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Curious Player Odds To Watch For The 2021/22 Ashes

Australia’s batting line-up has displayed vulnerabilities in the early stages of their Test series against India on home soil, which will give Justin Langer cause for concern in an Ashes year. The Aussies started 2021 as the overwhelming favourites to win the series against England, but their form against India prompted the bookmakers to adjust their price slightly for the contest down under.

Their odds that currently stand in the 1.50 range will be worth monitoring if Langer’s men continue to struggle on home soil, although England have not won a Test match in Australia since 2011. It would be a surprise to see the Three Lions defeat the Aussies with their price ranging at 3.75, but should those lingering batting issues continue for Australia then it may be enough to close the gap.

The Strength Of Smith

Australia have built their recent success, especially in the Ashes, on the foundation of Smith's incredible prowess at the crease. However, Smith’s incredible form has dipped for the first time in six years, failing to reach double figures in his first four innings of the series. There will be confidence that he can return to his best, indeed one of the most common bets to make money in cricket betting would be to back Smith to lead a series in runs scored either for Australia or both teams competing. Better value can be found by backing the right-hander to top the charts for both sides.

Due to his exceptional record, the 31-year-old is always a strong candidate in the betting odds. However, you will definitely need to monitor his value ahead of the Ashes, where he has been the leading run-scorer in the last two series, and it has not been close. In four matches in 2019, Smith scored 774 runs at an average of 110.74, notching three centuries in the process. Smith was downright dominant on home soil against England last time out, boasting an average of 137.40 after scoring 687 runs.

His odds could drift away, should his lacklustre form continue against India – perhaps suggesting that his glorious run at the top is at an end. However, this is one of the greatest batsmen ever to grace the game, and it would be foolish to write him off after one bad spell in six years. On the other hand, if this run of form is the start of a decline in his ability, it could leave Australia exposed in a vital year for the Baggy Greens. The next few months will be vital for Smith to retain his aura at the crease, especially against a team he has dominated in the past.

Watch Out For Lyon

Australia's pace attack has been exceptional in recent times. No player has caught the eye more than Pat Cummins, displaying a Glenn McGrath-like ability to strike. Cummins has been a thorn in the side of teams across the world - none more so than England; taking 29 wickets in the 2019 series at an average of 19.62. His brilliance resulted in the series draw that allowed Australia to retain the urn. Expect him to be the leading contender in the betting odds to lead the wicket column in the series once again.

However, one player that should not be overlooked when considering a player to lead the wicket column for Australia and the Ashes is Nathan Lyon. He has been a model of consistency for the Aussies and has tormented England batsmen - none more so than Moeen Ali. In 2019 he claimed 20 wickets at a solid average of 33.40 in a difficult series for the spinners. Lyon has more motivation than any other Australian player after missing the opportunity to secure the series in Headingley when he failed to run out Jack Leach. It was a moot point in the end, but Lyon will certainly have not forgotten.

Lyon will behind Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, and, perhaps, Mitchell Starc in the betting odds to lead the wicket column for Australia and perhaps even the series. There will be value on Lyon, and he could deliver for the Aussies to earn a semblance of redemption for his ill-fated moment in 2019.

The rest of the India series and the matches between now and the beginning of November will be intriguing viewing for cricket bettors.