England’s chips are not so much down as grounded ahead of the third Ashes Test in Perth, though there are a few decent reasons to believe the tourists can emerge from the darkest of depths to strike back with a win at the WACA.
After witnessing Australia toying with England as if they were a tiger pawing at a terrified rodent, it’s no surprise to see Michael Clarke’s side rated as the 4/6 favourites to snatch back the Ashes in record time with victory in the third Test at Perth.
However, before the Ashes obituary writers get too carried away, punters may wish to consider a couple of good reasons as to why a seemingly unlikely England win could be on the cards at far more lucrative odds of 5/2.
For starters, (and we all thought this after the first Test) England simply cannot play as badly as that again, with the amount of top Test players in their ranks – the majority of which have helped their country to three successive Ashes series victories.
As incoherent a batting performance as we have seen from Alastair Cook’s men, at least the skipper, opening partner Michael Carberry, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Joe Root and at last Matthew Prior all have a 50 under their belts to build on.
Although England were on the wrong side of the result in 2010 – the last time the sides clashed here – two of England’s bowling options for the Third Test in Steven Finn and Chris Tremlett both enjoyed the pace-friendly conditions in Perth, collecting five-fers apiece, while Jimmy Anderson also pitched in with four of his own.
Much may depend on winning the toss too, as England have had no luck in losing the last two, where the tourists have been forced to bowl first on both occasions.
Meanwhile, Aussie quick Ryan Harris, who has great stats from his last Ashes encounter at Perth, may yet be ruled out with the recurrence of a knee injury and even if ‘Rhino’ is deemed fit, he’s unlikely to be at his rampaging best.
Finally, this pitch is tailor-made for a positive result either way – where the WACA wicket has produced seven successive Test match wins – so the draw is rightly priced as the 9/2 outsider.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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