England come in as 9/5 outsiders with William Hill but you would be forgiven for thinking they were red hot favs, such is the media hype around the tour. It can’t be denied that England have their best chance to win down under in many years but you simply cannot ignore the ability of the Australian Test team on home soil across a series, despite their well publicised poor recent form over the last 4 or 5 months.
The Gabba in Brisbane hosts the first Test starting on Thursday morning in Australia, which is about midnight on Wednesday night in the UK. The Baggy Greens are 13/10 with 888sport to grab an opening win while England are a 2/1 shout with Boylesports. With the weathermen prediciting 5 days play, the 3/1 draw at bet365 can be disregarded for now.
Brisbane could be regarded as one of England’s best chances for a win on the tour but historically opening Tests are very difficult for touring teams to Australia and no team has won a Test at the Gabba since 1988. England are at least settled, selected at well practiced with James Anderson and Graeme Swann ready to exploit the muggy conditions, the both of them 11/4 (bet365) and 3/1 (Ladbrokes) to be England’s top bowler with the former looking a good shout.
This could be seen as a match of counter punches; for our stability, Australia do still pack a very familiar top 6 now Michael Clarke is set to start. England have Swann while Australia are likely to employ Doherty to nullify Pietersen. The tourists bring pacemen (Finn and Broad) while Mitchell Johnson cannot be scoffed at and both teams pack class captains.
Simon Katich would present himself as a good bet at 4/1 (Totesport) to be Australia’s top batter if he had just a little more practice but with other options in unreliable form, he may be the man to steady the Aussie ship.
As mentioned above, Australia should simply never be disrespected on their own patch. They still pack the players to cause England plenty of problems and while the tourists will push them all the way, the hosts would seem a good thing at 13/10 with 888sport at the BCG.
As for the series, get on the 11/10 at Stan James for Australia because if they win this opening Test, you won’t even get close to this again.