Andrew Strauss’ decision to not include Kevin Pietersen as a part of his plans for the upcoming series against Australia puts England as a distant second favourite in the Ashes odds on offer.
The latest decision against Pietersen came on Tuesday when the newly-appointed director of English cricket and former England opening batsman Strauss announced the star batsman wouldn’t be selected in the near term. The reason afforded to the media was there are trust issues between Pietersen and the England cricket board.
Interestingly, Pietersen was also offered a job by Strauss – to become England’s limited-overs consultant – but it was rejected by the batsman. Why interesting? Because when a player is deemed as having trust issues with the board, it’s difficult to see on what grounds will those issues go away when he turns up as a consultant.
Getting back to to the Ashes odds, the absence of Pietersen will have its desired effect on England. Their batting was shoddy in West Indies, one of the reasons why they only scraped through to a 1-1 draw in that series and against a strong Australian bowling line-up, it’s difficult to see how will they do any better.
The last time the Ashes were played in England, in 2013, they had Graeme Swann to take advantage of the slow pitches they had prepared to negate the threat of the Aussie speedsters. In the absence of any quality spinner, Australia had struggled and gone down 3-0.
Neither do England have any pedigree in their spin bowling department, but Australia’s offie, Nathan Lyon has come of age too. In Australia’s recent Test series against India, it was Lyon’s excellent spell through the Adelaide Test that won them the game.
As a result, England are a whopping 10/3 to win the Ashes with Betway.
We also think, in the absence of Pietersen, England won’t be winning any Test in the series, which can be used as a clue to prediction the exact scoreline below (Ashes odds courtesy of Betway):
Australia 4-0: 5/1
Australia 5-0: 5/1
Australia 3-0: 11/2
Australia 3-1: 7/1
Australia 2-1: 9/1
Australia 4-1: 9/1