There is a good chance England will have been looking at Australia’s under pressure middle order and seen a chance to pile more pressure on the batsmen. Australia’s middle order has been the envy of the world for much of the past decade. The current crop have had a tough year and have all faced their own issues in keeping their places in time for the opening Test.Australia’s vice-captain Michael Clarke is still a doubt according to some studying the Ashes betting odds going into the opening match of the series, after struggling with his back injury.
That aside, Clarke has had a disappointing year by his high standards and was particularly poor in the recent 2-0 series loss in India. In the two Test matches against the Indians, Clarke’s weighed in with a whopping 35 runs, although he was clearly struggling with his back during the series.
Clarke has done enough throughout his career for England not to underestimate him. The same can be said of Mike Hussey, who came in for his fair share of criticism leading up to this week. Despite ‘Mr Cricket’ being one of Australia’s most consistent run scorers over recent years, Hussey is under pressure to start scoring runs for the Aussie’s or he could face being dropped.
Marcus North can be grateful for his gutsy 128 in the second Test against India. Before his century the batsman’s place in the side had come under intense pressure from Ashes online betting pundits after a poor run of form.
With young batsman Usman Khawaja know a member of the squad all the batsman are going to need to find their form quickly or face being dropped.