England hold the 2-0 advantage going into Thursday’s 3rd Ashes Test at Old Trafford. Jaymes Monte previews the betting odds and picks out his best bets.
Ian Bell top England batsman @ 9/2
Venue & Conditions
England’s recent record at Old Trafford is pretty impressive, having won six and drawn one of the last seven Test matches in Manchester. That one draw did, however, come against Australia in the 2005 Ashes series, with Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath seeing out the final four overs to save the match. Australia were also one of only two teams to beat England in an Old Trafford Test match in the last 20 years, way back in 1997.
Wet weather in the area in the early part of the week is forecast to clear up for Thursday’s start and although some showery spells are forecast over the weekend the weather isn’t expected to play too much of a part in proceedings.
James Pattinson has been ruled out for the remainder of the tour due to a stress fracture in his lower back. Australia must decide whether to opt to replace him with a pace bowler or perhaps bring in Nathan Lyon for a dual spin attack alongside Ashton Agar. David Warner will also come into contention for a recall.
Monty Panesar’s inclusion in the England squad has led to speculation that the Old Trafford pitch could “turn square” by the end of the weekend, Chris Tremlett has also been included in the squad with Steven Finn and Graham Onions left out.
Kevin Pietersen remains in the squad despite ongoing concerns over a calf injury, James Taylor is waiting in the wings to deputise following his unbeaten century against the Australians in Hove last week.
At odds of 4/5 England look great value to win the 3rd Ashes Test, especially when considering the facile nature in which they dismantled Australia at Lord’s a fortnight ago.
However, we have seen much bigger prices In-Play on England in both the first and second Tests, and I anticipate that trend may continue here. Although England were ultimately convincing winners in the 2nd Test there were junctures throughout the match when Australia looked to be getting on top, while the first Test really could have gone either way.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record I’ll repeat my betting strategy from the first two Tests; look to back England to win the match, but wait for bigger In-Play prices than the 4/5 currently on offer.
Of all England’s top order, only Ian Bell has consistently performed throughout this series so far. His second innings century in the first Test was followed by a first innings century at Lord’s then another 74 in the second innings as part of what proved to be a crucial partnership with Joe Root.
Bell is the 12th highest run scorer in Test matches at Old Trafford having amassed 486 runs in just five matches – every one of the players listed above him in the all-time list has played more matches here – with a high score of 128 and an average of 81.00. At odds of 9/2 the man that Shane Warne once christened “The Sherminator” can once again torment the Aussies.