It takes time for a shock result like England’s four-day Ashes crushing of Australia in Cardiff to filter through the betting markets, meaning Alastair Cook’s men are a monster price at 7/4 to take a 2-0 series lead at Lord’s next week.
Having seen off Michael Clarke’s tourists by an impressive 169 runs, after few tipped England to avoid defeat in Wales, Cook and co will be raring to go at a ground where their Antipodean opponents have come unstuck since 2005.
The same 13 men have been selected ahead of the London spectacle, meaning first-Test heroes such as Joe Root, Moeen Ali and Stuart Broad are all fit and firing for the next stage in the battle for the urn, while the deflated Aussie’s look likely to lose injured tail-ender Mitchell Starc, who topped the visitors’ bowling stats with seven wickets in Cardiff.
Experienced fast-bowler Peter Siddle is waiting in the wings should Starc be ruled out, and the 30-year-old has claimed a couple of five-wicket hauls on previous Ashes tours to England, but Clarke’s crowd look very poor favourites at 11/8 with Ladbrokes following the first test.
It will take another Herculean effort from the hosts, with ante-post favourites Australia surely desperate to get back into the series, and whoever wins the toss will gain a huge advantage due to the recent heatwave in London making for batting-friendly pitches.
However, England haven’t taken a backwards step since appointing Trevor Bayliss as coach less than two months ago, and with a rambunctiously-partisan crowd set to roar their surprisingly-competitive heroes on, Cook’s men will feel like favourites.
The draw, which is always possible with the unreliable English summer weather, is priced up at 5/2.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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