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England favourites

Sky Bet make England favourites in this winter's Ashes series but there's a deadlock in the most runs market

Holders: Alastair Cook is joint-favourite to make most England runs while James Anderson is likely to be their top wicket taker

Sky Bet make England favourites in this winter's Ashes series but Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen and skipper Alastair Cook are joint-favourites to make most runs for the tourists.

All three were this week confirmed in England's 17-man squad for the five-match series which gets underway in Brisbane on November 21, with the holders priced as evens to retain the Urn.

Cook was in sensational form on the previous Ashes tour in 2010-11 when he hit three centuries and hammered 766 runs at an average of 127.

But the England skipper struggled this summer in the home Ashes series, making just 277 runs at an average of 27.

Bell, on the other hand, was England's top run maker with 562 runs which included three centuries and two fifties. Pietersen was next best for England with 388 runs.

In the bowlers' market James Anderson is 9/4 favourite to be England's top wicket taker having done so in 2010-11 with 24 victims. The returning Monty Panesar is a 20/1 shot.

Sky Bet cricket trader Damon Blezard said: "Cook would have been clear favourite given his record on the last Ashes tour but his form hasn't been the same with the captaincy weighing heavily on his shoulders. Bell is in the form of his life and he would be my pick.

"Anderson is a worthy favourite after his haul on the last Ashes tour but I'd probably go for Graeme Swann. He gets turn wherever he bowls and will enjoy the extra bounce from Australian pitches"

Australia, who lost this summer's series 3-0, are 6/4 to reclaim the Urn while a draw can be backed at 5/1.

Odds are subject to change. New customers of Sky Bet can claim a free £10 Bet (Terms & Conditions apply).

Who was most unlucky to miss out on England's Ashes tour squad?

  • Nick Compton
  • Graham Onions
  • James Taylor
  • Chris Woakes
  • Other