England and Australia are set to recommence their battle for the Ashes in Leeds on Thursday, with the momentum shifting towards the home side.
Jofra Archer’s introduction to the side has lifted spirits and they can level the series in the third Test.
England to win @ 4/5
Joe Root’s side were slight favourites to win the Ashes before the series started but the Aussies’ crushing win at Edgbaston changed all that.
However, there has been a seismic shift in the balance after Archer ruffled more than just a few feathers at Lord’s with his hostile bowling.
With the fast bowler reaching speeds of 96mph on occasions, the Baggy Greens will now all be wary of the Sussex man and it is not known if Steve Smith will even play after he was felled by an Archer thunderbolt in north London.
While that was the unsavoury side of proceedings, there is no question that the men from Down Under will not relish facing the 24-year-old, who is 2/1 to be top England bowler in the first innings.
England need to win at Headingley, as they must take two of the remaining matches to regain the famous urn and will need to bat much better than at headquarters.
Joe Root top England batsman 1st innings @ 5/2
Root missed out in both innings last time out but did little wrong, receiving a couple of decent deliveries and will want to get back on track at his home ground.
Despite Ben Stokes’ superb second-innings century that gave the Three Lions hope of victory, the skipper is still England’s best batsman and the wicket the Aussies prize above all others.
He knows how to bat at Leeds and, with so much at stake, it would be no surprise to see him pull a big one out of the bag.
Tim Paine’s men will still be a tough nut to crack, however, and have a superb attack of their own to do damage.
Pat Cummins top Australian bowler 1st innings @ 2/1
Cummins is the number one-ranked bowler in world cricket and it is easy to see why.
Blessed with searing pace, he can move the ball off the seam and should get assistance from the Headingley surface. This series was billed as a battle of the seam attacks and whoever wins the duel between Archer and Cummins may lead their team to glory.
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