Cricket Tips: 7/5 England to beat Australia in First Ashes Test

The biggest series in Cricket gets underway on Friday...


Ashes Cricket Betting Tips

First Test

England To Win 1st Test
Pat Cummins Top Australian Wicket Taker – 1st Innings
#WhatOddsPaddy Smith and Khawaja Both 50+ 1st Innings

The long-awaited Ashes series kicks off at Edgbaston this week in what will be the first of a five-Test series that remains the most important in cricket.

And here with his selections for the Birmingham kick-off is our man from Down Under Nick Tedeschi.

Short-price punt

England To Win 1st Test

The timing of this Test certainly suits England. While Brendon McCullum’s team have had full focus on this Test for a long time, Australia’s attention has been on India and claiming the World Test Championship. It was a highly impressive win for Pat Cummins’ side but it did not finish until Sunday and there were no doubt plenty of celebrations in reaching the pinnacle of Test cricket.

It is surprising that England aren’t favourites going into this Test. Not only are they on home soil and not only have they had a more focussed preparation – an argument can be made that they are a better team.

While Australia were very good at The Oval winning the Test Championship, they are a team with vulnerabilities, particularly in English conditions. Dave Warner and Marnus Labuschagne have both under-indexed in England while Travis Head, Cameron Green and Alex Carey all have question marks hanging over them.

England are playing some sensational red-ball cricket. They have won 11 of their last 13 Tests – along with a one-run defeat – and done so both at home and abroad. This is an England team humming, aware of their identity, one brimming with confidence.

Edgbaston looks set to suit England too. They have lost here just three times since 2001 – with 11 wins and three draws – and dominated India here last year to the tune of a seven-wicket victory. Australia have played well here with a win and a draw in their last three appearances, this new-look England team is perfectly suited by the setup.

While there is some rain predicted (some things never change), Ben Stokes is on record saying he will be super aggressive in getting a result so a draw really does seem unlikely here. England are a highly confident play.

Value punt

Pat Cummins Top Australian Wicket Taker – 1st Innings

Pat Cummins has thoroughly enjoyed English conditions and Edgbaston in particular and looks a lovely bet to open the series as Australia’s top wicket taker in the first innings.

Cummins has 33 wickets in just six Tests in England, claiming them at 21.42. His only Test at Edgbaston saw him take 3/84 and 4/32. Most notable have been his first innings hauls with wicket tallies of three, three, three, three, three and – wait for it – three. That is consistency and it is very hard to get beaten outright with three first innings wickets.

He topped the first innings wicket tally in the World Test Championship final and looks primed to do so again.

Long Shot

#WhatOddsPaddy Steve Smith and Usman Khawaja Both 50+ 1st Innings

Edgbaston has traditionally been one of the most Australian tracks and that usually means some decent first innings scores.

Steve Smith is, of course, renowned for his form in England. In his last 10 innings in England, Smith has five centuries and three more half-centuries. His last Test at Birmingham he scored 144 and 142.

Usman Khawaja has been mixing form but he has topped 50 in four of his last six first innings.

Cricket Betting Tips

Ashes First Test

England To Win 1st Test
Pat Cummins Top Australian Wicket Taker – 1st Innings
#WhatOddsPaddy Steve Smith and Usman Khawaja Both 50+ 1st Innings

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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