We’ve previewed the series outright for The Ashes but before the series begins there is a chance to look at the player markets, of which there are quite a few this year. We’ll cover the batsmen previews in this post and then the bowlers will follow.
In this preview we will look at the top series batsmen markets for both sides along with a peek at the batsman matches and batsman series runs markets.
Top Australia Series Batsman
There are two truly world class players in the Australia side going into this series – Steve Smith and Dave Warner. Behind them there a couple of capable players in Usman Khawaja and Peter Handscomb who look to have their spots secured and then there is Cameron Bancroft and Shaun Marsh who will open and bat six respectively who need good starts to the series to play out its entirety.
Often in these markets I like to look for the value but for me it actually comes in the form of the favourite here – Smith. Warner is a worthy danger but every passing hour his neck issue seems to becoming more and more of a thing which is a concern. Khawaja could go well but England bowl to left handers and the other three don’t convince me.
Smith has proven time and again that he performs well in this environment and if anything does happen to Warner in terms of him missing matches or not being fully fit I expect the Australian captain to take full advantage and lead their run scoring.
Top England Series Batsman
As with Australia, England have two batsmen who standout on paper. They are Alastair Cook and Joe Root and as you would expect they lead the betting. Backing them up we have Moeen Ali and Jonny Bairstow who are established in the side and then Mark Stoneman, James Vince and Dawid Malan who are less so.
I fully respect Cook and Root and in truth I would be surprised if the top scorer doesn’t come from one of them but they are so dominant in the betting that there is plenty of value here. Ali and Bairstow bat too low for my liking which is not ideal so I have this between the other three.
I fancy Stoneman will have a good series but I can’t ignore the 10/1 on James Vince. He has plenty to prove but I think he will be well suited to these conditions and if he can dig in and get through the new ball he should score nicely. He drives the ball well and picks up length quickly which is both important things in Australia. Were the big two to have a bad series Vince could surprise a few and take advantage.
Batsman Series Runs
Depending on where you shop there are lines up for almost every player in the series with their respective likely runs. In truth there are not many that catch my eye for the simple reason that really only four of the top six batsmen in either side are guaranteed to play the whole series, injuries aside.
I’m going to take a chance on one of those whose place is not set in stone but who should play all five matches if for no other reason than there is no replacement in his position. That player is Mark Stoneman.
Stoneman has a game that is well suited for Australian conditions and I think we’ve seen that in the warm up matches. His runs line is 290.5 which looks low. If he bats all 10 times in the series he needs to average just 29 in it. If he scores a century at any point then he would need to average just over 20 for the rest of the series. Stoneman knows where his off stump is and knows his own game well. I think he’ll cover that line especially if he gets through the new ball half a dozen times.
WON – Back S.Smith Top Australia Series Batsman for a 3/10 stake at 2.75 with Betfair
Back him here:
Back J.Vince Top England Series Batsman for a 1/10 stake at 11.00 with Bwin
Back him here:
Back M.Stoneman – Over 290.5 series runs for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with William Hill