England To Bounce Back At Adelaide

Australia romped to a comfortable win over England in the first Test of the Ashes, extending their formidable record at the Gabba.

The two sides were evenly matched for the opening three days of the contest. However, a fine innings from Aussie skipper Steve Smith proved to be the difference. The 28-year-old scored the 21st Test century of his career to take the game away from the tourists.

England reduced the Baggy Greens at 209-7 in their first innings, with the potential of taking a healthy lead into their second knock. Smith and Pat Cummins put a on a fine partnership before the captain took his team past Joe Root’s men’s total.

The Three Lions wilted in response and were not able to hold up to the home side’s quartet of quality bowlers. The tourists still set the Aussies a total of 178 to chase down, but David Warner and Cameron Bancroft guided them over the line with ease.

Root’s men have the chance to respond at Adelaide in the day/night Test match. No side has managed to produce a comeback victory in the Ashes since the Three Lions’ triumph in 2005, highlighting the challenge ahead of England for the rest of the tour.

We’ll now break down the contest using the latest betting odds.

Australia’s Top Batsman

Smith was outstanding at the Gabba

Credit: Getty Images

Smith rose to the occasion to dominate at the Gabba. England did not get the Australian out in the contest as he remained unbeaten on 141 at the end of the first innings. The 28-year-old did not even have to bat in the second innings so much was the dominance of the Aussie openers. The Three Lions had decent plans to try to snag his wicket, but he put forward a disciplined performance to see off their threat to reach three figures.

Smith’s effort was in stark contrast to that of his opposite number Root, who once again notched a half-century and failed to make a hundred. Smith’s ability to grind out a ton was the difference in the contest and he looks to be in fine form to continue to thrive on home soil.

The day/night Test could play into the hands of the English seamers therefore Smith will need to be even better at Adelaide. James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes will be aiming to use the advantageous conditions to their benefit. Smith’s innings was not without fault at Brisbane, surviving a couple of half chances that could have fallen the way of the tourists. He should lead the way for his inexperienced unit once again at +250   with Bet365.

England’s Top Batsman

The Three Lions surprised with the bat at the Gabba. The questions before the tour were about Mark Stoneman, James Vince and Dawid Malan. However, all three players all made half-centuries in the contest, while Malan and especially Vince will feel that they let centuries slip through their fingers. The major problem was the performance of Alastair Cook. The 32-year-old displayed shades of Jonathan Trott in the last tour with a meek performance in the bat. Trott was withdrawn due to a stress-related issues giving him mitigating circumstances.

Cook played a loose shot in the first innings before playing an even worse stroke in the second innings. Other than a magnificent double century against the West Indies in the day/night Test in England, the opener has been off the boil. England need him at his best to compete in the series. The 32-year-old does not have the best record against Australia other than his outstanding 2010/11 series. He needs to come to the fore to take the pressure off Root and the three Ashes rookies in the line-up.

Cook has shown a propensity to shine against the pink ball, having scored huge hundreds in his two outings against it in first-class cricket. At +400   with Bet365 he presents good value to top score in Adelaide.

Australia’s Top Bowler

Australia’s bowlers were not firing on all cylinders at the Gabba. The pace of the pitch did not suit their pacemen Mitchell Starc and Cummins. Josh Hazlewood did not rise to the occasion in England in the 2015 series, failing to match the performances of the Three Lions’ seamers in favourable conditions. The 26-year-old had a poor start in the first innings in Brisbane, but bounced back with three strikes, including the vital snag of Root for 51. That wicket was the beginning of the end for the tourists and highlighted Hazlewood’s accuracy.

The bowler has been up and down during his career. When he’s been good, he has produced outstanding performances, especially against New Zealand. However, when he’s been bad, he’s not looked a threat.

Conditions will be favourable for bowlers of his ilk at Adelaide with the pink ball. Starc and Cummins are the pace threat, while Hazlewood offers guile and accuracy along with seam movement.Smith will be looking for the 26-year-old to strike early and with regularity to cut open the England batting unit. He has the talent, but whether the good Hazlewood will show up is another matter. At +225   he’s worth a punt with Bet365.

England’s Top Bowler

Anderson has to fire for England

The Three Lions’ senior bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad bowled well at the Gabba, while Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali had their moments in the first innings. However, Jake Ball was a disaster in the contest other than the wicket of David Warner, which was a gift from the opener. Ball was expensive, failing to display the control of every other bowler in the match. His place could be in jeopardy from Craig Overton or even Mason Crane to add an additional spinning option.

However, the match revealed that England’s quest to retain the Ashes will rest on Anderson and Broad. Conditions will be favourable for the duo at Adelaide, operating under lights with the pink ball. Both players displayed excellent rhythm to make the Australians work for every run when they were bowling.

Anderson has not been as dominant in Australia than on English soil during his illustrious career. England need a classic Anderson performance to get them back on track in the contest. Should he run through the Aussie batting line-up then the Three Lions will be able to level the series. Back him at odds of +250   to lead the wicket column.

Winner

England have to get back on level terms to keep the series alive. Another defeat would be almost impossible to come back from heading into Perth and the third Test, where the Three Lions have always struggled. The tourists have a decent record at Adelaide and the change in conditions could suit them with the seamers taking advantage of the pink ball under lights. Root’s men have to fire therefore backing them at odds of +275   with Betway.

Tips Summary

England To Beat Australia 2nd Test
Saturday 2nd December – Wednesday 6th December 2017
Odds: +275

Steve Smith To Be Australia’s Top Batsman
Saturday 2nd December – Wednesday 6th December 2017
Odds: +250

Alastair Cook To Be England’s Top Batsman
Saturday 2nd December – Wednesday 6th December 2017
Odds: +400

Josh Hazlewood To Be Australia’s Top Bowler
Saturday 2nd December – Wednesday 6th December 2017
Odds: +225

James Anderson To Be England’s Top Bower
Saturday 2nd December – Wednesday 6th December 2017
Odds: +250

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