The Ashes 2023 – 1st Test Tips and Betting Preview

Edgbaston opens its doors to the biggest rivalry in cricket on Friday when the first Test of The Ashes begins as England and Australia look to draw first blood in potentially the best sporting event of the UK summer.

There has been plenty of talking and verbal jousting in the lead up to this opening match which pits the form horse against the champions in this format of the game for what should be a pulsating few weeks of cricket.


When you consider where England were in terms of the low times the last time these two sides met to where they are now this is very much a different England team which will be going into battle here. England were in a place where the end of the regime was obviously about to come and while things got even worse in the Caribbean shortly after, since Ben Stokes took over the reins this team haven’t looked back and are playing in an entertaining fashion.

England head into this match having won 11 of their last 13 Test matches which includes a recent battle against Ireland. If there is a concern over them then it might be that they could be undercooked going into such a huge series with only really five batters getting any kind of hit out against Ireland and the Irish batters not really putting up much in the way of resistance to the England bowlers. It is hard to believe that they won’t be prepared for a series of this magnitude though.


There are certainly no concerns on the preparation front for Australia. They have just come out on top in a hard-fought World Test Championship final against India and such is the way of the sporting world less than a week later they begin the defence of that crown. Australia dominated that match from start to finish on a pitch which might not be too dissimilar to what they face up to when they get to Birmingham for this encounter.

If the Australia bowlers are allowed to settle into a line and length then they can take any team in the world apart so it will be interesting to see how they go against ‘Bazball’. There have been plenty of noises from the Australians that England won’t do it to their attack but nobody really seems to have appreciated that England basically play one day cricket against the red ball and they are world champions in both limited overs formats. It is kind of like the old Mike Tyson saying that everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. Australia need to make sure their plan is punch proof.

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Team News

England have already named their XI for this match and there will be three changes to the team which demolished Ireland earlier in the month. Moeen Ali, Ollie Robinson and Jimmy Anderson come in for Jack Leach, Matt Potts and Josh Tongue.

Australia haven’t confirmed their starting XI for this opening match of the series but they are said to know 10 of the 11 men who will go into battle. The final decision appears to be around whether Josh Hazlewood or Scott Boland gets the third seamer spot.


I’m going to cautiously make my way into this series but there are three bets that I like for it. The first of those is for there to be more than 1039.5 runs. That is an average of 260 runs per innings but this pitch looks absolutely flat and that is exactly what England want so they can look to dominate with the bat. We know that Ben Stokes will set aggressive fields and isn’t bothered about conceding runs in the search for wickets. Australia say they won’t get dragged into that sort of contest but they’re not going to have much of a choice. Two innings around the 400 mark knocks off enough of this total that the over would become something of a formality.

The other over I like is the performance of Nathan Lyon who I am convinced is the main man for Australia with the ball, especially this week when you consider the weather in the lead up to the game and the fact that the majority of the contest will be played under a blazing sun in strong heat. Lyon will be targeted so he will get some cheap wickets in this match. England aren’t the best players of spin anyway and in Ben Duckett, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali there are three top order lefties for Lyon to target. His target is 83.5 which should only need four wickets because you would back him to score four runs. In fact, given England have issues getting rid of the tail he might score enough that he doesn’t even need four wickets. Either way I like the over.

I’ll also have a slight dabble on Stuart Broad to be the player of the match. He will know he has to perform here if he wants to play the entire series and generally when the crowd gets going and there is a stage to perform on it is Broad who does exactly that. He will also know that his job is to set the tone for the series in terms of getting rid of Dave Warner but with other lefties in Usman Khawaja, Travis Head and Alex Carey, the Broad outswinger to the left-hander could come in handy. He is going to go after Australia I don’t think anyone will be surprised at that and on a batting friendly track if he can bag five or six wickets in an England win he might get the top dog honours.


Back Over 1039.5 runs for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365

Back S.Broad Player of the Match for a 1/10 stake at 15.00 with Bet365

Back N.Lyon’s Performance – Over 83.5pts for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Betfair

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