How the Bookies See it:
|Top Australia Batsman||
|Top England Batsman||
- Australia went 1-0 up in the series with a ten-wicket win at The Gabba, eventually sealing victory in style after a competitive first three days. The star performer was captain Steve Smith with a crucial first-innings century, while the bowlers all made important contributions. Pacemen Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood were hostile yet accurate, while spinner Nathan Lyon extracted much more life from the pitch than England counterpart Moeen Ali.
- England could cling to a few positives from the first Test, with batting newcomers Mark Stoneman, James Vince and Dawid Malan all passing 50 in the first innings and senior bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad making life difficult for Australia. However, no Englishman reached three figures in the match and there will be concern about the lack of support for Anderson and Broad.
The Test in Adelaide is seen as England’s best chance of success and could determine just what lies in store for the rest of the series. A win for the tourists would leave everything back in the balance, while a defeat would virtually end their hopes and intensify talk of another whitewash. The advantage for England is that it is a day-night match, with the pink ball expected to swing around under lights and assist the bowlers.
Mitchell Starc and company will not be easy for England’s batsmen to combat, but James Anderson, in particular, will be relishing the prospect of bowling in such conditions. England’s record wicket-taker is 11/4 to be his team’s top bowler at the Adelaide Oval, the same price as as an England win. England took 19 wickets on one day to hammer West Indies in a day-night Test at Edgbaston in August and, while the opposition and pitch will be very different, confidence will be still be high that they can bounce back.
Another bet which might tempt some punters would be to back Jonny Bairstow as England’s top batsman. The Yorkshire wicketkeeper has found himself at the centre of a media storm this week over an alleged ‘bumping of heads’ with Australia’s Cameron Bancroft earlier in the tour, and will feel he has a point to prove in Adelaide. Bairstow is a class act with the bat and odds of 13/2 on him being leading runscorer look decent, although he is perhaps coming in too low at no.7 to make a big enough impact.
Sports.net’s Top Tip
James Anderson to be top England bowler
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.