Third Ashes Test Betting Preview : England hold momentum at Headingley
- Headingley, Leeds
- Thu 22 - Mon 26 August
- Live on Sky Sports
Australia hold a 1-0 lead going into the third Test of the Ashes, but the way the second contest ended, it is the home side that holds the momentum as they head to Headingley.
It was a crushing defeat at Edgbaston for England, but they responded well, adding two players to their side who made a real impact at Lord’s. Jofra Archer and Jack Leach significantly improved the English side and very nearly snatched an unlikely win in London.
Despite losing the entire first day to rain, the Test progressed at a rapid pace, and Ben Stokes’ superb second innings century gave England a chance of victory on Sunday evening. They left themselves 48 overs to bowl out the Aussies, and came close, taking six wickets, but the tourists held on for a draw.
Leach and Archer were the stars of the bid for victory, taking three wickets each and being handed the responsibility ahead of more experienced campaigners Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes. With the pair in the side, the England attack looks far more dangerous than with the out-of-form Moeen Ali and the crocked Jimmy Anderson.
The Weather should not be a problem
The weather in West Yorkshire is not always particularly reliable but we should not lose much, if any, play from this Test in Leeds. The only concern for fans is that anyone planning to make the trip on the fourth or fifth days might not see any action with the game ending early.
It looks likely classic Headingley conditions, good for the bowlers, overcast with sunny spells. The ball will be swinging, there is often help for the spinners and it will take serious skill and concentration to build a big innings.
They might not have won the game in London, but they had Australia seriously rattled and not too many of the tourists’ batsmen or bowlers will be feeling too good about themselves after Sunday. With such a quick turnaround for the third Test, this momentum for the English will play a big part.
Smith Ruled Out
Steve Smith is the only Aussie batsman in truly good form but the news came through on Tuesday that he will miss this Third Test. That's great news for England but not so helpful for the tourists. David Warner is seriously struggling and is yet to reach double figures this series. The only Aussie to make 50, other than Smith, at Lord’s was Marnus Labuschagne who came in for Smith as a concussion substitute. With Smith ruled out, he is likely to play at Leeds.
England Have to Overcome Batting Problems
England’s batsmen are also struggling for rhythm, but Stokes burst back into form on Sunday, Joe Root is playing on his home ground and should improve, as is Johnny Bairstow, while Jos Buttler was Man of the Match last time he played a Test at Headingley thanks to some superb striking against Pakistan last summer. Rory Burns is looking pretty solid at the top of the order, leaving just Jason Roy and Joe Denly as the real concerns. Roy desperately needs a decent innings in Leeds and if he fails again, that could be the last we see of him this series.
England aren’t entirely consistent at Headingley, but they have enjoyed some huge wins there in recent years. They beat Pakistan by an innings and 55 runs last year and Sri Lanka by an innings and 88 runs in 2016. Stuart Broad is always a real threat in Leeds, Archer looks deadly and everything just seems to be moving in England’s direction.
Joe Root has not been at his best this series, but he is never far away from a big score and he is playing on his home ground in Yorkshire. England cannot afford to lose this Test and the captain will be desperate to put on a good performance with the bat.
Ben Stokes was the only batsman to score a century in the Second Test. With the bowlers having a good advantage on this ground, this could be a low scoring but exciting match.
- There has been just one draw in the last 19 Tests at Headingley
- England have won two of the last three Tests at Headingley by an innings
- Australia's last Test at Headingley was a defeat to Pakistan in 2010
- Stuart Broad is England's leading wicket-taker this series with 10
- Pat Cummins is the leading wicket-taker in the series with 13
- Jack Leach has the best bowling average in the series after the second Test with 14
- Steve Smith is the series' leading run-scorer with 378
- Smith's nearest rival with the bat is Rory Burns who has made 226
- Ben Stokes became the fourth player to make a century this series, after Smith, Burns and Matthew Wade
- David Warner averages 4.50 after four innings
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