1st ODI Cricket Preview
England v Australia
Wednesday, 13 June, 10pm, The Oval
|Top England Batsman||Joe Root ($4)|
|Top Australia Batsman||Aaron Finch ($3.70)|
|Top England Bowler||Liam Plunkett ($4.40)|
|Top Australia Bowler||Billy Stanlake ($4.50)|
England is currently ranked No.1 in the world in ODI cricket and would love nothing more than to kick the Australians while they are down in this best of five ODI series. England smashed Australia 4-1 in last summer’s One-Day series in Australia and will be looking to repeat the dose on home soil. However, Eoin Morgan’s men hardly played like the world No.1 in their recent ODI against Scotland, suffering a shock six-run loss. The absence of all-rounders Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes was felt, as the English bowlers went for 371 runs against the Scottish. Both Stokes and Woakes will miss the first part of the series against Australia and are two massive outs as indicated by the performance against Scotland. In saying that, this Australian side looks barely recognisable, with plenty of big names not making the squad for various reasons. Both Steve Smith and David Warner are serving suspensions for the ball-tampering incident in South Africa, while their Ashes-winning three-pronged attack of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins are all injured. Mitchell Marsh is also another casualty as he recovers from ankle surgery. Australia will be led by new coach Justin Langer and it will be the first step in rebuilding after the ball-tampering saga. It will also be good preparation for Australia, with an eye on next year’s World Cup in England. The Australians won both of their respective warm-up matches against county sides Sussex and Middlesex, with Marcus Stonis making 110 against Sussex, and Travis Head 106 against Middlesex. While plenty of the accustomed names will be missing, we can expect a hard fought series between these two heavyweights of the game.
Head to Head
The Wolf would have been all over England here, but that was up until their slip-up against Scotland. It highlighted how much England rely on their all-rounders Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes to contribute with the ball. Australia has showed some promising signs in the their two warm-up matches, with both Marcus Stoinis and Travis Head making centuries, while Aaron Finch has made scores of 78 and 54. The Wolf is keen to back the Aussies as outsiders and thinks the $2.35 represents good value. The last ODI that England played at The Oval saw the West Indies blast 356, with opening batsman Evin Lewis making a brilliant 176 off 130 balls. Woakes was the only English bowler to do anything with the ball, picking up 3/71, and won’t take his place here. Australia has enough talent and explosive power to take full advantage of an English side still reeling after an unfathomable loss to Scotland
Top English Batsman
Joe Root made 226 runs at an average of 75.33 in the 4-1 ODI series win last summer over the Australians and also has a very strong record in ODIs at The Oval. He averages 63.16 from his 7 ODI matches here, with a top score of 133*.
Top Australian Batsman
The Wolf is going with the Australian vice-captain to top score here. Finch only played the three matches in the 4-1 ODI series loss to England last summer, but did everything in his power to get Australia across the line. He made 275 runs including two centuries at an average of 91.66. As pointed out, Finch has made scores of 78 and 54 in Australia’s two warm-up matches against Sussex and Middlesex, and looks set for a strong series.
Top English Bowler
Liam Plunkett will be required to carry more of the responsibility in the absence of both Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes. Plunkett has recorded figures of 4/59 before at The Oval and picked up two wickets in the recent ODI loss against Scotland.
Top Australian Bowler
Billy Stanlake had to cut short his IPL campaign due to injury but looked close to his bet in the recent warm-up match against Middlesex, taking 2/45 and had the batsmen hopping around the crease. He’s very raw, but can be very damaging on his day.