Now Ashes retention is beyond their capabilities, Australia will be determined to prove that, were it not for the inclement weather, victory over England in the third Test was a formality by putting a win on the board in one of the final two tussles.
The drawn match at Old Trafford prevented a highly-anticipated England whitewash and, despite bettering the Three Lions in every department during the contest, the Aussies remain a generous, odds-against 11/8 to record a Test match victory over their oldest foes before flying back Down Under.
Michael Clarke’s 187 first innings total – the highest of the series to date – left the tourists well-poised for victory and their bowlers’ final day antics emphasised their ability to shred Alastair Cook and co at the top of England’s top order without serious over-exertion.
If they can reproduce something akin to this effort in either of the remaining Test matches, they stand every chance of recording a victory.
One Australian win in 12 Test matches on these shores begs to differ, but the fact that the team sporting the Baggy Green haven’t failed to win an Ashes match away from home since 1977, coupled with their most recent performance, serves as a word of caution for those willing to lump on their odds of 8/15 to end the series without a victory.
Furthermore, prior to 2005, the visitors had emerged triumphant in the fifth Test on four successive tours.
The stats insinuate that the Aussies are indeed going to get the better of England at least once in what remains of the Test match summer, which definitely adds value to their monstrous 3/1 price to claim victory in the fourth instalment of the series. The hosts can be backed at 10/11, while a second successive draw is on offer at 9/4.
If the Aussie bowlers fail to shackle Kevin Pietersen in the first innings of the fourth match, as they did in Manchester where he hit 113, Ladbrokes will refund all losing match punts as free bets.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date