up four per match at both Melbourne and Sydney, Johnson is on course to dismiss 32 opposition batsmen during this Ashes series.

That number would be the joint-11th best haul in an Ashes series and highest since Shane Warne’s 40-scalp effort in 2005 but, should punters disagree, there’s always the 8/11 that he falls under the line as another option.

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.