Gram Dodd sets the scene for one of the most anticipated Ashes series in years. Check out his outright preview, which features recommended bets and also the best bookies offers, to make the most of this exciting event.
Match Live Friday, 16th June at 11:00 am In:
England v Australia Ashes Series Predictions
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Odds corrects at time of posting and subject to change
The Anticipation of the Ashes: A Dance of Two Cricketing Giants
– In the 2021/2022 Ashes and the 2017/2018 series, Australia dominated by claiming a resounding 4-0 victory in both series.
– The last series on English soil ended in a 2-2 draw, with England’s Ben Stokes producing a standout performance at Headingley.
Cricket, a sport of historic and contemporary importance, has been graced with many gripping series. Yet, the Ashes remains the crown jewel, even in today’s T20-dominated era. The Ashes exudes an aura that franchise cricket, regardless of its financial muscle, can only yearn to emulate. This unique series has been the stage for some of cricket’s most monumental moments, repeatedly exceeding expectations even when the odds appear stacked.
And then there are the Ashes battles that rise above the rest, where two titanic teams, each at their zenith, showcase varying routes to the pinnacle of success. These are the showdowns between age-old rivals employing fresh tactics, with outcomes hanging in delicate balance. The upcoming series promises to be just such an event.
Australia has consistently demonstrated their supremacy in recent encounters, with the 2021/2022 Ashes and the 2017/2018 series both culminating in dominant 4-0 victories on their home turf. In between, the evenly matched 2-2 series in England in 2019 witnessed Ben Stokes’ miraculous Headingley exploits. Despite Australia’s dominance, this summer brings a wave of exhilaration, as the Ashes beholds a clash of champions against a resurgent England.
A Clash of Titans: World Champions versus Rejuvenated England
Over the next few weeks, cricket enthusiasts will witness a contest between the indisputably superior side, the reigning World Test champions, and a side that has surged forward with a spirited, invigorating brand of cricket. England’s innovative game has not only entranced spectators but also produced remarkable results. While Australia can take pride in their recent dominance, it’s clear this encounter features a starkly different English side than the one that faltered almost two years ago.
A vital element of the Ashes is the psychological warfare, and Stuart Broad has already begun his attempts to unsettle the Australians. For punters, it’s crucial to see past the theatrics, lean on meticulous research, and place their faith in intuition. As such, my assessment remains consistent since England’s draw in New Zealand in the winter, guiding my staking plan’s direction.
One cannot overlook the main reason behind the series’ heightened anticipation. We have two elite teams, seemingly evenly matched, yet sporting divergent cricketing styles. Australia, likely embracing a more conventional batting approach, contrasts with England’s aggressive Bazball ethos. The Australian side appears to have the upper hand in terms of pace and spin. However, England can confidently count on their arsenal of seam and swing bowlers, potentially making a significant difference in a series packed into a tight schedule. This intriguing mix of elements suggests a nail-biting contest in the offing.
The Battle Plans: Key Players and Tactics
Australia’s strategy will rely heavily on the batting prowess of Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne, who made 774 runs at an average of 110.54 in four Tests here in 2019. David Warner may not be the formidable force of yesteryears, but a rejuvenated Usman Khawaja as an opener and Travis Head’s match-winning century in the World Test Championship final underlines the depth of Australia’s batting lineup.
England boasts an impressive batting lineup, but unlike Australia’s resilience in testing periods, England has been seen faltering in favourable bowling conditions. The pitches’ nature and the weather will play a crucial role in the series outcome. If the pitches are as flat as Stokes has requested, and the sun shines, England’s powerful middle order could inflict substantial damage on Australia, despite facing a formidable pace attack. They have demonstrated no fear under an ultra-positive management team, with a commitment not to change their attacking approach, even for the Ashes.
In adverse weather and challenging batting conditions, England may find it difficult to stand up against Australia’s superior seam bowling, led by Pat Cummins. Australia’s bowling department, with the likes of Josh Hazlewood, Scott Boland, Mitchell Starc, and Green, can exploit favourable conditions and dismantle England’s batting lineup. If the series witnesses a flat pitch, England could flourish; however, a green seamer could prove challenging.
England’s strength lies in its seam attack led by James Anderson, Ollie Robinson, and Stuart Broad, who would welcome grassy pitches. Yet, this is a team sport, and the batting lineup has shown vulnerability when the ball swings. We’ve seen this vulnerability in the past at Headingley, when Trent Boult tore through the top order. England’s seamers have shown their effectiveness on flat pitches, as demonstrated in their series win in Pakistan. The team’s variety is bolstered by Mark Wood, the fastest bowler on either side.
The Swing of Fortune and the Final Verdict
With the summer’s unpredictable weather, the series could likely be a pendulum of fortunes. Australia’s excellent bowling might find itself under fire when England’s batting lineup clicks into gear. Stokes, who led a remarkable performance at Headingley four years ago, has more support this time around. Still, a five-Test series is a marathon, and Australia’s bowlers will have their moments.
Despite their successes under Stokes, England’s playing style lends itself to unpredictability. We can expect stunning victories, even in games where they are initially on the back foot. The series could witness heavy defeats followed by crushing victories.
The series conclusion could see the two teams equally matched, with the 2-2 draw appearing to be the most plausible outcome, given Stokes’ propensity to push for results. A drawn series would see Australia regaining the Ashes on top of being World Test champions, an outcome they would likely accept. Thus, I’m comfortable backing the 2-2 CORRECT SCORELINE at 5/1.
£20 returns £140
Odds corrects at time of posting and subject to change
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