After suffering another crushing defeat in Perth, England go into the fourth Ashes Test 3-0 down and quoted at odds-on to suffer a series whitewash.
The Three Lions again showed glimpses of promise at the WACA, but Joe Root’s side simply can’t put a sustained run of good form together, either with bat or ball.
Mark Stoneman’s efforts Down Under have epitomised England’s struggles, with the opener showing a fair amount of grit to amass 193 runs at an average of 32.16, but yet to kick on past a top score of 56.
He said: “Personally, it’s pretty disappointing – because I’ve made starts in a lot of innings.
“The example the Australians have shown with the bat is we need big scores – three-figure scores.
“We made 50s in the first couple of Tests, and they managed to make hundreds – which proved the difference.
“Then (in Perth) we had a couple of guys score hundreds, and they (Steve Smith) have made doubles.”
Bairstow could be worth side bet
The tourists have also toiled in the bowling department, with a lack of genuine pace clearly evident and spinner Moeen Ali woefully out of sorts.
In contrast, Australia’s attack has looked a complete unit, with quick bowlers Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins combining discipline with hostility and spinner Nathan Lyon constantly applying pressure.
The Baggy Greens claimed 5-0 triumphs in 2006/07 and 2013/14 and coach Darren Lehmann is hoping to emulate those thrashings.
Although admitting England have had their moments in all three Tests so far, he said: “That’s the game, winning the big moments and transferring the pressure back to the other side.”
For those still looking to support England via a side bet, there is little value in the leading wicket-taker market, with James Anderson five ahead and a prohibitive 1/25 chance.
On the batting front, Dawid Malan is now 53/100 to top the runs table after moving up to 302 in Perth, but we feel Jonny Bairstow has another big innings in him after also hitting a century at the WACA.
The Yorkshireman is 61 behind Malan but 4/1 is a tempting price for him to overhaul that deficit in the last couple of Tests.
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Ashes betting tips