Pietersen the best bet to build 1st Test England Ashes advantage

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Our Ashes tipping has started in fine fettle, with Brad Haddin on the brink of being confirmed as the top Australian runscorer in their first innings at the Gabba, something we highlighted was a worthy bet at 12/1.

However, despite Haddin’s 78 not out and partnership of 114 with Mitchell Johnson, Australia’s score of 273-8 after day one still seems on the light side.

The average first innings score in Brisbane is 398 and should England manage to claim the out-standing two wickets before the 300 is brought up, the 11/8 that they take the series lead is solid value.

In terms of Australia’s total, it is 5/6 that they manage to make 311 or more in their first innings, with the same price offered that they score 310 or less.

Then the pressure will pass onto England’s batting unit, as they look to move into a first-innings lead on a pitch that is widely regarded to be batsman friendly.

Alastair Cook scored over 300 runs across his two innings at the Gabba in the last Ashes series in Australia and is 4/1 to register the most English runs in the first innings this time.

However, he didn’t manager more than 62 in a first innings during the Ashes over the summer and this is also his highest first-innings score from 10 knocks in 2013.

Some would say then that he is overdue a higher contribution, but the smarter money may go on Kevin Pietersen at 4/1.

Pietersen’s last 15 first-innings scores for England in Tests read: 80, 78, 42, 149, 17, 186, 54, 73, 0, 73, 14, 2, 113, 26, 50.

Meanwhile, in terms of picking Australia’s top first-innings wicket-taker, Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris and Johnson are all priced at 5/2.

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.