England v Australia | Ashes 3rd Test Betting Preview
England v Australia Ashes Third Test Preview: Confidence Restored in Root's Men
England will return to the scene of their greatest ever triumph when the third Ashes Test takes place at Headingley this week.
In 1981, the hosts found themselves trailing by 227 runs at the halfway point in the match, and they were installed as 500/1 outsiders after being forced to follow on. The rest is history: Sir Ian Botham delivered a dazzling display of defiance with the bat and Bob Willis skittled Australia to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. England could require similar degrees of heroism from their leading lights if they are to prevail here this week.
Australia carry a 1-0 lead into the match after destroying England in the first Test and then holding on for a draw in a rain-affected second Test at Lord's. Australia will take inspiration from Don Bradman's record-breaking knock of 334 here in 1930. Headingley was also the scene of Fred Trueman's match-winning 11 for 88 and Geoffrey Boycott's 100th first-class century, so the players really will be following in the footsteps of cricketing giants this week, and it promises to be a great spectacle.
England and Australia Draw Second Test at Lord's After Rainy Final Day
The Great British summer wreaked havoc upon the second Test at Lord's last week. The rain wiped out five sessions of the match and it saved the Australians' bacon on the final day. England led by eight runs after the first innings, having finally managed to remove Smith for 92. Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes managed defiant scores for the hosts after the likes of Jason Roy and Joe Root floundered, teeing up an intriguing second innings.
Ben Stokes was the hero this time around, hitting an unbeaten 115 on a rain-affected final day. England were just 96-4 and they looked vulnerable when play commenced, but Stokes was unplayable and England declared when they reached 258-5. Had the rain not wiped out 10 overs at the beginning of the fifth day, England would probably be level at 1-1 in the series by now. Instead Marnus Labuschagne, in for the injured Smith, battled bravely to 59, and with the light fading a draw was declared, allowing Australia to keep their 1-0 lead intact.
Yet England will feel like they have the momentum now. Bringing in Jack Leach for Moeen Ali looked like a sensible decision, and they have named an unchanged team for the second Test. Jofra Archer came in for the injured James Anderson and the exciting young quick totally changed the complexion of the series. He caused Australia nightmares with his blistering pace, and he also left Smith with a nasty bout of concussion after a bouncer went crashing into the former Australia captain's neck. Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler recaptured some form and England's prospects no longer look quite so gloomy heading into the third Test.
How Have the Ashes Betting Markets Changed Ahead of the Third Test?
England went into the series as favourites to regain the Ashes, as our traders handed them a Series Win Index of 67-71 in the spread betting on The Ashes. Australia had not won a series on English soil since 2001, and they were priced as the 51-55 underdogs. However, that market shifted in the tourists¿ favour after they drubbed Root's men in the opening Test. Before the match at Lord's, England dropped to 47-51 in the Series Win Index, whereas the Aussies moved up to 71-75.
After England's strong performance in the second Test, they have been bumped up to 50-54 in the Series Win Index market. Australia have come down to 64-68 after they looked to be in trouble on the final day at Lord's.
It might seem like a minor shift, but the fixed odds betting shows just how much momentum England have gathered. After suffering a drubbing at Edgbaston in the opener, England were 5/4 underdogs to win the second Test. Australia were the 6/5 favourites after embarrassing Root's men in Birmingham. However, our traders now clearly feel that England are in the ascendancy. They are priced at 4/6 to win the match at Headingley this week, while the Aussies are now 13/8 underdogs in the Ashes odds on the third Test. The weather forecast looks promising, so a draw is out at 6/1.
England had a Win Index of 11-12.5 for the second Test, but they are priced at 14.75-16.25 to win the third Test in the spread betting. It is a delicately poised series, it promises to be a gripping match and you can find a whole host of Ashes betting options to boost the excitement you feel while watching the action unfold at Headingley.