England kept the Ashes alive by registering their first win of the series at the third attempt at Headingley but Australia remain just 1/6 to retain the urn and 2/5 to claim a first series win on enemy terrain since the Waugh brothers, Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne et al did so in 2001.
The Australia team of 1936/37 – featuring unparalleled batting average GOAT Donald Bradman – are the only team ever to win an Ashes series having gone 2-0 behind. Equalling that feat is expected to prove beyond Ben Stokes’ men, but they can still make history of sorts.
Find out how, along with our Ashes series betting outright picks below.
England vs Australia: The Ashes series betting tips
Bet on the latest Ashes cricket odds at Betzone
Series win unlikely but England can make history of a milder stripe
England are priced up at just 4/1 to emulate a feat only one Ashes side has ever achieved in winning the series after going 2-0 down. In fact, the hosts have never even come back from 2-0 to draw a series against the Aussies.
Evidently there’s as little value there as in backing Australia to get the one remaining win they need to secure the urn from the two remaining Test Matches. The draw, on the other hand, is the outsider of the three in the series winner betting market but looks eminently feasible.
The last time the Ashes were contested in England the series ended up a 2-2 draw following England’s fifth Test win at Lord’s in 2019.
On balance another sharing of the spoils would seem just given how little there has been between the teams across the first three Tests, two of which went into the afternoon of the fifth day.
Of course, a series draw will require at least one match to be drawn, which may not immediately seem likely given the gung-ho batting on display from both sides so far.
However, the great British always remains poised to intervene in place of pragmatism from either batting line-up. Early weather forecasts suggest rain all day for the second day of the Old Trafford Test. The draw would certainly become a live runner were that to transpire.
Head can carry the fight to overhaul Khawaja on Aussie top batters list
Usman Kawaja is just 1/3 to top the tourists’ run-scoring charts at the end of the series, but his position at the top of the heap could be under threat from the consistent Travis Head.
Of Khawaja’s series-leading 356 runs so far, 206 came across his brace of match-winning knocks in the first Test at Edgbaston. The other 150 came spread across his next four innings.
Head is 90 runs behind his compatriot with a maximum of four innings remaining, but he has already struck three 50+ tallies to the opener’s two and hit four sixes to his compatriot’s three, while he’s hit just two less boundaries (38 to Khawaja’s 40).
A couple of early dismissals for the man they call ‘Uzzy’ at Old Trafford and Head could surge right into contention.
First Test absentee can usurp his skipper for top tourist wicket taker
Pat Cummins is another long odds-on ‘tops’ favourite in the leading Aussie wicket taker market, but he has to be taken on with Mitchell Starc, who has been flying since returning to the fold for the second Test.
Starc had been left out at Edgbaston after an expensive time in the ICC World Test Championship Final against India but already finds himself third in the overall series wicket taking standings on 13 behind only Cummins (15) and Stuart Broad (16).
Both of those rivals have played all three Tests so far, so if Starc can continue at this rate he should comfortably exceed his captain’s wicket output by the end of the series.