Stuart Broad
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Australia will surpass 432 as England lack strike bowlers on flat pitch

| 13.12.2013

England may have had Australia on the rack at 143/5 on the opening day of the third Ashes Test at the WACA, but this was largely down to the hosts throwing away their wickets, rather than the tourists forcing errors.

On what has to be described as a flat pitch with the prospect of some occasional bounce, Stuart Broad was the only England bowler that looked especially dangerous, although he did deliver his fair share of bad balls.

However, as the heat began to take its toll, Australia took advantage and now that they have recovered to 326/6, with Steve Smith unbeaten on 103, a 3-0 series lead does look on the horizon.

Australia are as short as 2/5 in the Ashes odds to win the third Test, but the better bet does look the 5/6 that Michael Clarke’s men build on their revival by reaching at least 433 in their first innings.

The decision not to pick another tall seam bowler now looks naive from England, with Chris Tremlett already showing he can take wickets in Perth and James Anderson being a shadow of his former self.

Broad may have only taken two of the first six wickets, but 11/10 is on the tempting side that he takes two of the final four and as a result, over 3.5 in the first innings.

After all, he has taken nine across the first innings of the opening two Tests.

Should Australia reach somewhere in the region of 450, there is every chance of a similar story developing to the first two Tests, where England find themselves conceding a large first-innings deficit.

Australia have previously declined the option to make England follow on, instead opting to give their bowlers a rest, but 5/1 still seems more than a fair price that the Aussies win at the WACA by an innings.