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England fancied for Ashes success as odds tumble

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England’s hopes of regaining the Ashes are alive thanks to one man, Ben Stokes.

On the brink of defeat at Headingley and with it the Urn set to return down under, the all-rounder produced one of the greatest Test innings of all time writing his name into Ashes folklore.

Like he did in the World Cup final, Stokes single handedly guided England to victory when defeat looked almost certain. This time his unbeaten 135 inspired the hosts to a famous one-wicket win to level the series and hopefully give England the momentum they need heading to Old Trafford.

James Anderson will miss the rest of the series with a calf injury, which means it’s set to be the same XI as the third test, but there’ll be one major change in the batting order. Joe Denly is to open with Jason Roy dropping down to No. 4.

Roy has failed to emulate his opening heroics in the white ball game, struggling against the new ball scoring just 57 runs in six innings. So dropping down to fourth should help and he’s 4/1 to score a half century.

Meanwhile Denly, who’s opened for England before, made a hard fought fifty and shared a vital 126 run third wicket stand with Joe Root in England’s chase of 359.

Steve Smith is set to return to the Australia side after missing the third test through concussion. The former Aussie captain was pinned multiple times by the relentless Jofra Archer and it’ll be good to see the two battle it out once again.

Smith is 5/2 to score another century, while big Jofra is 5/1 to take five or more wickets in the first innings.

The return of Smith is huge for the tourists, he’s the glue that holds them together through tough times and has frustrated England on numerous occasions already through this series. His return sees the Aussies head to Old Trafford as slight favourites at 7/4.

But with the momentum with England, Joe Root’s side are available at 6/4.

The draw is currently 14/5, which might not be the worst bet in the world considering the amount of rain forecast for the end of the week.

Author Biography: . I have written for a number of publications for the last 20 years.

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