Australia vs England, Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney – Friday 3rd January 2013
England face a whitewash in this year’s Ashes campaign as they go into the final test in Sydney 4-0 down to the Aussies.
The last Ashes whitewash was back in 2006-07, when Australia totally dominated the series of which current captain Michael Clarke was a part of.
That was the first whitewash in over 80 years and the hosts are strong favourites to repeat the feat for the second time in just seven years.
Kevin Pietersen has received much criticism throughout the series; however he was again England’s most efficient batsman during the fourth test, scoring 71 and 49 runs respectively. The 33-year-old is 7/2 joint favourite with Captain Alastair Cook to be England’s best batsman again.
Chris Rogers produced what was by far the best batting performance in Melbourne, scoring 61 in the first innings, followed by a stunning 116 in the following innings to help the Aussies cruise to victory once again. The opener is 11/2 with Stan James to repeat that performance and top score for Australia. For him to be the best overall batsman in the fifth test, punters can get on at 8/1.
Mitchell Johnson is more or less guaranteed to be Player of the Series after numerous blistering displays which have seen him and his bowling demolish the England batsman throughout the series. He is 2/1 to again be Australia’s top bowler with Paddy Power after taking another eight wickets in the fourth test.
England spinner Monty Panesar is a doubt for the final test because of a calf injury, whilst batsman Gary Ballance, leg-spinner Scott Borthwick and fast bowler Boyd Rankin are all set to make their England debuts in Sydney. It is likely that Michael Carberry and Tim Bresnan could join Monty Panesar in leaving the squad.
Ballance averages 53.33 with the bat and could be a useful replacement for the inconsistent Carberry. The three additions have the chance to prevent an embarrassing whitewash and prove themselves for the future.
Mitchell Johnson is 6/1 favourite to be man of the match, whilst Kevin Pietersen and Michael Clarke represent good value at 14/1 and 9/1 respectively.
The draw in the final test is 43/10, however I can see this one going to Australia once more, who are in a fantastic position both mentally and physically to complete the demolition.
BET OF THE DAY: Mitchell Johnson to be Australia’s top bowler at 2/1 with Paddy Power
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