England have named XI for the Test
- Litmus test for Bazball against Aussie attack
- Australia’s lineup could be same as WTC final
Australia will likely play the same XI rather than risk Josh Hazlewood for the first Ashes Test in Birmingham. The visitors, fresh off reigning supreme over India in the WTC 2023 final, will be hopeful of starting on a winning note. Australia have odds of 2.24 to beat England in the first Test.
England, meanwhile, thumped Ireland at home recently and will sport a significantly better XI with the return of a few players after injury. However, their new aggressive approach to Test cricket, called the Bazball, could be in for a real test given the quality of Australia’s attack. England have odds of 2.43 to win the first Test against Australia.
Head-to-head record, ENG v AUS
The head-to-head record since the beginning of cricket is irrelevant here. In the last decade, England have won 8 and Australia 17 in head-to-head Test matches. England won the series at home in 2013 and 2015, but it was a draw in 2019.
The toss can have a massive impact, especially if it’s overcast early on. If the conditions remain similar to that for the WTC final, the team winning the toss will want to bat first.
Even with the familiarity with conditions and the renewed batting approach, England’s probability of a win remains under 40% with Australia favourites to start the series with a win.
The average first innings score at Edgbaston in recent Tests is around the 280-300 run mark. The team batting first, though, will want to make close to 400 to feel on top of the game.
Pitch and conditions
The conditions are expected to be pace friendly early on with the strip getting better for batting on days 2 and 3. There’s unlikely to be much aid for spin in this ground. There’s rain forecast for 3 of the five days with Monday (day 4) being the worst.
Players to keep an eye on…
England playing XI:
Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (c), Jonathan Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson
Australia Predicted playing XI:
David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland
Steve Smith: Steve Smith loves batting in England and is coming off the back of a stunning hundred in the WTC final against India.
Stuart Broad: With forecast for rain around, England’s most menacing bowler could be Stuart Broad. The lanky pacer could run amok over Australia if he gets to bowl first on this wicket.
Ashes 2023, 1st Test prediction
Based on all of the above factors, we predict that Australia will win the match.
Our pick: Back Australia at 2.24 to win this one!
ENG v AUS Betting tips
Apart from betting on Australia to win the match, check our other recommended bet about Australia’s best batter.
Smith could be a tough nut to crack with his confidence on a high and his numbers in the country exceptionally good. Back Smith at 4.30 to be Australia’s top batter!