England gallantly battled back from a mediocre year of cricket to regain the Ashes this summer, and all of a sudden the garden is rosy again in English cricket. With the urn in the bag attention turns to the upcoming ODI series, which will see the old foes take to the field again for five matches from the 3rd – 13th of September.
That victory, despite all the positives, shouldn’t be taken out of context though, and Australia are a formidable one day team. England were heavily criticized by the Aussies for ‘preparing’ the pitches to suit the English game, rather than to suit a good test match, but they were still well beaten by the tourists in two of the five tests. The glorious fourth test at Trent Bridge where England bowled Australia out for 60 in the first innings will live long in the memory, but in itself is not a reason to think England can win in this very different format. Add in the fact that only five players from the Ashes squad will play the ODI’s and suddenly England’s chances begin to diminish further.
England’s Incredible Year
We only have to look back to the Cricket World Cup where England failed to progress from their pool, for the underlying weaknesses in England ODI game. They were humiliated in the tournament co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia, going down by 8 wickets to New Zealand and 9 wickets to Sri Lanka, before losing by 15 runs to Bangladesh. They only managed to beat Scotland and Afghanistan, and returned to the UK with their collective tail between their legs.
They bounced back from that disappointment to beat New Zealand 3-2 in June’s ODI series, which sent them into the Ashes on a high note, but still didn’t quite paper over the cracks. Here’s a look at the odds to win the series, and as expected, Australia are clear favourites.
The Aussies were a little bitter about the state of the English pitches, and the results of each test go some way towards backing up their complaints. The ‘made to measure’ green pitches of Edgebaston and Trent Bridge made for perfect conditions for England’s bowlers, but their attack struggled on the flatter tracks of Lord’s and The Oval. It may be easy to say that in hindsight, but be in no doubt that the tourists will be keen to exact some sort of revenge over the next few weeks. There may even be a little bit of value in backing them to win the series 4-1, as we can expect England to win at least one or two matches (on the assumption that Australia take the series).
Australia to win the series 4-1 – 11/43.75+2752.752.75-0.36 with Ladbrokes
England will field a much-changed line up for the one day games, with the biggest news that Ian Bell has retired from one day internationals to prolong his test career. Bell had previously suggested that he might quit test cricket after the Ashes, but after consulting with captain Alastair Cook, has decided to continue, stating that he still has the “hunger and desire” to play test cricket. He’s England’s top run scorer in one day cricket, with 5,416 runs in 161 matches. He will be a big miss for the squad, although he wasn’t selected for either of the most recent Twenty20 or one day squads, so England have shown signs of coping with his absence.
Joe Root, who was England’s leading run-scorer in the Ashes, will be rested for both the forthcoming Twenty20 match on Monday 31st August, and the five-match one day series. All-rounder Moeen Ali, who was rested for the recent one day series against New Zealand has been recalled, and he’s one of the five in the squad who were part of the Ashes winning side. Jos Butler, Steven Finn, Ben Stokes and Mark Wood are the other four, and fit-again seamer Chris Woakes returns after injury.
For Australia, the news that the likes of Broad, Anderson and Root are to be rested will be welcomed, and although some of their Ashes squad also won’t be appearing, there is still plenty of strength in depth. They defeated Ireland on Thursday 27th August in their first one-day match since winning the World Cup, by 23 runs in a rain-affected match in Belfast. Steve Smith won the toss and elected to bat in his first match as captain after replacing the departing Michael Clarke, and an opening century between David Warner and debutant Joe Burns, set them on the way to 222/6 in the 40.2 overs that could be played. Ireland were eventually given a target of 181 from 24 overs, but were dismissed for 157.
Burns is set to retain his place in the side after the excellent form he showed on Australia A’s tour of India, where he smashed 14 sixes on the way to scoring 154 from 131 balls in Chennai. Other new faces that are set to start the one day internationals in England include spin specialist Ashton Agar, and all-rounder Marcus Stoinis. Fast bowlers Nathan Coulter-Nile and James Pattinson, along with wicket keeper Matthew Wade have all been recalled to the national side after representing the A side on the tour in India. Mitchell Marsh and Shane Watson have retained their places from the World Cup squad, and this is a strong Aussie team. Coulter-Nile took three for 13 in the match against Ireland, and he’ll be looking to take the wickets, while the likes of Warner and Burns will be formidable with the bat.
For all the heroics of the Ashes, England look to be up against it here and Australia are worth backing to cement their reputation as the world’s best one-day side.
Australia to beat England, ODI Series
3rd to 13th September
ODI Series Correct Score – Australia 4-1
3rd to 13th September
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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