With a history that goes as far back as the late 1800’s, the Ashes is considered to be one of the most anticipated sporting events between the two nations of England and Australia. This guide attempts to give readers insights into the coming Ashes 2017-18 and ensure that betters have all the information they need to make winning bets.
The history, the stats and the current form of both teams will be looked at in depth to give you the most thorough coverage the Ashes possible and give you that much needed edge when placing a bet. Make sure you create an online betting account and take advantage of this new found information today. Viewers may follows cricket Ashes scores and make live in-play bets as well!
What’s in store for the next Ashes event?
The next series of The Ashes 2017/18 will take place in Australia between the months of November 2017 and January 2018. Defending champions England travel to Australian ground and play the 5 match test series in a variety of pitches including The Gabba, Adelaide Oval, the WACA or the West Australian Cricket Association ground, The MCG or the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Sydney Cricket Ground. The newly built pitch in Perth may also be utilised as it has been finished ahead of schedule. This uncontested pitch will bring an interesting dynamic to that test match as neither team would have played on that ground and date pertaining to that pitch will be scarce.
There is a lot of concern for England as they will have a packed year of games in 2017. Having the busiest season ever, the English team will play a total of twenty six games in all formats from May 5th to September 29th just 2 months before The Ashes 2017/18 beings. In previous instances, such as in the year 2013 this has worked in their favour when they played 23 games in all formats all over the world and won the Ashes. It however didn’t hold for long as they were whitewashed against Australia 5-0 a few months later. An added twist to the Ashes 2017/18 is that it may be the first to be played under floodlights. Day – night test matches are being tried out in many parts of the world and is adding an interesting twist to the game. It means games go longer, pull bigger crowds, stretch the stamina of starting players while those who play when the sun goes down will be able to play for longer. It is still under consideration by Cricket Australia the organizing body of Australian Cricket and if implemented will affect how you place your bets.
The current scorecard for the Ashes between the two nations is a tie at 32 wins each. Getting to this score wasn’t an easy task, below we look at a little bit of history.
How it all started
What started off as a friendly match between the English empire and its colony Australia, resulted in one of the longest played test series in the world. A forty eight day boat ride to England which many do not brave due to the toll it takes on ones body upon reaching the destination was what lay ahead for the Aussies who want to play cricket in England. It was the ninth test played between the two countries and the only test played on 1882 at the famous British cricket ground, The Oval.
Having lost every match against their colonisers the Australians weren’t faring too well this time either. Scoring very poorly during both innings it was time for the English to finish up the game. Not one to give up, Fred Spofforth bowled his best and 4 wickets and allowed only two runs to be scored. With only two runs left for another victory for England, the last wicket was taken by Harry Boyle officially closing the match and awarding Australia its first test victory against in England on English soil. The crowd at The Oval fell silent but rejoiced in a masterclass game of cricket played and cheered the new winners on.
The name “Ashes” originated from The Sporting Times a British newspaper which published a mock obituary stating that English cricket had died, the body cremated and its ashes taken to Australia. The captain of the English cricket team then vowed to travel to Australia, take on the victors and reclaim the ashes of English cricket. The satirical obituary, English media and the vow from the captain was what created the Ashes, the historic test series between the two nations.
The Ashes has for a long time been the most anticipated cricket games in history. This drive fuelled by years of history, pride and rivalry brought out the best of players on both sides. From fast bowlers Fred Spofforth who started it all, to Don Bradman who has scored the most number of runs on many boards including the Ashes, to Shane Warne the cricketer with the most number of wickets in the Ashes series also known for bowling the “ball of the century” when he took the wicket of Mike Gatting. Whilst the players of yesteryear are still revered and fondly looked upon, the plight of the teams for both countries for the Ashes 2017/18 is a bit grim as many great players are retiring as well as exciting as new blood will take their place bringing fresh game to the sport.
Throughout history the Ashes have presented some of the finest crickets England and Australia have seen. The turn of the 20th century was the period in which the Ashes decided to be fleshed out to a fully fledged tournament. From 1905 till 1912 five series were played out between the two nations. Both teams were evenly matched until the outbreak of World War I which put the series on hold until 1920 when the world would temporarily calm down. Post war the Australians came back with a bang with a devastating 14-1 against England. This credit is due to the leadership of Warwick Armstrong who was the captain at the time. He tactically exploited the English batting lineups weakness of fast bowlers and pushed Jack Gregory and Ted McDonald who tore through the batsmen like a hot knife through butter.
There was a bit of controversy during this period as the English cricket team was doomed during a rainy series in 1926 where England was predicted to lose due to the poor batting conditions but miraculously fought off the Australian advance and won the match with a very comfortable lead. Speculation and accusations of throwing the match were made against the Aussie Captain Herbie Collins and he was stripped of all positions he held.
Before he became one of the greatest cricketers the world has ever seen, Don Bradman struggled to keep the Australian team going against the English in the ashes due to a poor bowling side. Despite losing 4-1 in his debut ashes, Bradman came back in the next series in 1930 when he scored a staggering 974 runs at 139.14 which aggregated is still a world test series record. He continued to score more double centuries allowing Australia to clean the series against England. The English retaliated by creating something called the Bodyline fielding setup. Brainchild of English captain Douglas Jardine, he advised his bowlers to aim for the bodies of the batsmen forcing them to defend themselves which may lead the ball to knick the bat and be caught by one of the many bowlers fielding on the Bodyline fielding setup. It was considered legal at the time but after many protest the number of fielders on the leg side was limited.
The first time the Ashes was regained by the Australians was in 1934 at The Oval in England when Don Bradman and Bill Ponsford made another record of having a total partnership of 451 runs. Chasing 707 runs the English were unable to chase the massive score it lead to a humiliating defeat. War came again in the form of the second World War and the ashes were postponed till the fighting ceased. Post-war Don Bradman’s team was dubbed The Invincibles as they smashed through all forms of cricket and not losing a single game. With 27 wins and 7 draws on their sheet the Invincibles was one of the strongest teams in cricketing history.
From the year 1989 to 2003, Australia dominated global the cricket arena with great captains such as Alan Border and Steve Waugh with Ricky Ponting having another few years of destructive cricket post 2005. The year 2004 was a bad year for Australian cricket where bets would have yielded quite a turnover. Each iteration of the teams over the years had skilled and strong players that balanced the team out with a strong opening due, steady top order, risky middle order of all rounders and a plethora of seasoned bowlers. Crickets to note were Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath, Matthew Hayden and the best leg spinner of all time, Shane Warne.
Between this period from 1989 to 2005 the performance of the Australian team tipped the scorecard of the ashes between the two. Before this time period the scores between the two nations the wins were almost even. England having an early lead and then Australia catching up in the early 30’s with Bradman’s Invincibles dominating till the 50’s. After 2005 the Australian win score had gone up by 28 whilst England had only won 7 times with 8 draws between the two teams. England did however catch up during the year 2004 with many victories at home and away including coming second in the ICC World Cup. Still on the high of winning many bet that England would be able to take back the ashes in the year 2005 despite Australia having a formidable team. And those who bet did main their money on what is remarked as the most excited test series between the two with matches won by such a small margin of two runs it is the smallest victory margin ever recorded in Ashes history.
The last Ashes to be played was in 2015 with England regained the ashes from Australia. Despite winning the previous Ashes as a white wash the Aussie team, whom many had placed their bets on were unable to match up to the new and young English team. More attuned to playing shorter formats of cricket such as One Day Internationals or Twenty20s. The Aussies were unable to hold their ground against the English. Stuart Board single handled took 5 of the wickets that led to Australia being bowled out for 60 runs.
The Ashes Odds
There is quite a bit of speculation as to whom will lead the team in The Ashes 2017 tournament. Many players will be playing their last leg this year and a lot of newer, young and raw talent will be making their way up the scoreboard. For Australia, seasoned cricketer Michael Clarke and batting opener Chris Rogers will be retiring taking off two great batsmen. Shane Watson who will be thirty six by the time of the Ashes may not be at his very best and forty year old Brad Haddin will not return to regain the ashes. The bowling side of Australia will be relatively safe with Mitchell Johnson terrorizing the English like he always has despite being thirty six when the Ashes come along. England on the other hand will see Alastair Cook stepping down as Captain and handing over the reins to someone newer, rumour has it may be Joe Root. Adil Rashid is seen as a replacement for Moeen Ali as England requires a stronger spin side to take on the Aussies. Stuart Broad will return to smash through the Aussie batsmen whilst it might be the last ashes for David Willey. There are however a few players to keep an eye out for which could be very fruitful for you during your betting tenure if they do make the team next year.
Top Picks for Most Runs – the Ashes odds:
- David Warner
- Steve Smith
- Joe Root
- Alastair Cook
- Usman Khawaja
Top Picks for Most Wickets – the Ashes odds:
- Mitchell Starc
- Josh Hazlewood
- Stuart Broad
- Steven Finn
- Peter Siddle
The English Team
The English Test team has been their most consistent side, with their ODI and T20 teams not generating the same success as their test team. The English team is currently ranked at number 4 on the ICC World Test Rankings with a rating of 108.
Current holders of the Ashes Trophy the English team will be underdogs going into the series in Australia. The English have however in recent years had some success down under and should not be counted out from bringing home the Ashes.
The English team in the very recent past lost a series to the Pakistanis, which has pushed them back a few steps in the build up to the Ashes in 2017-18. Look for the team to do better in the upcoming months a build a full head of steam into Australia next year.
Key England Performers
Test Batting Record
The Captain of the English Test team, Alastair Cook is one of the most productive batsmen of the modern era. With a healthy average of 47.31 and more than 10,000 runs under his belt Cook is considered one of England’s premier test batsmen of all time.
Cook’s recent form has been good with multiple big scores in both county and international test cricket. Even in a losing effort against the Pakistanis, Cook was one of the few bright spots for the English Team. Cook opens the innings for the English team and negotiates the swinging new ball. His technique is the key to his batting—his ability to keep his head still and play straight has found him amongst the game’s elite in terms of statistics. His calm demeanor is another reason he fares so well as a Test batsman, where long innings are the essence.
Although perhaps not the most exciting batsman to watch, Cook is definitely one of the most effective Test batsman in world cricket at the moment. The record and results as a Captain speak for themselves.
Look for Cook to enjoy the pace on the ball provided by Australian pitches and to play some innings where he bends the Australian line up to his will with clean technical batting. Cook is one of the top contenders for most runs in the Ashes 2017/2018.
Test Batting Record
At the ripe old age of 25 Joe Root has somehow become England’s best batsmen. Root’s immense talent has been on display for a few years now, and there is no doubt amongst experts that he is destined to be one of the greats in English Cricket. With a stellar average of 54.86 so early in his career and already 10 hundreds to his name Root is poised to lead his team in runs and perhaps even to a victory in the Ashes.
Root was the top scorer in the Ashes 2015 with 460 runs in the series. At only 23 years of age it’s some accomplishment to be the top scorer on an English team that won the Ashes.
Root has every shot in the book and has the ability to play the long innings without any lapses in concentration. His mature yet confident style of play makes him a nightmare for bowlers to contend with and allows him to score both quickly and effectively.
Root is the top pick for leading run scorer on the English team. As a player who has the ability to contend with any conditions, the pace and bounce provided by Australian conditions shouldn’t affect his ability to put up huge numbers.
Test Batting Record
Alex Hales is still relatively new to the longest version of the game, however he has been one of England’s most productive batsmen for a while now in the shorter formats. Hales is known for his boundary hitting ability but his ability to play the long innings has been overlooked. He is yet to perform up to his true potential in Test cricket but the next year will be a great growing period for Hales, leading into the Ashes at the end of the year.
Hales is only 27 years old and has only played 11 matches—with some more time in the middle Hales has the potential to be a huge threat the top of the innings for the English. His technique is solid against the seaming ball, all that is required for him to hit the next level is continued concentration and a bit of luck here and there.
Expect Hales to be primed and ready come the end of 2017, the Ashes will definitely be a place where Hales will be looking to make a name for himself.
Test Bowling Record
Stuart Broad has been the backbone of the English Test bowling line up for almost a decade now. He has especially enjoyed bowling in home conditions with the ball seaming and bouncing that little extra. His height is one of biggest advantages, the six foot five right arm fast bowler is capable of getting every inch of bounce out of a cricket pitch.
Broad has a fantastic Ashes series in 2015, leading the tournament in wickets and taking a dazzling 8-15 in the fourth test, which is thought of as one of the greatest bowling performances in an Ashes. Broad went on to take 21 wickets in the series, which was nine more wickets than anyone else could muster on the English team.
Expect Broad to do well on the bouncy pace friendly Australian Wickets in the Ashes 2017/18. Broad would be the most likely candidate to acquire the most wickets for the England team and a top pick for the most wickets of both sides.
Test Bowling Record
Standing at a towering 6’7’ Steven Finn is one of England’s biggest hopes in their fast bowling line up. Much like Broad, Finn is able to produce some trampoline like bounce on pitches keeping batsmen at bay on a good length. Finn was the second highest wicket taker for the English in the 2015 Ashes series with 12 wickets, behind his opening bowling partner Stuart Broad.
The Australian pitches will suit Finn’s style of bowling. His ability to seam the ball both ways and to generate bounce from a length will be difficult for the Australian batsmen to contend with. His delivery speed has tapered off as of late due to injuries but he is still able to get the ball rattling past the batsmen at around 140 km/ph when need be. Finn has only played in 35 matches but has showed great promise when given the opportunity.
Expect Finn to be among the top wicket takers in the Ashes and if things go his way perhaps even pull out the most wickets in the series.
Test Bowling Record
Test Batting Record
Moeen Ali has been nothing short of a god sent for the English team. His ability to make runs under pressure from his lower order position has been astonishing in the past two years. The 2015 Ashes was especially fruitful for Ali, he was able to not only be the third highest run getter on the English team with 293 runs, but also Ali was able to pick up 12 wickets making him the second highest wicket taker in the English team as well.
Ali plays attacking cricket shots with his batting at the back end of the innings. He takes par scores and makes them into match winning scores—his ability to bat with tailenders is also a key part of his game.
Ali also bowls gently left arm spinners that have claimed some extremely valuable scalps for England. His all round capabilities make him the glue that holds the side’s selection together and ensures that England have a second spin option on spin friendly tracks.
Look for Ali to once again have a great Ashes in 2017-18 and claim the top all rounder spot for the series.
The Australian Test Team
The Australian Test team much like their teams in all other cricket formats have been among the best in the world for decades now. The Australian Team is currently ranked the number 3 team in the world, they were dislodged from the number one ranking very recently due to a poor showing in Sri Lanka where they were whitewashed 3-0.
Led by Captain Steve Smith, look for Australia to bounce back in a big way in the coming Test series. They will be big favorites to regain the Ashes, with home conditions and an extremely strong team in their favor.
Australian Key Players
Test Batting Record
Steve Smith, the Australian Test Captain, has been nothing short than magnificent in his batting over the past two years. He is currently the number 1 ranked test batsman according to the ICC Rankings. His unorthodox way of batting has flummoxed many a bowler and made him into the dominant batsmen he is today.
Smith has a loose technique when compared with other top batsmen in the world, but he makes it work for him. His amazing eye hand coordination is the key to his success, with the ability to feel for the ball, even off balance. Smith boasts an average of a whopping 58.55 runs per an innings and has 15 centuries in only 44 matches, which comes to a century in less than every 3 matches.
Smith will be a favourite to make the most runs in the Ashes 2017/18. The fact that they matches will be on his home turf in Australia only makes the chances even greater that he will have a top series. Look for Smith’s name at the top of many batting statistics at the end of the series.
Test Batting Record
David Warner has been playing his own brand of Test cricket his whole career. His attacking style of batting tends to find bowlers on their heels as he takes advantage of the fielders being close in. His average of 48.63 is phenomenal considering his style of play and the fact that he has 16 centuries to his name shows that he has the capability to play long fruitful innings for his team.
Warner is especially effective on fast bouncy Australian pitches. He loves the ball coming onto the bat and enjoys the ball over his waist, as his best two shots are the cut and pull strokes. This Ashes should be an exceptional one for Warner as he is in fantastic knick at the moment and seems to be brimming with confidence.
Look for Warner to make heavy runs at the top of the batting line up for Australia. It is likely that if he has a good tournament that Australia will breeze by England in the Ashes 2017-18.
Test Bowling Record
Starc is arguably the premier fast bowler in the world at the moment. The only thing holding him back from absolutely dominating the international scene are injuries. If he is able to stay healthy there is simply no other bowler that can do what he does.
The tall left arm fast bowler has the ability to bring the ball into the right handers and take it away from the lefties. His ability to swing the ball at great pace is high biggest strength—150 km/ph seems to catch most batsmen off guard. Starc is also extremely accurate and seems to have the ball on a string on a good day, ensuring he hits the right areas to keep the batsmen guessing.
The Australian pitches will help Starc, with the top speeds he produces and the steep bounce he gets from being so tall. Starc was able to take 18 wickets in the 2015 Ashes which topped the Australian Team. Expect him to do even better this year and be the favorite to take the most wickets in the Ashes 2017-18.
Test Bowling Record
Josh Hazlewood is Mitchell Starc’s partner with the new ball. In his relatively short career of 20 matches he’s been able to impress the Australian selectors with his ability to swing the ball prodigiously away from the right handers, getting many of them caught behind in the slips.
Hazlewood is also known for his consistent line and length, keeping his accuracy high and wearing out batsmen. His ability to keep it in the off stump channel leaves batsmen flummoxed for scoring options. With the right conditions Hazlewood can be lethal with the new ball, the excessive swing he can produce make it almost impossible to play him, when he’s on song.
Look for Hazlewood to have a good series against the English next year—he was able to pick up 16 wickets in the 2015 Ashes tour of England, expect him to do just as well if not top that performance.
Test Bowling Record
Test Batting Record
Mitchell Marsh is an x-factor for the Australian test team. He has tremendous ability and potential with both bat and ball, enough to win a match with either. While only 18 matches into his career it is expected that Marsh will take the place of all rounder and Australian Legend Shane Watson who recently retired from cricket.
While Marsh’s career Test statistics may not seem very impressive he has provided Australia with a few match winning performances that have got many experts riled up about his potential. His bowling has been improving a great deal over the past few years and his technique in batting is starting to match his ability to hit the ball to the boundary.
Expect Marsh to be primed and ready to go by the Ashes 2017-18 and perhaps even be the most successful all rounder in the series.
Test Bowling Record
To anyone who looks at Nathan Lyon’s bowling record and sees it as ordinary, you must take into consideration that Lyon plays on Australian pitches which mainly favor the faster bowlers.
As a wily off spinner, Lyon has many variations and great control of his line and length. Strangely enough, it may be a spinner that marks the difference between the Australian and English teams in the 2017-18 Ashes.
If Lyon can pick up some key wickets in the middle of the innings as the ball gets older and harder to swing for the fast bowlers the Aussie will have a significant upper hand. However, if the opposite occurs and Lyon is unable to pick up wickets in the middle overs, the English team may be able to capitalize and put together some partnerships until the new ball is taken.
Look for Lyon to have a quiet but impactful series. If we get any dry wickets in Australia next year, he may even be able to be a match winner.