Ashes 2013: 1st Test Betting Preview

On Wednesday morning one of sports oldest rivalries will be renewed at Trent Bridge as England and Australia line up for the Ashes.

England find themselves in the unfamiliar positions of being 2/5 favourites to win their third Ashes in a row, a feat they have not achieved since 1956.

The momentum has shifted towards England in recent years following an era of Australian dominance.

Having lost eight straight series between 1989 and 2002-03, England have won three of the last four, culminating in a resounding 3-1 triumph in 2010-11, their first victory in Australia since 1986-87.

Recent form points to another England success, with Australia having suffered a 4-0 whitewash by India in March, three months after England’s 2-1 away victory over the same opposition.

Yet it would be foolish to write of Australia before the first ball, no team with as good a bowling attack as Australia can be discounted as James Pattinson and Peter Siddle will be keen to prove.

But the tourists have also endured a chaotic build-up to the series.

Batsman David Warner was banned after punching England’s Joe Root in a Birmingham bar and coach Mickey Arthur was replaced by Darren Lehmann just two weeks before the series.

Captain Michael Clarke will hope Australia have put the turmoil behind them and will take encouragement from performances in their warm-up matches against Somerset and Worcestershire.

Clarke has declared himself fit for the series following a long-standing back problem but both captains vowed not to disclose their team selections until the toss at 10:30BST on Wednesday.

Lehmann hinted last week that Warner could be a surprise inclusion at number six for Australia as the tourists look to unsettle England with an aggressive brand of cricket.

England have won seven of their last nine Tests at Trent Bridge, including a famous victory in the 2005 Ashes, when unlikely batting heroes Matthew Hoggard and Ashley Giles helped put the hosts 2-1 up in the series with one to play.

With the Ashes forming the tail-end of an incredible moment for British sport with Andy Murray winning Wimbledon and the Lions triumphing over Australia, 2013 may go down as another triumphant British sporting summer.

Top Batsman Odds

Alastair Cook – 9/2

Michael Clarke – 5

Jonathan Trott -13/2

Kevin Pietersen -13/2

Shane Watson – 9

Joe Root – 9

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