The two biggest rivals in cricket have a five match ODI series on the horizon with the best of five match showpiece getting underway in London on Wednesday. With both sides competing in the World Cup in England in 12 months this feels like a bigger than normal series.
Both sides go into the five games with a cloud hanging over them. England are emphatic favourites but have just lost to Scotland in a warm up match while Australia are on the big stage for the first time since the fallout of sandpaper gate.
1st ODI – Jun 13 at The Oval (d/n)
2nd ODI – Jun 16 at Cardiff
3rd ODI – Jun 19 at Trent Bridge (d/n)
4th ODI – Jun 21 at Chester-le-Street (d/n)
5th ODI – Jun 24 at Old Trafford
While England will be a little embarrassed at their latest outing it should not be forgotten what a good one day side they are at the minute. They went down to Australia and New Zealand in the winter and came away with 50 over series wins in both and have been pretty dominant in bi-lateral series for quite a while.
England will face mounting pressure in this format over the next 12 months as they build up to the World Cup which they host but if they can keep on winning then they will ease the pressure within themselves which is no bad thing. They have the most dynamic batting line up in the world but as we saw on Sunday there is improvement to be had with the ball.
All eyes will be on Australia in this series but not necessarily for the quality of cricket that they play but more so the style they adopt. This is their first series since Justin Langer took over as coach and even more importantly it is the first time they will be on the field since they left South Africa with their tails between their legs after the sandpaper scandal.
On the field we have seen Australia fading in this format of the game although a lot of that is due to being unable to get their best side on the park, something they will not be able to do over these five matches either. No Australian side comes to England to lose but I think if they are competitive in this series it would be acceptable.
Head to Head
This will be the 22nd time these two sides have met in a bilateral ODI series. Australia still hold the edge despite losing the winter series between the two. They have 12 wins to the nine of England. Australia still edge the matches won too with 41 wins to 31 while there has also been a couple of no results and a tie. The last time they met in England was in the Champions Trophy last year when England dealt out a bit of a beating.
I think England will win the series although they will probably run into trouble and lose a match somewhere along the line, but we saw on Sunday the pitfalls of backing them. Given that they are a short price there is no need to wade in on them so I’ll leave the series market alone and I’m pretty happy to leave the correct score market alone too as somewhere over the space of a couple of weeks rain will no doubt interfere.
There is one bet that I like for the series though and that comes in the top Australia series batsman market where Aaron Finch looks too good to be true really. He has already scored 78 and 54 in the two warm up matches and he has three 50s in his last six ODI innings in England. He also hit the highest T20I score in England as well so he enjoys teeing off in England. When you look at the wickets being used for this series it is only really Trent Bridge which could offer the bowlers something. The rest will allow Finch to stand and deliver and his aggressive swishing can deliver us an 11/4 winner.
Back A.Finch Top Australia Series Batsman for a 3/10 stake at 3.75 with 888sport