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Friday, 16 November, 2018

11-4 England turn to Hampshire's Vince

Doubts over batting unit down under

Ben Stokes's off-field issues are a concern for England's selectors
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2017-18 Ashes: Australia v England
First Test starts November 23

England are 11-4 to win the Ashes series in Australia after naming a 16-man squad which includes recalled batsmen James Vince and Gary Ballance as well as uncapped trio Ben Foakes, Mason Crane and Craig Overton.

Vince is expected to replace the discarded Tom Westley at number three and Ladbrokes and Coral make Dawid Malan 2-5 to play in the first Test in Brisbane with Ballance 6-5 to make the 11.

Vice-captain Ben Stokes has been named in the squad despite being arrested and sustaining a minor hand injury in an incident on a night out in Bristol after Sunday's win over the West Indies.

Stokes is 1-8 with Coral to play in the first Test at the Gabba but even if he makes it there are major doubts over England's batting order.

Their lack of depth is reflected by Ladbrokes' top England series runscorer market which is dominated by Joe Root (7-4) and Alastair Cook at 3-1.

Stokes, Jonny Bairstow and opener Mark Stoneman are next in the betting at 7-1 with Vince 8-1 and Malan 12-1.

In the bowling department, a back injury to Toby Roland-Jones and Mark Wood's lack of fitness have opened the door for Somerset's Overton and Jake Ball of Nottinghamshire.

However, Ladbrokes expect some familiar names to do the damage with the ball down under. James Anderson is 2-1 favourite to be England's leading wicket-taker, just ahead of 9-4 shot Stuart Broad.

Australia, beaten 3-2 in England in the 2015 Ashes, are 8-13 to regain the urn and a drawn series is 13-2. The Aussies are evens to win the first Test with England 9-4 and the draw 4-1.

Pessimistic England supporters can get 16-1 with bet365 about a 5-0 Australia series win although the whitewash is just half the price with other bookmakers.

Coral - to play first Test v Australia (Brisbane, starts November 23): 1-50 A Cook, J Root, 1-33 M Ali, 1-25 J Bairstow, 1-12 J Anderson, M Stoneman, 1-8 S Broad, B Stokes, 1-6 C Woakes, 1-4 J Vince, 2-5 D Malan, 6-5 G Ballance, 3 J Ball, 5 C Overton, 7 M Crane, B Foakes.


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England's lack of depth is reflected by Ladbrokes' top England series runscorer market which is dominated by Joe Root (7-4) and Alastair Cook at 3-1
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