England beat Australia convincingly in three days in the third test and go to Trent Bridge this week 2-1 up with 2 to play….

Recommendation

Lay the Draw on Betfair at 3.65

On a good cricket pitch offering some lateral movement and pace Australia won the toss and batted at Edgbaston as England would have done but only Chris Rogers coped with the swing and seam of Anderson in the first innings and Finn in the second. England won a low scoring match in which they out-bowled and out-batted their opponents in favourable conditions under often cloudy skies.

The fourth Test begins at Trent Bridge from August 6 and Australia continue to remain favourites to win the game best priced 5/4. England start at 9/4 while the draw is available at 3/1. At first glance this looks odd. Australia favourites again so soon after Edgbaston?
Perhaps there are a few reasons for that:
- England’s leading wicket-taker James Anderson is injured and misses the fourth Test and possibly longer
- England are inconsistent, and here are two teams with major faults battling it out
- The Trent Bridge pitch traditionally allows for swing and seam (Anderson has a great record there) so the dangerous Australian bowling line up will be a threat again
- Neither batting line up is performing well, a few stand-out players aside, so a reverse in form is as likely as a continuation of the Edgbaston trend.

England may contemplate the advantages of a draw at 2-1 up with 2 to play and hope for a flat pitch. That is probably too optimistic though given that no game yet has gone the full five days and if they were to lose the toss and find themselves conceding a big first innings total they will be under scoreboard pressure again. On slow dry pitches (like Lord’s), Australia’s very quick bowlers  can swing it late through the air and are more of a threat than England’s attack which is more dependent on helpful conditions.

Instead even without Anderson England should look to another surface that offers the bowlers some encouragement and go for a series win here.  Wood will replace Anderson and none of the Australian batsmen played Finn well in Birmingham.

Australia will make some changes, probably Shaun Marsh for Adam Voges moving out of form skipper Michael Clarke down a spot in the batting order. They may also introduce the steady workhorse Peter Siddle, who is familiar with conditions at Trent Bridge after his time as a Nottinghamshire player. His reliability may offer the team some control alongside the strike bowlers

Predicting what will happen here is difficult. After all one thing this series has shown us above everything else is that each game is unpredictable. The one thing I am most sure of is that with the pitch setg to have some life, and both batting line ups struggling for form and particularly for the Australians technique against the moving ball that is is once again unlikely to be a draw. The weather forecast does not suggest any loss of playing time, which increases confidence in this view

Recommendation

Lay the Draw on Betfair at 3.65