Who will be the batters and bowlers to shine in the 2019 Ashes Series?
<div><p>One thing that most analysts will agree on about the five-Test Ashes series, which starts at Edgbaston on Thursday, is that the two teams are well-matched. England can’t bat but have a fearsome bowling attack. Australia likewise.</p><p>As discussed in our series preview, the team that triumphs will be the one which best negotiates tricky seaming and swinging conditions. Consistently that has been England but the home team’s batting line-up faces its toughest examination for years on home soil in this encounter. If Ireland can bowl out England for 85, what could Australia do?</p><p>The great thing for punters is that we know England’s batting is so flaky that we can, with one stroke of a red pen, put a line through their top three for top England series runscorer. Rory Burns, Jason Roy and Joe Denly may not even last the series such is their poor impressions of Test-calibre players.</p><p>Too often, England are expected to be three down with little on the board. So a rescue mission will be launched by who? Well, Joe Root is the 3.25 (9/4 Bet365) jolly but he has to be taken on because of the enormous pressure Ashes captains are under. Instead Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes fit the bill and both men have averages over the past year which make Root far too short. Buttler is 13.0 (12/1) and Stokes 9.0 (8/1) with William Hill.</p><p>For Australia, Steve Smith is expected to reprise his role as No 1 batsman in the world before he got banned for ball tampering. He is averaging 40-plus against England and, one suspects, has only David Warner to beat here. Smith is the 3.0 (<a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Top Rated Bookmaker">2/1 Bet365</a>).</p><p>The top bowler markets are similarly easy to call. James Anderson, so potent with the new ball and reliable against the tail, is a fair favourite at 3.5 (5/2 William Hill) while the value has gone on Australia’s Pat Cummins who has been backed into 3.4 (<a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Get in the game with William Hill">12/5 William Hill</a>) favourite to usurp Mitchell Starc. The secret is out about Cummins, whose strike rates are superior.</p><p>With runs expected to be in short supply, one standout wager is backing The Oval, venue for the fifth and final Test, for most runs. In a packed schedule, the bowlers are likely to be spent by the time the finale comes around and on a flat wicket it could be a run fest. The Oval averages 34.6 runs per wicket in the last ten years, which is the highest in England. Next best is Edgbaston with 31.8.</p><p><strong>Best Bet:</strong></p><ul> <li>The Oval highest scoring ground 3.75 <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=1ba923f3-5341-4bda-b457-0138ac61ae7a&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Top Rated Bookmaker">at Betfred</a></li></ul><div> </div><div style="text-align:center"><a href="http://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=162&a=ec641d03-1e6d-4096-9f5f-d2a6939022d0&f=3" target="_blank"><img alt src="https://cmscdn.staticcache.org/assets/image/0005/1349915/Biggest-Ever-Bet-Boost-1280x480-English-UK.jpg" style="width:100%" /></a></div></div>