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Ashes 2009 Betting: England favourites after win but injuries mean twists and turns to come

2009 Ashes RSS / Ed Hawkins / 20 July 2009 / Leave a comment " class="free-bet-btn" rel="external" onclick="javascript: pageTracker._trackPageview('/G4/inline-freebet');" target="_blank">Free Bet

Ed Hawkins reports on England's second Test win as the captain reminds players and fans that there is a long way to go....

As the red, white and blue tears of emotion flowed as England ended 75 years of Ashes misery at Lord's with a 115-run win and Andrew Flintoff picked up a man of the match award to only increase the blubbing, there were sobering words from Andrew Strauss.

"There's an awful lot of cricket to be played."

Indeed. England may have a 1-0 lead and with it Ashes favouritism - they are [2.06] with Australia [4.10] and the draw [3.55] - but it is as flimsy an advantage as the last time they were 1-0 up. In 1997 England won the first Test at Edgbaston but succumbed to a 3-2 loss.

Back then England were steamrollered by brilliance. This time they could be tripped up by one of their hobbling brethren. Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen have been called walking wounded in the Lord's Test but that doesn't quite cover it.

There are huge doubts surrounding whether the pair can the last another three Tests. Flintoff's knee caused him to gurn and grimace while Pietersen, pained by an Achilles problem, was on and off the field like an OCD sufferer fretting whether he'd left the gas on.

Those two will be ordered to their beds for the 10 days between now and the start of the third Test, at Edgbaston. The fourth, at Headingley, which follows just four days later.

Australia, by contrast, will welcome the chance to "work hard" (Ricky Ponting's words) against Northamptonshire on Friday. Phil Hughes will be desperate for runs, Mitchell Johnson must discover some rhythm while Brett Lee could return from injury to stake a claim for a place.

Lee's comeback is a good example of why we need to remember that in such a long series, an ebb and flow is inevitable.

Cardiff proved that when Australia dominated. Lord's has just provided another reminder. There will be twists and turns to come.

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