The 71st edition of the Ashes series is underway in Australia and things are looking bleak for the Ashes (England) as they let the home side take a commanding lead in the first two series. Though facing a potential likelihood of surrendering the Ashes to Australia, the England team remains upbeat and confident that they will turn the fortunes in the remaining three series. Retaining great Ashes offers in the hope that the Ashes will turn the tie also mirrors the optimism shown by top bookmakers.
Australia takes the commanding lead
Few if any anticipated the theatrical crumbling demonstrated by the England team before their tour of Australia. The team travelled to Australia after losing their inspirational captain Ben Stokes, but the overall mood in the camp as reflected by coach, Andrew Strauss, painted a picture that all was well. However, in the first two series, the performance shown by the England team was very much underwhelming and a cause for concern among the cricket community in England and those who support the team beyond the UK borders.
The first match of the series played at the Gabba in Brisbane on November 23 saw Australia wallop England by 10 wickets. Further to this, the performance on the day by England team can easily be deemed as subpar as they seemed to lack any desire and commitment to win. In their next match played at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide on 2 December, England was in better shape with more composure and energy. They still however lost by a respectable margin of 120 runs considering how they lost the first series.
Allowing Australia take a commanding lead in the first two series put England in a tricky situation as one more win for the Aussies bags this year’s series. To make matters worse for the England team, the next match on December 14, will be at the W.A.C.A Ground where the England team won only once in the last 12 attempts. The W.A.C.A is not a favourite hunting ground for English teams as they lost eight times, drew three times and picked up a single victory way back in 1998.
Not only will England cede the Ashes to Australia, but this will also provide Australia with the title of the most wins since the start of the Ashes. Currently, England and Australia are tied at 35 wins a piece.
England remains upbeat
Speaking ahead of the third Ashes test, England captain, Joe Root said the mood in the camp is great. Everyone looks confident and the team wants to give it a go. Root called upon his team to stand up in the crucial test to take a win that will put them in a position to challenge for the Ashes in the remaining two matches. He said it is during times of adversity that players have to show why they play for the national team.
Root stated that the team wants to move away from the negative news that has dogged the England team in the past weeks. In the run-up to the Ashes series, the team lost captain Ben Stokes after he was involved in an altercation at a nightclub. Furthermore, Ben Duckett was involved in another nightclub confrontation with fellow cricketer James Anderson thus dropping out.
Bookmakers still have great odds for England
Despite all the negative connotations, bookmakers who provide great odds for the England team mirror the confidence in the camp. On average, England has a 33/20 chance of winning the tournament according to most bookies. In the upcoming third test, England has a 4/1 chance, Australia boasts 8/15 odds, while a draw sits at 5/1.