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After suffering a surprise defeat against Scotland just a couple of days ago, England are all set to take on a new-look Australian side in the first match of a 5-match series beginning on 13 June. The first match of the series is to be played on Kennington Oval. Both the sides will have a point to prove in this upcoming series with England keen on proving that their loss against Scotland was nothing more than a minor blip and Australia looking to prove their bench strength in absence of Steve Smith and David Warner.
While England have had its own share of problems in red-ball Cricket, they've been simply brilliant in the shorter format of the game. Currently placed at the first position in ICC ODI rankings, England have won the majority of the ODI they played last year. Their record at home gets even better with just three losses and 17 wins in their last 21 games. This series will also act like a preparatory Test for England for World Cup '19.
As far as the team combination is concerned, we may see Tom Curran sliding back into the side after a good display against Australia earlier in an away series. As was validated against Scotland, English batting has always been top-standard, but it's their bowling which has looked a little weary. Liam Plunkett has lost about 5mph as far as his bowling pace is concerned which removes a dimension from his bowling. With Chris Woakes injured, the English new-ball bowling looks to be a little inexperienced.
More often than not, their batting makes up well for their inexperienced bowling lineup. With the likes of Bairstow, Hales and Root at the top of the order, England's top-order is as good as any. Skipper Morgan and Jos Buttler have been in superb batting form of late and it could be difficult for the Australian bowlers to get past them during the death overs.
The defeat against Scotland might well act as a wake-up call for England to introspect and improve in certain areas. With a strong batting lineup and a terrific record in recent past, this England side will certainly be a side to beat in the first ODI.
JJ Roy, AD Hales, JE Root, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, David Willey, LE Plunkett, AU Rashid, M Wood.
It will be first limited-overs assignment for the Australian team after the famous ball-tampering saga and with a new captain in Tim Paine, they have a point to prove. Despite Steve Smith and David Warner out of the side, their top-order looks to be well-balanced albeit a little inexperienced.
Aaron Finch and D'Arcy Short are expected to open the innings with Stoinis promoted to number three. Aaron Finch looked in pristine touch against Sussex in a tour game while D'Arcy Short failed to convert his start to a decent score. Marcus Stonis smacked an almost run-a-ball century to take the team total to 278.
With Josh Hazelwood and Mitchell Starc absent from the bowling lineup and Glenn Maxwell going through a rough patch, their bowling and lower middle-order look a little bleak. Michael Neser, Kane Richardson, and Billy Stanlake are expected to be the spearheads as far as their pace bowling is concerned.
All in all, it will be a test for new-look Australian team with a few stars missing from their squad. A lot will depend on Glenn Maxwell and if he's able to find his rhythm with the bat back, this team will be a tough team to get past.
Aaron Finch, TM Head, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Tim Paine, Ashton Agar, Michael Neser, AJ Tye, KW Richardson, Billy Stanlake.
With conditions conducive to batting, expect the captains to bowl first after winning the toss.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
While the bowl swings and seams in England in red-ball Cricket, it is exactly opposite in the white-ball Cricket. Short boundaries and even carry will make it an excellent wicket to bat on. A total of 300+ will be a par score here.
The loss against Scotland highlighted a lot of vulnerabilities of this English side and they'll have a point to prove in the upcoming fixture. They have a strong batting lineup backed by good numbers. Australia, on the other hand, will be keen on playing good Cricket prove their bench strength. They have a few of their key players missing and both their batting and bowling appears to be slightly short. Thanks to their superb batting strength, we expect England to clinch a victory in the first match of the series.
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