What punters are backing ahead of the first Ashes Test

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The first Test of the first Ashes for three months is almost finally here and below are some of the bets that are most being ploughed into by punters.

Australia to win the first Test @ 7/4

One bet of £1,200 and multiple other three-figure sums have been placed on Australia winning the opening Test at the Gabba and this could be a result of England’s general tendency to be slow starters abroad.

On the last 13 away tours, England have only secured victory in the opening Test match once and this was in Bangladesh.

England to win Ashes series 5-0 @ 33/1

England have gone 13 matches since suffering defeat in a Test environment, when losing in India in November 2012.

Draws are not overly common in Test matches that Australia host against any opposition either – with three of the last four series and six of the last nine being completed without a single draw.

These two facts combine to suggest an England whitewash is plausible, although this eventuality has not occurred since the 1800s.

Ian Bell to be England’s top series runscorer @ 9/2

Bell was obviously the scourge of Australia in the summer, with his three centuries and two further 50s cementing his spot as the top runscorer of the whole series. He bettered every other Englishman by over 170 runs.

He also scored a 100 and three 50s from just six innings on his last Australian visit at an average of 66, but was obviously upstaged by the antics of captain Alastair Cook.

A repeat of this average this time should see this bet go close.

James Anderson to be England’s top series wicket taker @ 2/1

Interestingly, Anderson has not taken more wickets than fellow paceman Stuart Broad in any of the three Test series England have played in 2013, with both managing 22 in the summer Ashes with Australia.

Better news for Anderson backers is that he did top the England wickets list on their last visit to Australia, although he was only seven ahead of Chris Tremlett, despite bowling almost 100 more overs across four innings.

Monty Panesar to be England’s top series runscorer @ 500/1

One punter stands to win over £39,000 after backing Panesar each-way to top the series run charts for England, but this must have been a slip of their mouse button.

Panesar, first, really needs to play in all five Tests to have any chance of this, with an appearance at spin-friendly Sydney for the final Test looking his only real prospect of crease time, unless he brings on some drinks.

Even if he was selected more frequently and was called upon as a night watchman occasionally, a Test average of 5.26 hardly inspires confidence that the runs will flow off the bat for the spinner.

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.