Ashes 5th Test: Anderson out again but it shouldn’t worry England
After the news that record England Test wicket-taker James Anderson was ruled out of the 4th Test, home fans began to worry, but it will be a different case this time for the Ashes finale at the Oval.
Alastair Cook and co managed to skittle through the Australian batsmen with ease at Trent Bridge, winning by an innings and 78 to reclaim the famous urn and lead 3-1, so the Lancastrian’s absence this time around too won’t be a huge hindrance.
England are now the 11/8 favourites with Coral for victory in London, in what would be the first time they’ve triumphed four times in a five-Test Ashes series since playing Down Under in 1932/33.
The likes of bowler Stuart Broad, who took career-best figures of 8-15 last time out in the first innings, will be hoping to finish off the job, and he is a highly tempting 5/2 shout to be best with the ball for the hosts once more.
Steven Finn, Mark Wood and Ben Stokes are likely to be the other pacemen again, and are respective 3/1, 3/1 and 5/1 shouts in the same market.
It looks as though Trevor Bayliss will keep an unchanged side from Trent Bridge, with Cook hinting that Yorkshireman Adil Rashid will have to wait patiently once more for his Test debut.
“Adil has been with us in every single squad but the pitched haven’t quite suited two spinners, that’s the reason he has missed out,” the skipper said.
“He will have to wait his chance, but as a cricketer he is really improving, and looks a lot more comfortable in the England environment. He will probably get his chance against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.”
That means fellow all-rounder Moeen Ali will continue to be the sole main spinner in the side, and he can be backed at 5/1 to be best England bowler in the first innings.
In terms of batting, new Test world number one Joe Root will be hoping to add to his unmatched series total of 443 to date. The Yorkshireman, who has two centuries this Ashes so far, is 5/2 to be top England batsman in the first innings.
Root is also the subject of a Coral matchday special, with odds of 15/2 available on him to top score in the first innings for his team and England win (max stake £20).
It may be a last chance for Root’s county teammate Adam Lyth, though, who has managed just 86 runs from his seven innings. But the opener can be backed at 6/1 in the batting market.
For the Aussies, meanwhile, it will be the last ever time captain and fellow ‘Dad’s Army’ batsman Chris Rogers will play international cricket, as they’ll be hanging up their deflated Baggy Green caps.
But they’ll be hoping to go out on a high, and opener Rogers is the man more likely to do that, having managed an impressive 437 runs this series so far. He is 4/1 to be best batsman for his team in the first innings.
Steve Smith, meanwhile, will be fired up after being knocked off his number one perch by Root, after some disappointing scores, and he is a 3/1 chance.
Australia are 6/4 shouts for victory here to make the scoreline look more respectable at 3-2, while a draw is priced at 3/1. Whatever the result, though, the Ashes are coming home!
Coral’s betting tip – Root is in the form of his life after rising to the top of the Test batting rankings, and can only get better. He is 15/2 to be best England batsman in the first innings and his team win.