Cricket Betting Tips and Match Prediction - England v Australia 4th Ashes Test
It is finally time to get over the Ben Stokes fever as the caravan moves to Manchester for the 4th Ashes Test.
The unbeaten century from Ben Stokes at Headingley and England's victory by one wicket to keep the Ashes alive must have given every reason to the English fans to be optimistic. However, it is also possible to miss some facts in that hopefulness.
The facts are that Australia have been the better team for the most part in this series and were even ahead in the game for a considerable time in the third test. The knock from Stokes may paper over a lot of frailties but England still have a lot of work to do.
What will not help is the exclusion of James Anderson from the remaining series after his calf injury resurfaced during a game for Lancashire’s second XI. This means that the team will go in with Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes and Jack Leach as their five bowling options.
Somerset pacer Craig Overton, who has picked up 32 wickets from eight County Championship games this season, has been added to England's 13-member squad for the 4th Test. He is handy with the bat as well and has a first-class average of over 22.
It is surprising that despite mediocre batting in this series till now, England have not added an extra batsman to their ranks and hence are expected to be unchanged.
For Australia, a couple of changes are expected. It seems as if it is finally time for the introduction of Mitchell Starc in the Ashes after his seven-wicket match haul against Derbyshire. He is likely to replace James Pattinson.
With Steve Smith fit and back, Usman Khawaja is expected to be dropped. Marnus Labuschagne can then bat at three and Smith at four. Another thing that Australia can do is to drop Marcus Harris and push Usman Khawaja to open the batting, but that will be unfair on the youngster who has got just one chance and performed well in the warm-up match against Derbyshire.
The inclusion of Smith and Starc will make Australia more rounded and give them every chance of retaining the Ashes urn at the Old Trafford.
Let's have a look at the probable playing XI of both teams:
England- Joe Root (c), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes
Australia- David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Tim Paine (c), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
Cricket Betting Tips and Match Predictions* - PrePlay
Who will win the toss? - Australia
Who will win? – Australia
Top Batsman (Runs Scored) – Steve Smith (Australia), Joe Root (England)
Top Bowler (Wickets taken) – Nathan Lyon (Australia), Jofra Archer (England)
Most Sixes – David Warner (Australia), Ben Stokes (England)
Man of the Match – Steve Smith
Team Scores Batting first – Australia 300+, England 285+
Match Handicap Australia
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*NB these predictions may be changed nearer the start of the match once the final starting teams have been announced and we will be running ‘In–Play’ features, so stay tuned.
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