Australians take hope as England bowlers toil at the MCG
It was billed as an bowl-out, but England have managed to take just six wickets in two innings against Victoria at the MCG.
Of the three England pace bowlers in the attack, only Tim Bresnan managed to take a wicket on the MCG wicket, with Paul Collingwood and even captain Andrew Strauss proving more fruitful.
Bresnan, Chris Tremlett and Ajmal Shazad are all vying for the vacant spot left by Stuart Broad after he succumbed to an abdominal tear, but based on the last three days performance, England are struggling to replace Broad.
According to the betting market, Tremlett is in pole position to take Broad’s place as he is 4/1 to be England’s top wicket taker in the first innings of the third Test while Bresnan is 9/2.
Having taken just two wickets in the Ashes series, the loss of Broad was a blow to England’s optimism but it didn’t seem as if it would affect the team too much.
But the performance of the three seamers in the tour friendly with Victoria suggests Broad’s absence may have a huge impact on deciding the rest of the series.
Australia are 7/4 to win the next Test match at Perth and the Australian’s have lost just one Ashes Test at the WACA in 11.
It’s also been 40 years since Australia were last whitewashed in an Test series on their home turf, suggesting Ricky Ponting’s side will pick up a win at some point.
The Australian side named for the third Test adds some new dynamism in the form of Steve Smith, and Mitchell Johnson’s form on his home wicket is incredible – 24 wickets in three Tests.
Australia may have looked shaky but they can never be ruled out and at 5/1 to win the Ashes, a victory in the third Test would put them in a strong position.
A £10 stake on Australia winning the series 2-1 would return £90. New customers can sign up here for a free £10 bet.