Ashes 5th Test Betting: England must remember what they did well in Melbourne

Alastair Cook scored a double century in Melbourne, can he go well again in the 5th Test?
Alastair Cook scored a double century in Melbourne, can he go well again in the 5th Test?
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The series has long been out of England's reach, but a much improved effort in Melbourne was the start of some pride-saving, and Ralph Ellis believes Joe Root's men can build on that draw... if they remember what they did well...

"But if Cook remembers the cool way he dealt with the Australia quicks in Melbourne, gets himself into position in the same way, and plays to his strengths he can score big runs again."

It's important to learn from mistakes. We all know that. But sometimes it is even more important to learn from what you do well.

I used to be involved in a company that supplied video analysis technology to lower league football clubs. Most of the managers used it to show their players what went wrong, how goals got conceded, how chances got missed.

Gary Johnson, the current Cheltenham manager and boss of Yeovil at the time, had a different approach. He played all the clips of things his players did successfully.

His idea was to reinforce the confidence of young men who had ability but didn't always manage to show it when they were under pressure.

I hope that the legions of far more sophisticated technical staff who work with the England cricket team have used a bit of that approach as Joe Root's side face the last match of their troubled tour trying to salvage a bit more pride.

After failing to achieve the whitewash thanks to Alastair Cook's magnificent unbeaten 244 in Melbourne, Australia remain [1.7] to return to winning ways when the fifth Test begins on Wednesday night (our time).

The wicket will be quicker to help their bowlers, there will be fatigue at the end of a long tour, and I still don't completely buy all the propaganda from the England camp that this is a far happier tour than the 2013 debacle.

But England can make it worth laying the Aussies providing they remember what they did so well in the fourth Test and produce a bit of the same again in Sydney.

I'd backed Cook before it all began to be the top series run scorer and even if he got another double century that's a bet that's long gone. Steve Smith with an aggregate 604 is [1.01] for that now.

But if Cook remembers the cool way he dealt with the Australia quicks in Melbourne, gets himself into position in the same way, and plays to his strengths he can score big runs again.

As for Stuart Broad, who struggled so badly earlier in the series, he got four wickets on a lifeless pitch in the first innings in Melbourne because he'd worked in the nets at improving his action.

Do the same again and it's not impossible that, on a surface which will have more bounce to benefit him, he could take six wickets more than Jimmy Anderson and make [15.0] for him to be top England series wicket taker a winning punt. I like the idea of backing him far more than I do the [6.2] for Chris Woakes who is also on 10 in total for the series.

That leaves Moeen Ali whose whole trip has been a huge disappointment. Time to remind him about how well he bowled last summer and the extra revs he got on the ball then.

This has never been a team full of bad players, it's just been a bad team that has conspired to make the Australians look far better than they are. Find the positives from Melbourne and it could yet be a turning point to improve even more.

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