Australia hit back in the final match of the T20I series to avoid a series whitewash. Mitchell Marsh was the key figure, dragging his side over the line to win by five wickets.The result allowed the Aussies to retain their standing as the number one T20 side in the world despite their 2-1 series loss.
Without Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali led England and they were largely underwhelming with the bat and in the field.
They set the Aussies a target of 146 after a half-century from Jonny Bairstow, although the Yorkshireman lacked support from elsewhere.
Australia struggled in their reply and were reduced to 102-5 when Adil Rashid dismissed Steve Smith.
The leg-spinner claimed three wickets, but when his allocated overs were completed Marsh went on the attack and did enough alongside Ashton Agar to guide the Baggy Greens to their first win of the tour.
Both sides will now turn their attention to the ODI series. England will bring Joe Root and Chris Woakes into the ranks, while Morgan and Buttler should return to the fold.
The Three Lions suffered a stunning defeat at the hands of Ireland in their last outing and will be determined to prove a point as favourites with cricket betting tipsters against the Aussies.
Australia lost all five of their ODI matches against England in 2018. They defeated the Three Lions in their World Cup group match last year, but were in turn thrashed by Morgan’s men in the semi-finals. It’s an opportunity for them to hit back against the world champions.
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England were not quite at their best in the final T20 on Tuesday. Without Morgan and Buttler they were without their two leaders on the field. It resulted in sloppy play in the field, while their replacements Joe Denly and Sam Billings were below-par.
Their play might be the end of the road for their respective international careers, with both players failing to take their opportunities this summer. There is an abundance of talent in the England ranks and younger players could be afforded the future chances in the batting order.
Root’s return stabilises the batting line-up anyway, having been left out of the T20 side. The 29-year-old has arguably been England’s best player in the ODI format over the last four years and is ranked as the ninth best batsman in the world.
Root will be out to make a point after being left out and more often than not he rises to the occasion.
Woakes bolster the bowling attack, which was a tad wayward at times in the T20 series. He will take the new ball alongside Jofra Archer where they will be looking to inflict similar damage to the Australia as they did in the World Cup semi-final last year.
Rashid continues to get better and better with the white ball. The Aussies had no answer for him during the T20 series. Expect another quality performance from the Yorkshireman.
The Aussies have been inconsistent in the 50-over format for too long. Justin Langer and Adam Finch guided their side to the semi-finals of the World Cup last year. It was a solid showing from the Baggy Greens, but they pummelled by England in the contest.
They have struggled against the elite sides of late, losing series against India and South Africa. Their 2018 ODI tour of England could not have gone worse, suffering a 5-0 whitewash. That cannot happen again this time around, and they have a stronger squad on this occasion with David Warner and Smith back in the side.
Australia should have long-term concerns over their batsmen in the format. All of their key players are in their thirties – notably Warner, Finch and Smith. Marnus Labuschagne has performed well in his opening seven matches, scoring a century and two fifties. Langer will want to see more from the 26-year-old as well as the possibility of blooding younger players.
The bowlers pick themselves as Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc should all start. Hazlewood found form ahead of the Indian Premier League with a solid outing in the last T20 and will be looking to build on his form.
The selection of the spinner will be a curious one as Agar offers depth in the batting ranks, while Nathan Lyon has had success against England in the past.
Marsh should also retain his spot in the line-up after his heroics at the Ageas Bowl. Australia have to get the balance of their side correct and it will not be an easy task with players out of form and lacking experience at the highest level in the cases of Josh Philippe and Daniel Sams.
Conditions are forecast to be perfect for cricket on Friday at Old Trafford. The weather will be sunny throughout the day and into the evening for the day/night contest. The venue saw high scores in the T20 series against Pakistan – so we could be in line for lots of runs in the opener and the other two matches of the series.
England’s international cricket have strength in depth and should be back to more or less full strength for the first ODI with Morgan back in the ranks. Even if he’s absent Buttler and Root are on hand to provide leadership on the field.
Australia are lacking a dynamic element to their side as after the openers they’re one paced. It will take a strong effort from their bowlers to limit the England batting line-up. Back England to get the win in the opener and kick off the series on the front foot.
England To Beat Australia 1st ODI – 1.80 Bet365