The 2021/22 Ashes are almost here!
One of the world’s oldest sporting rivalries is back to light up the festive season, with five epic Tests to enjoy from Oz this December and January.
Australia and England are about to go head-to-head to lift one of the most coveted – and miniscule – trophies of them all.
Here’s all you need to know in the build-up to the Ashes 1st Test…
Australia vs England | Ashes 1st Test Betting Preview | Ashes Betting
England are aiming to fly home this January with the famous Ashes urn for the first time since 2018 but the visitors will have to improve significantly on their last showing on Australian soil to wrestle back the trophy.
Holders Australia hardly broke a sweat in the 2017/18 series as England narrowly avoided a whitewash in a 4-0 series win for the hosts, whilst they would go on to retain the urn with a 2-2 draw on UK soil in 2019.
Given their recent dominance of this competition, it’s no surprise the Aussies start out as emphatic 29/100 favourites with Marathonbet to sap the visitors’ spirits with another outright series win.
However, the visitors have some cause for optimism heading into the 1st Test in Brisbane.
Firstly, England have their talisman back to give the holders something to worry about as the series gets underway.
Ben Stokes will be back from an extended lay-off to add some much-needed ballast to the England batting line-up and has declared himself ‘fit and hungry for a big series’.
Secondly, the hosts might just be losing their air of invincibility as the Gabba.
India managed to condemn them to a first men’s test defeat in 33 years in Brisbane last year, while England can look to their 2010 Ashes draw for encouragement that defeat isn’t a racing certainty at a venue where they traditionally fare poorly.
Finally, will the fall-out from Tim Paine’s off-field issues have had an adverse effect on Australian preparations?
Pat Cummins will be stepping into the breach at short notice to lead the five Test series, but it’s a fairly eye-catching move for a fast bowler to assume captaincy duties at international level.
As Cummins tries to calm heads following a chaotic build-up to the first Test in the home camp, England will be hoping to pounce on any uncertainty to ruffle feathers early in an Ashes series they are widely expected to lose.
All that said, it’s Australia that start as 41/50 favourites at the Gabba, with England a 69/20 chance to put their hosts on edge before the 2nd Test begins in Adelaide.
Fancy a repeat of 2010?
The draw is available at 139/50.
Odds correct at time of writing but may be subject to change.
⚱️ Ashes 1st Test FAQ ⚱️
🏏 When is the 1st Ashes Test?
The 1st Test of the 2021/22 Ashes takes place between 8th and 12th December at The Gabba in Brisbane, Australia. Play is expected to start from around 12am UK time.
🏏 Where can I watch the 1st Ashes Test?
BT Sport will be offering full live coverage of the 2021/22 Ashes series with highlights and live commentary available via the BBC.
🏏 What are the dates for the 2021/22 Ashes Tests?
After the 1st Ashes Test in Brisbane, the series continues on the following dates at these four venues:
2nd Test: 16th-20th December 2021 – Adelaide Oval, Adelaide (play from 4am)3rd Test: 26th-30th December 2021 – MCG, Melbourne (play from 11.30pm on Christmas Day UK time)4th Test: 5th-9th January 2022 – SCG, Sydney (play from 11.30pm, 4th January 2022)5th Test: 14th-18th January – Optus Stadium, Perth (play from 2.30am)
2021/22 Ashes Betting
🏏Who wins the 2021/22 Ashes?
Check the latest Ashes odds as England take on old rivals Australia down under this winter.