We’re just two days away from the start of the Ashes and running out of time for some Ashes Tips. Fear not, as they’re on their way. Here are five Ashes tips to keep you interested throughout the Series.
Best Ashes Tips
Australia to win the Ashes @ 2.6 on the Betfair Exchange
If historical trends are your thing, then you won’t like this bet at all. After all, eight of the nine hosts went on to win the Ashes. The exception of course being that well-drilled machine of a side run by Andy Flower and captained by Andrew Strauss who were as dull as they were effective. Yes, Kevin Pietersen’s genius and James Anderson’s guile were good to watch but less so those gritty, pedestrian innings from the likes of Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott or that wear-them-down bowling attack featuring the likes of Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan and Chris Tremlett,
So being on home soil is pretty much a guarantee of a win based on that but…that’s just one way of looking at it.
You can make a case for Australia being a value punt based on a) having better openers b) in Nathan Lyon having the better spinner and c) having the most prolific batsman of the two sides in Steve Smith.
If it’s honours even in the fast bowling and middle-order department, it’s not so hard to make a case for Australia as big outsiders. Especially because we can take the Drawn series out of the equation. After all, none of the last 24 Ashes series have ended in a stalemate.
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Ben Stokes to be England Top Batsman @ 8.5 with Betway
This Ashes tip really might be a case of…get Joe Root beat and you’re in business. The England skipper has little to prove at Test match level as his average (49), number of Test centuries (16) and general technique and temperament suggest. But then again, he’s a 3.25 shot.
Stokes may perversely have become a better player for that ill-fated night-on-the-tiles in Bristol. He’s obviously been working even harder on his fitness and his general game to make up for lost time and (not that World Cup performances are that relevant in this format), he certainly batted beautifully over the past few weeks, showing a real stomach for the fight, not to mention some pretty clean hitting.
It’s also the case that batting at five or six is the best place to bat. It’s upfront that Australia have the real menace with the ball so coming in a bit later might be to Stoke’s advantage. He’s a big price at 8.5 with Betway and perhaps the best value of our Ashes tips.
Usman Khawaja to be Top Australia Batsman @ 7.0 with Unibet
The talented left-hander may well look back at his career and think it could have been so much better. In numbers of runs at least, if not in number of beautiful shots. A sort of cross between fellow southpaws David Gower (for technique and grace) and Arjuna Ranatunga (for cricketing brains and having one of the lesser athletic-looking frames), there’s not much wrong with Khawaja’s Test numbers other than…they could have been inflated if his ability alone is the key thing to go by.
He’ll probably bat at three, a good slot to bat in during an Ashes contest and should only really be afraid of David Warner and Steve Smith for Australia top batsman honours.
Time is probably running out for the likeable Khawaja to really make his mark in the history books as hugely contributing to an Ashes win. It might be now or never. At 7.0, let’s go with now.
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Sam Curran to be England Top Bowler @ 21.0 with Betfair Sportsbook
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By far the most left-centre of our Ashes tips but hear us out.
James Anderson may miss the First Test with a niggle or a further one down the line as his understandably knackered body takes its toll. Ditto Stuart Broad, who generates even more effort because of the way he bowls. He’s sort of the team’s workhorse.
Jofra Archer is not only carrying a niggle but mentally exhausted to boot after the World Cup win. Moeen Ali hasn’t been bowling well for a while and English conditions rarely see a spinner create havoc anyway. Chris Woakes may therefore be the only one getting five games. Or is he?
Is it that far-fetched that the younger of the Currans gets a game first up with all those injuries doing the rounds and has a good match and keeps his place?
Is it that hard to believe that England are a bit paranoid about playing Anderson, Broad and Archer together because it means they don’t bat deep enough and have Curran as a batting safety valve?
The fly in the ointment is of course, the bowling itself. A strike rate of 53 from 12 Tests hardly suggests he’s going to blow a batting line-up apart anytime soon. But he’s got ability and this could just be a case of him edging towards the top of the table simply by playing all five games. At odds of 21.0, you never know.