In 2011, the tourists claimed a famous 3-1 series win Down Under, with England the overwhelming favourites to once again reign supreme and no bookmaker is prepared to go even money about the home team winning at Trent Bridge this week.
Sky Bet offer a best price 10/11 about an English First Test success, with Kevin Pietersen returning from a knee injury to take his place in the team, while Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow have also been included in the 13-man squad.
With Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann having both been passed fit, this is an England team that is going to pack a punch, with Alastair Cook leading his country in the Ashes for the first time, although he is among the many players who were part of that 3-1 success over two years ago.
As for the Aussies, it’s a long time since you could get odds bigger than 16/5 (bet365) about a Test Match victory for the Baggy Greens, while the draw is trading at a similar price and it does appear as though we will get a lot of play according to the latest weather forecast.
Trent Bridge has generally been a happy stomping ground for England in the past and Graeme Swann is looking forward to playing at a familiar venue. He believes that the wicket of captain Michael Clarke is crucial if his team are to open with a victory.
“He was their form batsman in England in 2009, although he didn’t have such a good series in Australia,” Swann told ESPNcricinfo. “The year he’s had has been phenomenal, so we’ll be hoping to cut the head off the serpent if you like, as a captain”.
The Aussies come into this Test with their fair share of problems, with Darren Lehmann having recently been installed as the new coach following the sacking of Mickey Arthur just 16 days before this Trent Bridge showdown.
This follows on from the news that four Australian cricketers were suspended in March for literally failing to do their homework, while there was a bust-up on 12 June which saw David Warner suspended for an apparent physical attack on Joe Root.
Perhaps the Australians will form a siege mentality after these infamous shenanigans, although the momentum appears to be with England and the likes of Cook, Pietersen and Jonathan Trott can score plenty of runs against an opposition bowling attack which could prove to be fruitless.
Clarke looks a solid bet at 3/1 (Paddy Power) to score the most runs for the tourists, with Shane Watson a 9/2 chance with William Hill, although perhaps Stuart Broad is the man to produce the good with the ball and he’s 11/4 to take the most Australian wickets at Trent Bridge.