With the Ashes series just 42 days away, the England & Wales cricket board have appointed former England international, Graham Thorpe, as the new lead batting coach.
After a poor showing from many of England’s top order during the summer, and amidst claims from Australian captain Ricky Ponting that England’s batsman are in poor form, Thorpe has been tasked with training the top order.
Thorpe will replace Australian Dane Hills who moves back to Australia to take up the role of head coach later this year.
During a 12 year career with England, Thorpe played 100 Test matches averaging 45.74 against the Australians, and has the knowledge to get England’s batsman ready for an Ashes series they are 9/4 to win.
Only Jonathan Trott and wicket-keeper Matt Prior emerged from the summer series against Pakistan with any credit, although Alistair Cook managed a century in the third Test, despite his Test spot being under immense scrutiny from the media.
Kevin Pietersen is currently in South Africa in search of some form ahead of the first Test in Brisbane on November 25th, a Test that England are 2/1 to win.
In Eoin Morgan and Steven Davies, Thorpe has two batsman that have never featured in a Test against Australia, and Trott and Prior haven’t toured to Australia.
Thorpe’s experience will prove crucial for people like Trott, who is 4/1 to be England’s top series runscorer, as he looks to continue his incredible form against Australia.
Trott has scored 160 runs in two Test matches against Australia, but Kevin Pietersen’s average of 50.72 is pretty impressive considering he’s played 24 innings against the Australians.
Pietersen is also 4/1 to be the leading series runscorer, but Alistair Cook seems short at 5/1 considering he only averages 26.21 against Australia.
Strauss is the 7/2 favourite to be leading series runscorer and averages 38.41. See the full the Ashes betting odds market here.