Australia v England Second Ashes Test Tips: Back Aussies to dazzle under lights

Marnus Labuschagne
Labuschagne is a bet for runs

Ed Hawkins says the pink ball won't help England in Adelaide from Thursday in his second Test betting preview

"Starc is the king of day-nighters with three wins and two ties in the Adelaide outings"

(1pt) Back Mitchell Starc top Australia 1st inns bowler @ 4.03/1

Australia v England
Thursday 16 December 04.00
TV: live on Sky Sports

Hazlewood out

Australia's confidence has been clipped slightly after their nine-wicket thrashing of England in Brisbane. They have lost one key player to injury and almost lost another.

Josh Hazlewood is out with injury meaning their feared pace attack is broken up. There were also doubts about David Warner's fitness but he has been passed fit.

Hazlewood's place goes to Jhye Richardson, right-arm skiddy from Western Australia. He is the natural replacement for Mitchell Starc and is taken to have a good career at the top level.

Cameron Green may well have to provide the steepling bounce in Hazlewood's absence.

Probable XI: Warner, Harris, Labuschagne, Smith, Head, Carey, Green, Cummins, Starc, Richardson, Lyon

England in a mess

We consistently warned that England did not select well for the first Test, it could undermine the entire campaign. And so it is proving.

Having made a mess of things at The Gabba, Joe Root acknowledges they are in a fix about who to pick and leave out. James Anderson and Stuart Broad were widely expected to come straight back in after both were left out.

However, the pitch in Adelaide is drop-in and expected fierce temperatures mean England have to be careful. Jack Leach and Chris Woakes were both named in a 12-man squad with Mark Wood rested.

Leach would appear to be a certainty, then. That means Woakes's superior batting might get him the nod ahead of Broad. Ben Stokes looks to be fully fit after allaying fears over a knee injury with a strong show in the nets.

Probable XI: Burns, Hameed, Malan, Root, Stokes, Pope, Buttler, Woakes, Robinson, Leach, Anderson.

Pitch report

There have been four day-night Tests at the Adelaide Oval. All four have been won by the hosts who have, just like at The Gabba, found they are playing on a different surface.

The opposition first-innings scores are 244, 259 and 202, Australia's are 589 and 442.

More than ever an innings runs wager will be out timing because of the peculiarities of the pink ball. So, when will it swing and when will it stop?

From the outset the pink ball does more than the red so openers watch out. Then after about 11 overs there is a dramatic drop off in movement all the way through until the 50th over. When night falls, bowlers are back in the game.

The night session is when batting has been at its most tricky in terms of averages. This could be due to the difficulty batsmen have in adjusting to the lights.

So going long of runs is not advised early on. Wait until that 11th over and hopefully you'll get a cheap buy. We expect both sides to be capable of recovery from early wickets. The time to expect wickets again is the night session.

Australia in the pink

We know that batting averages go down in pink ball Tests and bowling averages go down, too. How this can be construed as a good thing for an England team which is crippled by batting anxiety is anyone's guess.

A moving ball in Australia is rare but it is as likely to hinder a team who drew 2-2 in these sort of conditions in England against this team and failed to beat India and New Zealand.

Australia are no better than1.594/7, England are 4.03/1 and the draw 7.6013/2. We'd love the opportunity to lay the latter at some stage.

Otherwise we're hoping for the pink ball to do its thing exactly as described and give us a little bit of room on Australia's price. Around 1.9010/11 would be nice.

Tops value

We're surprised the 3/1 that Mitchell Starc takes most Australia wickets in the first-innings hasn't been smashed into. He's the king of day-nighters with three wins and two ties in the Adelaide outings.

As for England, Ollie Robinson stands out at the same price. Another negative for England is that Anderson and Broad's strike rates in day-night Tests shoot up by 20 balls or so.

For runs, we like Marnus Labuschagne. He's 5/2 for top Aussie bat but 7/5 and 9/2 for a fifty or ton respectively in the first dig seem solid with Sportsbook. He has 11 fifties in 18 first-innings.

A bet for England is Ollie Pope. He should have snatched it in Brisbane and the 8/1 offers a big chunk on win rate. We're not tempted by the price boost of Joe Root to 2/1 but concede that the 6/1 about Dawid Malan looks very big.

Listen to Cricket...Only Bettor for a full second Test preview

Get a Free £5 Bet – Every Day!

Stake £20 on multiples over the course of a day, and, after the bets have settled, you'll get a free £5 to use on multiples. Bets must settle before 23:59 on the day they're placed. No opt-in required, T&Cs apply. And we will also be offering No Cash Out suspensions on all match odds bets on the Sportsbook for the Big Bash.

Ed Hawkins P-L

2021: +29.24 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

Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open account using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn We'll Refund You £/€20 If the Bet Loses

T&Cs apply.

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles