With a difference of 100 in the batting averages of Chris Rogers and Michael Clarke when looking at their previous displays at the Oval, it would be the epitome of foolishness to back against Rogers finishing the Ashes as the top Australian run scorer.
After the opening four Tests, captain Clarke marginally leads in this market, with his 346 in the series only bettered by England run machine Ian Bell.
However, opener Rogers is only two runs adrift of Clarke, with a further 128 runs to Shane Watson, who is Australia’s third highest series run scorer.
This effectively makes it a two-horse race to top the Aussie runs standings and given the marginal difference between the pair, it is almost a 50/50 coin toss.
Alone this makes Rogers the value pick at 11/10 compared to Clarke at 8/11, but his better form in the fourth Test at Chester-le-Street and far superior average at the Oval makes his price stand out even more.
Rogers certainly cannot be blamed for Australia losing the fourth Test given his century in the first innings and 159 runs in the match, with Clarke falling far short of this sum with just 27.
Meanwhile, Clarke is unlikely to contribute too many more at the Oval if his past record at the ground is anything to go by.
In three previous innings, he has managed just 28 runs at an average of 9.33.
This average is trounced by Rogers, who has two tons and three further 50s from his six innings at the Oval.
His 549 runs break down to an average of 109.8, which suggests an England struggle to get him out for the second Test in succession.
This also heightens the appeal of Rogers at 4/1 to be Australia’s top run scorer in their first innings at the Oval.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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