iBet: Stage could bet set for Starc to do damage

Gareth Purnell

The Ashes Summer

Back Mitchell Starc to be top Australian wicket taker at 4/1 with Betfair Sportsbook

Back Australia to win the Trent Bridge test if they win the toss

England have the better players but I am not interested in backing them to win the series at long odds on. It should be remembered that although Australia were thrashed 4-0 in India recently their problems were mainly against world class Indian spin on turning pitches and they are not going to face that combination this summer.

England are good, but they are not consistent enough to be taking odds of 4/11 about. They pulled off a shock victory in India when 5/1 to do so, and then failed to win in New Zealand at one to four on. Although I’m by no means bullish about Australia winning the series at 9/2, I do like the late appointment of tough competitor Darren Lehmann as coach.

And if they win the toss this morning at Trent Bridge (where England’s record is dodgy and the toss is vital) they have an even money chance of winning that Test in my opinion. I’ve looked through all the long term markets and am tempted by odds of 4/1 about Aussie bowler Mitchell Starc being their top wicket taker.

Starc’s Test record is nothing special but he has experience in this country through his stint with Yorkshire, is back to full fitness now, and I think he could make a real impact. His swing and pace could very much suit the pitches being lined up and he certainly caught the eye in Australia’s warm up game against Somerset, where he and partner James Pattinson (11/4 in the same market) tore out the last eight wickets for just 16 runs with the second new ball. And it’s hard to forget that England hardly looked solid as a rock against left arm pace against New Zealand.


Andy Murray is 8/11 to be ranked the world’s number one men’s tennis player at some point in 2014 following his victory at Wimbledon.

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