Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Ashes is set up for a Thrilling Finish

Just before the Ashes series got underway, I felt that England stood no chance. I thought Australia will sweep the series and finally win an Ashes series in England, which they haven't done since 2001. Yes, Steve Waugh was captaining Australia the last time they won an Ashes series in England!

It has been 15 years and this had to be Australia's best chance given England's recent torrid run and Australia's rise.

But then at Cardiff, we witnessed England rise to the challenge and beat Australia by a whopping 169 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

What that also did was reopen some old wounds for Australia. They were reminded that prior to the Cardiff test, they had won only 3 out of their previous 17 tests in England and had lost 8 of them. After the first test of this Ashes series, that record looks like:

Played 18 Won 3 Lost 9.

For a team that is ranked number 2 in the world test rankings, that is quite sad really.

Needless to say, I was quite surprised that it was England who took the lead after the first test.

It wasn't long before we were back to business as usual with Australia bouncing back at Lord's and stamping their authority all over England with a massive 405 run win in the second Ashes test. It was almost as if the Aussies wanted to punish England for winning the first test.

After such a dominating performance, I was sure that the rest of the series would be a cakewalk for Australia.

How wrong was I!

The third test saw Australia in tatters and so unlike their dominant self, which we had seen in the second test.

England won comfortably by 8 wickets to take a 2-1 lead.

England surprised, not once but twice during this Ashes series and they now look like firm favorites to regain the Ashes and continue their decade long dominance over Australia at home.

However, I will run shy of expecting that considering how wrong I have been with all the results so far. If I were using William Hill cricket betting during the Ashes, I would have lost quite some money so far.

The series has swung both ways right now, and there is every chance that Australia will bounce back once again to set up a thrilling finale at the Oval. That will be quite some game if we witness an Australia win at Nottingham next week.
William Hill cricket betting
With James Andersen most likely missing out on the 4th test, it will probably be Australia's best chance to level series. However, Steven Finn's comeback match showed that he could potentially shoulder the responsibility in Andersen's absence. Broad has also been good with the ball for England.

Both teams have failed to find consistent performances with the bat. Only Rogers and Smith from Australia, and Root and Bell from England have looked like in some kind of form, with all other batsmen showing only flashes of brilliance.

There is no doubt that the last 2 tests will be hard fought and the Ashes is set up for an exciting finish, unlike the previous one sided series the two teams have played.

I wouldn't miss these two tests for anything; and neither should you!

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