Well the England tour officially kicks of with the Twenty20 match today, England v Australia so its high time we have this thread.
My first play is Australia to win the Ashes - $1.45 (20 units)
I just can not see how England can beat the Aussie juggernaut, Australia are simply better in every department with the exception of a quality all rounder. Granted England have had a great past 2 years, they have not faced anyone in the same class of Australia.
This is the best team Australia have sent to England since the invincibles in 1948, big call but thats my opionion. Batting is all class, look for a kid by the name of Michael Clarke to have a big series batting at no5. England would not have seen much of him but this guy can play, he has all the shots in the book, has the quickest footwork I have seen of any batsman for a while and has had experience playing in England conditions after playing county cricket last year. The other batsman dont really need any explanation, Hayden, Langer, Ponting, Martyn, Gilchrist all world class batsman. When you got Gilly coming in at no 7, got to be discouraginf gor the poms, he tore them apart last ashes in england in 2001, more of the same to come.
Bowling department, Australia have the best opening bowling partnership in McGrath and Gillespie. All this talk about McGrath being too old is rubbish, his past year proves that. Gillespie is an underrated bowler, he not only has the pace but is extremely accurate, a potent combination. First change will be Kasprowicz who has had his best 2 years in test cricket past 2 years. Further he has had many years playing county cricket which is an added advantage and his style is well suited in the English conditions. Finally there is Shane Warne. He has lost a lot of his zip these days, but still can be an effective bowler as he now relies on subtle variations as opposed to those ripping leg breaks. He will still pose a threat, albeit in a reduced role this series.
I have also played the series result, being Australia to win 3-1, pays $6.50 (3 units). England always pinch a test match, most likely after the series is decided and I have also accounted for Englands bad weather to wash out a test match as well.
Bring on the misery for the Poms