Our Prediction: Australia to win, 1.62 Bet on Australia to win for Real Money
Australia was shocked by England’s unrelenting attack in the first ODI and watched helplessly as the visitors chased down a record total with absolute ease. There are plenty of signs that this ODI series between Australia and England will be contested with much more vigor than the Test matches ever were.
Australia finds itself under pressure early in this tournament and wants to win this match to avoid needing three straight wins for a series victory.
A score of above 300 had never been chased down any side at the MCG and so Australia can be faulted for thinking that their batsmen had done enough by reaching a total of 304. In hindsight, though, they were at least 40-50 runs short of what would have stretched England.
Aaron Finch scored an excellent hundred but his strike rate of 89.91 was nothing special. Maybe if the other batsman around him had provided some impetus then Finch’s innings could be seen as the one holding everything together.
The early loss of David Warner, Steve Smith, and Travis Head pulled the Aussies back a bit but the partnership between Aaron Finch and Mitchell Marsh had set up Australia quite well before the death overs charge.
The ODI game seems to be changing around the world and a lot more urgency needs to be shown throughout the innings. Pressure will mount on the likes of Smith, Head, and even Paine down the order to score much quicker than they have done in the past.
The main threat to England will be David Warner. He has had a subdued summer where he has not quite been his dominant self. He needs to set himself free and go after the bowling like he does best. He could be the one batsman to boost totals for Australia from just par to seriously challenging.
A look at Australia’s bowling figures from the first match shows that all of their bowlers struggled in keeping the runs down. It is imperative to get batsmen like Jason Roy early otherwise they are going to make you pay.
We don’t think there is any need for Australia to panic just now and they should definitely stick with the same lineup for the second match as well. Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and AJ Tye provide pace, variation, and plenty of ODI knowledge to make things difficult for any team.
Yes, Jason Roy played an exceptional inning but that is not going to happen in every match.
The only player that would be seriously under pressure is Adam Zampa. He did not have any control over the opposition and is coming off a bad Big Bash season as well. We would persist with him for the time being but can see Smith changing him out for another batsman to further strengthen the batting quite easily too.
There were a couple of smaller things that caught our eye about England’s performance in the first match apart from the brilliant Jason Roy century. The first was the difference Mark Wood’s extra pace made to the England bowling.
Suddenly the Australian batsmen were no longer planting their foot down and just playing through the line. Wood may only have taken one wicket in the first match but he certainly added a lot to England’s victory.
The second was Eoin Morgan’s captaincy. He is an absolute master of the ODI game and rotated his bowlers very smartly. Morgan knows that he does not have to over attack in a self-contained limited overs game but did not shy away from putting fielders in catching positions when the new batsmen came into bat.
England has built its ODI team since the 2015 World Cup debacle to be very aggressive throughout. They have made a habit of crossing scores of over 300 and don’t consider it anything other than routine right now.
We fully expect them to continue attacking Australia even though it is a high-risk strategy.
Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, and Alex Hales have been given the license to play freely while Joe Root acts as the anchor. His inning of 91 not-out was slower in terms of strike rate to Aaron Finch but it was his awareness of handing the strike over to Roy that made it so impressive.
With Morgan, Buttler, Ali, and Woakes to follow Root, England knows it has plenty of batting depth and so does not worry about losing a few wickets up front. The same approach is also true of them when they bat first.
England has the batting to consistently put the pressure back on the Australians in a manner that the hosts may not be used to being treated in their own conditions. There is some scope for improvement from the bowlers, though, especially Chris Woakes, who has lacked that bite in his bowling this summer.
Moeen Ali was the most impressive bowler in the first match and the change of format seems to have certainly done him good. England will sense an opportunity to win this match and really put the Australians under the pump.
Crystal clear weather has been forecast for the match in Brisbane. The Gabba has put up some excellent batting surfaces in the BBL and we expect the same to be the case for this ODI. The large playing area at the Gabba will bring the spinners into play and we expect the leg-spinners to play a huge role for both their teams. A high scoring match looks all but certain.
England has now beaten Australia in 4 out of the last 5 matches they have played against each other. It would not be unfair to call England the favorite going into this match. We, however, have a feeling that David Warner is about to come to the party in a big way and turn Australia’s fortunes around.
Back Australia to win.
Winner: Australia, 1.62 @ Bet on Australia now