Australian cricket’s darkest hour might well have been last year with the ball tampering scandal but their tour of England this summer is beginning to rival it for infamy and all the signs point to a massive whitewash in the fifth and final ODI - something to keep in mind for avid cricket betting fans.
For England, it has been a welcoming confidence booster after what was a shaky start to an important summer. It was only a few weeks ago that they were losing comprehensively to Pakistan in Test cricket and then to Scotland in a 50-over game when their bowlers were unable to defuse the ball in advantageous conditions, but their domination of this series has been so complete that it even rivals the Ashes series of last winter for bragging rights now with a game still left to spare.
The result does not feel in doubt; England have shown all that is good about them this series without having to be tested whilst Australia’s hybrid side has lacked quality.
In the first game half-centuries from Joe Root and Eoin Morgan carried England to an ultimately comfortable victory with Moeen Ali’s spin condemning Australia to total that in the end, proved to be too low to defend properly.
In the second Jason Roy and Jos Buttler fired England to their then highest ODI total against Australia which gave them crucial runs in hand despite a spirited fightback from the visiting side; In the third ODI massive scores from Alex Hales (147) and Jonny Bairstow (139) led them to a score of 481-6 in 50 overs - eclipsing their own record of 444-3 – which gave the Aussies less than no chance of being able to compete.
In the fourth game at Trent Bridge England won by six wickets with more than five overs to spare while completing their second highest successful run-chase in ODI cricket – all of this with an air of control that suggested they would have had no trouble chasing their record down if asked.
The 2/5 England is fair enough and, weather permitting, will probably come home comfortably for the big money hitters who may have cleaned up at top cricket betting sites for the last couple of ODIs.
This series – like so many ODI internationals – has been won by the bat over the ball and England’s dominance is fully expressed by the fact five of the six leading batsmen after four games are English and they have a total of 1,119 runs between them.
None of the Australian batsmen apart from Shaun Marsh and Aaron Fitch have been able to lay a hand on the English bowling attack and there’s little reason for anything to change here at Old Trafford.
Strong opening stands have been a feature of their season and Jonny Bairstow - 5/6 to score over 32.5 runs with Ladbrokes - and Jason Roy have taken the game away from the Australians at every opportunity. At Chester-Le-Street they added 174 inside 24 overs with Roy registering his sixth ODI century from 81 balls in fine style.
That was his second score of the series – the other is an 82 – and it’s no surprise that he’s taken two of the four man of the match awards. A third in five would be a remarkable achievement and the 8/1 on him doing so seems fair with England’s openers either having free rein to set the tone in terms of a big total.
For the same reason, the 10.1 on Jonny Bairstow taking the man of the match honours has to be taken as well whilst Paddy Power put his match runs line at 32.5, a line which seems very fair given that his scores this series read, 105, 28, 42, 139 and 79. The 5/6 about him making 33 is a very competitive option.
Bet365’s Player Performance markets - marked at 1 point per run, 20 points per wicket, 10 points per catch, and 25 points per stumping – offer a chance to potentially come onside with an Australian player and perhaps Tim Paine is worth looking at.
He has had an extremely hard tour as captain but he has been sharp with the gloves, taking seven scalps so far – not to be sniffed at against the English battling attack. The issue is that he’s been pathetic with the bat, with just 35 runs in four innings, and it looks certain that he’ll have to face up for another difficult post mortem here.