The rain had to come to England’s rescue at Old Trafford on day five of the third Test as they retained the Ashes with a draw.
Alastair Cook’s men found themselves in a precarious situation at lunch on 37-3 as Australia pushed for a final day victory which would have kept the tourists firmly in the series.
But persistent rain kept the players off the field, meaning England retained the coveted urn after just 14 days of Test cricket this summer.
The hosts now move onto Durham for the fourth Test knowing a draw in one of the last two Tests will win them the Ashes outright and stamp their authority on one of the oldest rivalries in sport.
England are strong favourites at 10/11 to bounce back from a disappointing performance in Manchester. Despite Michael Clarke’s side showing their true potential in the third Test they are still regarded as the underdogs with Ladbrokes and are 3/1 for victory at Chester-le-Street.
With the Ashes now secure, England’s selection for the Durham Test could raise a few eye brows and provide some value in other markets.
Andy Flower is no stranger to rest and rotation, having rotated his bowlers during the last Ashes series down under back in 2010.
England’s head coach axed leading series wicket-taker Steven Finn in favour of Tim Bresnan for the 4th Test in Melbourne, and as they say the rest is history as Andrew Strauss’ side went on to win the Ashes on Australian soil for the first time in 24 years.
With only three days rest before the next match in the series and seven Ashes Tests still to come this year do not back against history repeating itself with Graham Onions and Chris Tremlett ready to step into the breach should they be required.
Onions, a renowned stump-to-stump bowler, could cause the Aussie top-order a host of problems on a Chester-le-Street pitch which is responsive to seam bowling and at 11/4 with Ladbrokes, the Durham paceman could be a wise bet to be the top England 1st innings wicket-taker if he gets the nod on his home ground.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.