Bairstow needs to fire again

England To Bounce Back From Scotland Defeat

England will aim to put their stunning loss against Scotland behind them when they face off against Australia in the opening one-day international of their five-match series.

The Three Lions were on the receiving end of a shocking defeat as their rivals north of the border produced a brilliant performance to snatch the victory by five runs.

Poor bowling was to cost Eoin Morgan’s men as Calum MacLeod blasted an unbeaten 140 to guide his side to their highest ODI total of 371-5. England responded through Jonny Bairstow, who made his third ODI century on the bounce – a record for the Three Lions.

However, the visitors lost crucial wickets in the middle overs, leaving it up to the tail to try to get them over the line. Moeen Ali and Liam Plunkett looked to have achieved the feat, but a flurry of late dismissals saw Scotland edge the contest.

England now have to pick themselves up off the mat and prepare for the arrival of the wounded Baggy Greens. Australia will be without a slew of key players for the series – notably Steve Smith and David Warner, who are serving their one-year suspensions for the ball-tampering scandal.

The Aussies have a dearth of experience in their squad and were hammered 4-1 by England on home soil. Tim Paine assumed the captaincy from Smith and he will know that his side face a massive challenge, beginning at The Oval on Wednesday.

Bairstow needs to fire again

Top England Batsman

Jonny Bairstow is in the form of his life in the 50-over format. He has notched three centuries in his last three innings in ODI cricket, highlighting his outstanding form since he was elevated to opener at the end of last summer. He blitzed the Scotland attack, reaching his hundred in 50 deliveries. The 28-year-old’s struck the ball with authority all over the ground, scoring 12 fours and six sixes in his knock of 105.

The one criticism was that Bairstow was unable to kick on to make the match-winning knock. Another hour of him at the crease would have been enough to see England over the line. His last two centuries have been scores of 105 – to truly reach the elite level at the top of the game – Bairstow needs to converting those into huge tons. He wasn’t quite at his best down under, but back him to capitalise on an inexperienced attack at odds of +325   with 888Sport.

Top Australia Batsman

In the absence of Smith and Warner, Australia need someone to emerge from the shadows to establish themselves in the line-up. There are plenty of players with caps under their belt and experience at the highest level, although they’ve played second fiddle behind their captain and vice-captain. Aaron Finch, Travis Head and Shaun Marsh are among the names that have played in England before.

However, the answer could come from Marcus Stoinis, who has the potential to become a force in the limited-overs format. He was one of the few players to emerge with credit from the hammering in Australia. The 28-year-old hit two half-centuries, including an innings of 87 in a losing effort at Perth. Stoinis has already made an impressive start to the tour, blasting a century in his side’s warm-up match against Sussex. A lot will be expected of him batting number three in the order. Back him to top score for the Baggy Greens at odds of +400   with BetVictor.

Top England Bowler

England’s bowlers had a day to forget against Scotland. Every bowler went to the fence with regularity, with the lowest economy rate coming in the six range from Moeen Ali. The seamers were too short, especially in the early stages of the innings, which allowed Kyle Coetzer, Matthew Cross and MacLeod to set the tone. The Three Lions need Mark Wood, David Willey and Plunkett to get back to form.

England could be without Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes for the entire series, while Tom Curran is short on matches following his stint in the Indian Premier League. Curran did impress against the Aussies down under in the ODIs and could be an option to come back into the fold should the pace bowlers struggle once again. Out of all the seamers, Morgan needs Wood firing at his best. He’s had ample of opportunities in the team, but his averages in Test and ODI cricket remain in the fourties. Wood needs a signature performance to kickstart his summer, back him to lead the way at odds of +400   with 888Sport.

Top Australia Bowler

Australia enter the series not only without Smith and Warner, but also without their frontline bowlers. Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood will all miss the series, leaving Paine short on experience and quality in his ranks. Andrew Tye put a good account of himself on home soil against England earlier in the year, taking eight wickets in five matches. This included a five-wicket haul in the contest at Perth, which was edged by the Three Lions.

The rest of the attack is inexperienced to say the least with Kane Richardson, Jhye Richardson, Michael Neser and Billy Stanlake lacking familiarity in English conditions. Nathan Lyon has been included in the squad, although his last ODI came in 2016 and returning him to the fold against England’s aggressive batsmen may not be a prudent idea. Ashton Agar does have experience in England and took three wickets against Sussex in the warm-up match. He could be the man to thrive to lead the way for the Baggy Greens in the middle overs. Take him at odds of +400   with 888Sport to top the wicket column.

Verdict

England will have rocked by their defeat to Scotland. They engineered a match-winning position, despite their mistakes in the contest, but were unable to get over the line.

Australia will be desperate to rub salt into their wounds, although they are lacking in top-quality players to take the attack to the home side. Back the Three Lions to bounce back from their loss and get back to form at odds of -175 with Betway.

Tips Summary

Jonny Bairstow To Be England’s Top Batsman
Wednesday 13th June 2018 13:00 BST
Odds: +325

Marcus Stoinis To Be Australia’s Top Batsman
Wednesday 13th June 2018 13:00 BST
Odds: +400

Mark Wood To Be England’s Top Bowler
Wednesday 13th June 2018 13:00 BST
Odds: +400

Ashton Agar To Be Australia’s Top Bowler
Wednesday 13th June 2018 13:00 BST
Odds: +400

England To Beat Australia 1st ODI
Wednesday 13th June 2018 13:00 BST
Odds: -175

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