England’s final warm up game before the first Ashes Test saw Alastair Cook knock an 82 not out against Essex and while it was an undemanding test of the England captain’s abilities at the crease, it bodes well that he appears to be firing on all cylinders before facing the Aussies.
And it is 5/2 that the unflappable Essex man recreates his performance in the last Ashes by becoming England’s top runscorer for the series.
Cook was his usual consistent self in England’s last test series against New Zealand, notching two centuries including an impressive 130 at Headingly in May. In fact, he was the second highest runscorer in that series, surpassed only by the precocious Joe Root.
However, it was his performance in Asia earlier on in the year which confirmed his place as one of the world’s leading batsman, inspiring England to their first series win in India for 27 years. Cook knocked three centuries over eight innings and scored a humungous 562 runs – over 100 more than Cheteshwar Pujara who registered the second most in the series.
Cook is 9/1 to equal that tally and his one in the 2010-2011 Ashes of three centuries, while the more conservative two is priced 5/2. Those who fancy Cook to outscore any Australian batsman too can get 9/2.
Such is the depth of talent in England’s batting ranks that Cook’s place at the top of the runscoring table is no formality and Trott’s 79 when partnering the England captain against Essex served as a reminder of that.
The Warwickshire man has been in good form, registering less than 90 only once in his last five Test matches. His record against the Aussies is likely to have Darren Lehmann somewhat worried. In nine Test innings against Australia, Trott has averaged a huge 86.42 and registered three centuries. If he carries that form into the Ashes, 3/1 to be England’s top series runscorer looks a good bet.
Youngster Joe Root has also garnered much praise lately after impressive performances in both the ICC Champions Trophy and in the recent series against New Zealand. Root top scored England in that series, scoring an impressive 243 off 423 balls. It is 5/1 that Root is England’s top runscorer in the Ashes.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.