Ashes Day Four Tips: Time for an Australian fightback

Joe Root
Root will be ruing day two mistakes

A better day for England on day three, ending 58 behind Australia with eight wickets left, but Ed Hawkins expects the hosts to hit back and finds an in-play bet to match...

"The most important factor is the new ball. It is just ten overs away. So a return to Australian dominance might not be far off"

(1pt) Back England under 452.4 runs 1.9110/11

Don't forget the new ball

Well, England have taken it to day four when a three-day beating had an air of inevitability about it. They cannot be accused of folding cheaply.

Not that they showed much fight in the early exchanges. Australia's tail, marshalled by Travis Head, piled on the runs for a massive lead of 205.

With a new ball and refreshed attack, it was hugely disappointing for Joe Root that they could not end the innings sharply. And just think what the match situation would have been had they done so, closing just 66 behind with eight wickets left.

Mistakeson day two at crucial times in the field by the captain should not be forgotten, either.

We would be seeing significantly bigger odds than 1.444/9 Australia. Despite England's comeback it is very tempting indeed not to do a mortgage job on that price. England are 9.208/1 and the draw is 5.409/2. The market is here.

Students of the game know that day four is a new day. Root and Dawid Malan, as solid as they were, must start again. Australia were jaded, for once, after a long stint in the field and the heat. They should be energised again tomorrow.

The most important factor is the new ball. It is just ten overs away. So a return to Australian dominance might not be far off.

Such an important point seemed to be lost on all concerned with the broadcast. Shane Warne started talking about a 'famous victory' and the BT Sport duo of Alastair Cook and Steve Harmison were in raptures.

England won the day, that much is true. But one suspects there is more than a hint of desperation to enjoy the moment by England supporters and those wishing that the series might actually be competitive.

What is unlikely to be a factor in the last two days is weather. There is some rain expected at tea on day four but day five is clear.

Stat of the day

Jack Leach had a better day. But that was probably because Nathan Lyon struggled, too. He was nowhere near as expensive but he was wicketless. Importantly, he got limited drift through the air. Just 1.4 degrees. The same as last summer when India were victorious.

History against England

A number of markets have appeal if you believe that Australia will still go on to take a 1-0 lead. The innings runs markets are the first port of call.

Sportsbook go over/under 452.5 at 10/11. It should be a natural reaction to reckon that is a short.

On the exchange's innings run line there is quite a jump from over 425 to 450 as 1.645/8 plays 2.1011/10. That would suggest going shy of Sportsbook's line has some value. It would require a monumental effort from England to get up to such a mark.

Australia have conceded 452 or more in the third innings six times at home. In history. The most recent was a shellacking against South Africa in Perth in 2016.

We also note the fall of the third wicket at under 255.5 at 10/11. That keeps the new ball just about on side.

If, however, Root and Malan are able to add 30-odd runs before the next rock arrives, could we start to get close to 1.558/15 Australia? A price of even 1.608/13 the hosts would not be far away if England's pair really knuckle down.

That could well be the bet of the series. Even with 450 on the board, a chase of 170-odd should not trouble Australia considering the pitch appears to have very few demons. There were signs of break-up and talk of uneven bounce (with Rory Burns's dismissal in mind) seemed premature.

The draw price may be of most interest. It is the least likely result of all in our book given the huge amount of time left in the game. A wicketless session, however unlikely for Australia, in the morning would make it a lay.

Ashes series day wins tally
Australia 2 England 1

Ed Hawkins P-L

2021: +26.41
2020: +5.91
2019: +37.25pts
2018: +23.53pts
2017: +12pts
2016: +18.1pts
2015: +38pts
2014: +31.5pts
2013: +25pts
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. Includes Hawk-Eye column p-l

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