England are eyeing the chance to thrash Australia 4-1 in this series and rate a decent bet to claim another win
This Australia Ashes tour has been a shambles, with the Baggy Greens arriving on these shores as 2/5 favourites to win the series although defeats at Cardiff, Edgbaston and Trent Bridge have earned England the miniature urn before the final Test.
Michael Clarke can’t bat for toffee this summer and it was little surprise when the captain announced after Nottingham’s humiliation that he would be retiring from international cricket after the 5th and final Test of the series.
Clarke has the opportunity to bow out with a flourish although there are simply too many players in the squad out of form right now, especially when it comes to scoring runs.
Steve Smith, David Warner and Chris Rogers are the only players to have shown any real resistance with the bat and Warner’s aggressive approach has often played into the hands of the England bowlers.
Add this to the fact that Mitchell Starc has often carried the Australian bowling attack and it all points to a bet on England to send the Barmy Army into more delirium with a final victory.
Ladbrokes offer 11/8 about an English win at The Oval where the crowd is notoriously rowdy and there will be a celebratory and Aussie-bashing mood pervading the stands in anticipation of a victory.
The first couple of Tests suggested that winning the toss and batting first was vital to land victory during the series, although England have twice bowled in the 3rd and 4th Tests to get the job done with ease.
The Oval groundsman will be happy to create a pitch similar to the one at Trent Bridge which saw the Australian batsmen unable to cope with a blinding spell from Stuart Broad, while his partner in crime James Anderson could be back providing he has recovered in time.
Ben Stokes excelled at Trent Bridge with the ball and the all-rounder is a 9/1 chance with Ladbrokes to manage the most first innings runs for England, although that man Joe Root is the 11/4 favourite.
Nevertheless, if we work on the basis that Stokes can perform brightly with bat and ball at The Oval, then odds of 14/1 about the all-rounder landing Man of the Match looks an attractive proposition.