Punters are backing a whitewash Down Under as the Ben Stokes story rumbles on.
England’s build up to this winter’s Ashes series looks as though it will be dogged by turmoil. Ben Stokes is at the centre of it, having been caught up in a few unsavoury incidents of late. The ECB have stated that Stokes will not travel to Australia “at this stage”, meaning England are missing a huge influence on and off the pitch.
Confidence and mood around the English cricket team is low, and that’s reflected in the betting patterns. This week, 65% of bets on the series correct score market have been on a repeat of the 2013-14 5-0 whitewash in Australia’s favour. The best price on this is currently 9/1.
Stokes’ potential replacement, Steven Finn, isn’t too inspiring either. Finn was sent home from the 2013-14 Ashes tour without a single appearance, so won’t have fond memories down under. If you fancy Finn to make a mends this time, you can get 12/1 on him to be England’s top bowler.
Or, should the ECB fly Stokes out to Australia, you can back him to make a statement and be England’s top batsman at a best price of 12/1.
Punters seem certain of Australia regaining the Ashes though, with 80% of series winner bets placed on Steve Smith & co. - this despite the short price of 4/7. England can be backed at a best price of 3/1 to win the series for the fifth time in seven. Joe Root’s side were as short as 11/8 back in the summer…
Oddschecker spokesman, George Elek: "There is little positivity around English cricket at the moment, despite a successful summer on the pitch. The uncertainty around Ben Stokes, and the lack of viable alternatives for the all-rounder, has seen many ditch their patriotism in favour of the odds-on Aussies."