CRICKET: 4th ASHES TEST

England’s hopes of wrapping up the Ashes before Christmas were destroyed in Perth as Mitchell Johnson and Michael Hussey led Australia to a thumping 267-run third Test win.

Andrew Strauss’ troops remain confident they can bounce back at the MCG and grab a win, a result that would see them retain the famous urn.

Australia, however, are right in the groove and will want to carry their WACA form into historic Boxing Day fixture in Melbourne.

England were favourites heading to Perth but after Australia tied the series at 1-1 they are top dogs with the bookies now.

Ricky Ponting’s side are 6-4 with Boylesports, Betfred and Coral to win in Melbourne while England are 12-5 with bet365.

My money’s on the Aussies to make it two in a row and I’ll go a little further and back them to win the closing Test in Sydney to secure the series 3-1.

If, like me, you fancy a punt on that outcome you’ll get a best-priced 11-2 with Bodog.

Australia are also now favourites to win back the urn (13-8, Bet365), England now available at 12-5 with William Hill.

Ponting is expected to play on Boxing Day despite breaking a finger in the closing stages in Perth, but his exploits throughout have been eclipsed by Hussey.

The under-rated middle-order bastman has been sensational Down Under and not only leads the runs for Australia but the entire series.

Mrfixitstips regulars will recall I backed Hussey to be top run scorer for Australia in the series and the veteran has delivered big-time.

He was 6-1 before the first Test, but while Australia’s top order struggled to make a mark, Hussey racked up the runs and is now a staggering 1-10.

Shane Watson is next best for the hosts but on 293 is way behind Hussey’s 517. Fair to say with a maximum of four innings left Watson would have to go some to catch his team-mate.

Alastair Cook still leads the way for the tourists but is now 22 runs behind Hussey.

The opener, on 495, is favourite to top England’s standings at 2-9 with Bet365, Blue Square and 888sport. He is just over 200 runs clear of both Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen.

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