The 2021/22 Ashes series gets underway this week with the 1st Test starting from Wednesday, 8th December, at the Gabba in Brisbane. Australia saw its 30-year unbeaten-run at this ground come to an end earlier this year while England have not won here in its previous 8 visits stretching to a period of three and a half decades.
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Cricket Betting Tips: Australia
With home-advantage, Australia goes into the match as the clear favourite but it certainly is not the indomitable beast of the past. Questions over the all-round contribution of the team continue to linger as the new captain Pat Cummins faces a baptism of fire in his role.
Usman Khawaja might get the nod over Marcus Harris to be the opening-partner for David Warner who does have a point to prove after his morbid display in the previous Ashes series. Marnus Labuschagne has taken over the no.3 spot to become a more than useful foil for Steve Smith and the pair is critical to the performance of the Australian batting-card. Travis Head and all-rounder Cameron Green will comprise the middle-order along with the wicketkeeper Alex Carey who is set to make his Test debut at long last.
The strength and experience of the bowling-unit provides a solid base for the team to build on. On his day, Mitchell Starc can be devastating with the swinging-ball while the accurate line and length of Josh Hazlewood is ideal for taking wickets on the bouncy pitches Down Under. Pat Cummins can be a workhorse bowling long-spells but it remains to be seen how he juggles his fast-bowling duties with his role as the captain. Off-spinner Nathan Lyon has also been quite effective at this ground in the past.
Cricket Betting Tips : England
Aside from the cricket skills, it is imperative for England to remain mentally tough amidst a hostile environment. While winning the game might be the ultimate objective, even getting a draw at the Gabba will cause a big dent to the confidence of the opposition and the home-crowd.
Nevertheless, England faces an acid-test particularly with the batting-card not looking in the best shape. Opener Rory Burns has been consistent over the past 12 months and Haseeb Hameed has done reasonably well although he is untested in these conditions. Dawid Malan will be a key player in the no.3 position while Joe Root is the lynchpin of the batting-card. The return of Ben Stokes is a big shot to the arm as both Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler are arguably fighting for their long-term future in the team.
The inability of the England bowlers to extract the most out of the pitches in Australia has been a long-term issue. James Anderson and Stuart Broad are still the two main fast-bowlers but neither has done particularly well away on Ashes tour. Ollie Robinson will be third seamer of the side and probably the best-suited of the lot to be successful Down Under. Having Ben Stokes is a great bonus but he may lack match fitness to bowl long spells. Jack Leach should get the nod over Dom Bess to be the lone spin-bowler of the side.
Ashes 1st Test Betting Tips
Marnus Labuschagne Total Runs (1st Inns): Over
Marnus Labuschagne has taken Test cricket by storm since making an appearance as a substitute in the previous Ashes series. Currently ranked no.4 batsman in the world, Labuschagne has got 5 fifties and 5 hundreds in the last 9 Test matches.
Steve Smith Total Runs (1st Inns): Over
Steve Smith has been a massive thorn for the opposition in the Ashes for a number of years now. He averages over 65 against England and scored nearly 700 runs in the last series in Australia including 3 centuries and 2 half-centuries.
1st Innings Lead: Australia
Australia had won 8 consecutive Test matches at the Gabba before India clinched a historic victory to end its winning-streak. The home-side should produce another dominant display and has bagged the 1st Innings lead in the last 5 matches at this venue.
Extra Betting Tips
Top England Bowler (1st Inns): Ollie Robinson at 4.75 on bet365
Player of the Match: Steve Smith at 9.00 on bet365
Cricket Betting Prediction
Australia will attempt to make a roaring start to a home Ashes series and come with all guns blazing as it usually does in Brisbane. At the moment, England does not seem to have enough to combat the onslaught and the intimidating atmosphere of the Gabba is often its undoing.
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