With the Ashes wrapped up thanks to Stuart Broad’s fourth Test heroics, England will be fancying their chances of defeating Australia in the final match at the Oval to seal a 4-0 series victory.
Andy Flower’s Three Lions can be backed at 1/1 to see off the Old Enemy in the last Test match of the British summer, with Australia on offer at 11/4 and the draw a 9/4 alternative.
It is the top England first innings run scorer market that presents some interesting betting opportunities, however, especially in the wake of Ladbrokes’ offer to refund losing match bets if Ian Bell puts the highest score on the board.
Warwickshire’s Bell is one of a cluster of batsmen who can be backed to give the scorers the most hassle in the first innings at 4/1. Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott and Alastair Cook complete the set.
All three boast strong records on the Oval deck, but it is the latter who should be backed with the Bell insurance in mind.
Despite England being so strong in the series, their talismanic run-making skipper hasn’t always been at the races, with just a couple of half-tons to his name in the series so far. It would appear that he’s due a big score.
The Oval is a place where he’s enjoyed batting before, collecting two of his 25 Test hundreds there, as well as three further 50s at an average of 47.46 from 13 innings at the crease.
This isn’t as good as Pietersen’s 60-plus record in south London, but he will have slight injury concerns that could hamper his scoring proficiency and two of his three Test tons have come in the second innings of matches at this ground.
Trott also betters Cook’s record here with a 48.17 average, but that’s from less than half the ventures into the middle and he also has struggled to do himself justice during the Ashes.
Cook’s consistency at the Oval puts him firmly in contention to be England’s top first innings run scorer in final Test.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date