Australia v England Second Test Betting: Gamble on home comforts for England

England are in a must-win situation
England are in a must-win situation

Ed Hawkins previews game two from the Adelaide Oval and says it's must-win territory for the tourists under lights from early Saturday morning...

"With the pitch seemingly set to be bowler-friendly, and offering English-style seam and swing, the match is a heaven-sent opportunity for England to claim a Test win on the road"

Recommended Bet
England to win 2nd Test at 3.9 (1pt)

Australia v England
Saturday December 2 03.30
TV: live on BT Sport


Australia

With a 1-0 lead Australia are sitting pretty. Indeed, they are confident enough to land a few jibes about England revealing their bowling tactics too early and make Jonny Bairstow a laughing stock. But they are not over-confident.

That's because they always win in Brisbane. It is expected. And the reality is that they maybe a little concerned that it took them so long to get on top of England.

Steve Smith aside, England's plans - one wonders when Darren Lehmann expected to start using them - worked pretty well in the field, although they did lose the plot in the first-innings when resting James Anderson with the Aussies seven down.

Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh and Tin Paine still have much to prove. Harsh on Marsh? Sure but it was coach Lehmann who talked up the need for a bowling all-rounder before this game, not us.

Australia will almost certainly be unchanged. There has been some chat about Chadd Sayers coming into the XI if there are any fitness concerns over Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood or Pat Cummins.


England

One gets the feeling that England are allowing Australia's 'fake news' tactics surrounding Bairstow's 'headbutt' greeting with Cameron Bancroft in a Perth bar several weeks ago to get to them. The siege mentality is beginning to take hold.

Bairstow, then, is under pressure for this match when he doesn't need to be. There are also concerns over the durability of Moeen Ali's spinning finger. If Moeen can't keep an end tight, Anderson and Stuart Broad could be overworked.

Instead England might be best to laugh off Australia's antics, tell Mo to get a grip and focus on how Mark Stoneman, James Vince and Dawid Malan went a long way to establishing themselves as players who deserve to be at this level at The Gabba. Just don't mention Alastair Cook.

The form of the unheralded trio was supposed to be a major flaw in their team. It doesn't look such a problem now.

There is an issue with the third pacer slot, though. This could be Jake Ball's last appearance on tour with Craig Overton breathing down his neck. That the Adelaide wicket may suit Ball better might just save him.


First-innings runs

The 419 average in the last ten first-innings at the Adelaide Oval is not so relevant. Only two of those were under lights, with a pink ball and on a grassy top to help protect the ball from disintegrating. Of more importance is the fact that in two day-night Tests at the venue, only once has 300 been busted.

In the recent Sheffield Shield day-night match between South Australia and New South Wales neither side made more than 250. Indeed, the hosts were rolled for 95 in the first innings. Trent Copeland, a seamer very much in the English mould, took six wickets.

We will be very interested to see what prices will be available to lay either team for 350 or more batting first. There was some early moner for Australia at 2.111/10. Not bad at all.


Match odds

This is the Ashes. Right here. Right now. If Australia win, it's all over with fortress Waca up next. But if they lose, the momentum shift to England could make for a thrilling series. Australia are 1.715/7, England 3.9 and the draw is 6.25/1.

The bet has to be England. With the pitch seemingly set to be bowler-friendly, and offering English-style seam and swing, the match is a heaven-sent opportunity for England to claim a Test win on the road.

It is true they do not often do it - just four in their last 24. But that's the point. Rarely do they come across wickets like this Adelaide one which, tantalisingly, offers home comforts.

If there is no grass or lateral movement then England are in a sticky situation. So we are betting on the recent day-night evidence at Adelaide Oval and ground reports holding true.


Top Australia runscorer

Could we be entering 'not much to beat' territory for Smith here? The world No 1, as you would expect, looked on a different planet in Brisbane. The 3.55 sounds like value. Smith has most runs than his team-mates in those two day-nighters. But Khawaja scorched 145 in one innings. He is 5.69/2.


Top England runscorer

It has to be said that England are as likely to be rolled as Australia. This is a bowler shootout, which is why we have gone for the biggest odds on the match market. Those with tight techniques should prosper, so Stoneman, compact and gutsy, might bed down again at an inflated 6.86/1. Joe Root is 4.47/2. There are worst bets to take than that price for sure.


Recommended Bet

England to win 2nd Test at 3.9 (1pt)


Ed Hawkins P-L

2017: +23.29pts
2016: +18.1pts
2015: +38pts
2014: +31.5pts
2013: +25pts
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l

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