Ashes 2023: Third Test betting odds and talking points
Coral make England the 6/4 underdogs in the Third Test betting odds as they renew their Ashes battle with Australia at Headingley on Thursday.
The tourists lead the five-match series 2-0 after a controversial victory at Lord’s and are 6/5 to prevail in Leeds and wrap up the series.
In the series betting, England have been trimmed to 7/1 to battle back and prevail 3-2, while Australia are 1/7 to win their first Ashes series in England since 2001.
“England go into this Test match as the underdogs once again, however, we have seen support behind Ben Stokes’ side to prevail and keep the series alive,” said Coral’s John Hill.
“The hosts have also been trimmed in the series betting, as many punters believe England can win the final three Test matches of this series and regain the famous urn.”
Here we look at the key issues heading into the game and some of the Third Test betting odds.
What impact will the Bairstow row have?
Alex Carey’s decision to throw down Jonny Bairstow’s stumps when the Englishman felt the ball was dead may well have changed the whole tone of the series. Relations between the teams are sure to be frostier, while Ben Stokes’ furious century in the immediate aftermath of the incident suggested something had been awoken in the home team.
Can England harness that righteous anger in the right way and can others follow Stokes’ lead? Will Bairstow continue his career-long habit of turning in big performances when he feels most under pressure? Will Carey dare try it again?
Finding out the answers to these questions should prove entertaining and Coral have some interesting #YourCall options in the Third Test betting odds.
Carey is 9/4 to stump or catch Bairstow in the first innings, while the same price is available for Bairstow to do the same to Carey.
If Australia were taken aback by the vitriol they attracted at Lord’s, where even the usually serene environment of the Long Room took a turn, then they can expect the volume to be turned up again in Leeds.
It would be no surprise if the touring side had to draw straws to find out who takes up fielding duty in front of the Western Terrace, a notoriously raucous stand that will be eager to make its collective voice heard. Measures are being taken to ensure things do not cross a line, but England will hope the partisan atmosphere serves them well.
A new-look England attack
The congested schedule meant England always planned to rotate their bowlers they have chosen this week to roll the dice, with record wicket-taker James Anderson making way alongside rookie Josh Tongue.
Most striking is the return of Mark Wood, whose ability to bowl at speeds of more than 96mph mark him out as a major point of difference. Australia struggled with his pace at times in the last Ashes series and Stokes will be delighted to have his Durham colleague back. Wood is 3/1 to be England’s top wicket-taker in the first innings and 7/1 to take a five-wicket haul.
Moeen Ali is also ready after missing Lord’s, meaning a specialist spin option and some headaches for Australia’s left-handers.
Finally, there is a first appearance of the ‘Bazball’ era for the ultra-reliable Chris Woakes, whose record in England is outstanding and he is 7/2 to take most wickets for the hosts in the first innings.
Brook on the up
Harry Brook enjoyed a remarkable first winter in Test cricket, scoring four centuries in Rawalpindi, Multan, Karachi and Wellington, but has yet to make a major mark on his first Ashes campaign. He has played some thrilling strokes but has also found unusual ways to get out and has a top score of 50.
With that backdrop, England’s decision to promote him to number three in place of the injured Ollie Pope is a bold call. He has batted there before in his early days for Yorkshire, with limited success, but he enjoys the full trust of a dressing room that believes he can be a match-winner from any position.
Another Smith century
Former Australia skipper Steve Smith is no stranger to reaching three figures on English soil, having scored centuries in 16 Ashes Tests here. His latest landmark is guaranteed, as he earns his 100th cap.
Ten players have marked that occasion with a century in the past, with two of those on the field this week – Joe Root and David Warner. Smith is 11/4 to join them on that list in the first innings and an average of 61.82 in these conditions suggest he has all the pedigree to do so.
Smith and Root are also the joint favourites at 7/1 in the betting to be named man of the match.
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All odds and markets correct as of date of publication