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Simon Hughes: Fresher England to complete World Cup redemption with ODI series win

12 Sep | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Simon Hughes: Fresher England to complete World Cup redemption with ODI series win

How have England become such a competitive one-day side? New blood is the straightforward answer, says The Analyst

England are emerging from the doldrums of the World Cup as a seriously competitive one-day side.

They can undoubtedly win this Royal London ODI Series at Old Trafford on Sunday if they keep their heads and catch the chances offered to them.

It could be an exciting climax.

How have England achieved this?

New blood is the straightforward answer.

After a stuttery beginning, Jason Roy has emerged as an exciting and intimidating opening batsman with enough class to suggest that he could go all the way to Test level.

His opening partnership with Alex Hales – who was overlooked for most of the World Cup – could turn into one of the best in the world with a bit more finesse. (Hales is still highly inexperienced having played only 19 ODIs.)

James Taylor and Eoin Morgan were at the World Cup but have had a break from the international helter-skelter during mid-summer and came back refreshed. Johnny Bairstow also.

David Willey and Adil Rashid have added something different, too.

The new spin bowling partnership of Rashid and the fast-evolving Moeen Ali in mid-innings is invaluable.

It underlines the value of taking wickets in one-day cricket to arrest the scoring rate and they have taken 15 wickets between them in the four games.

4/5 – England to win the fifth ODI against Australia

The only area where England look uncertain is in the last 10 overs – both with bat and ball – which is understandable as the rules during that phase have just been changed (again).

They have not identified their best death bowlers.

Willey and Mark Wood did it at Headingley and went for 65 off the last five. (Chris Woakes is probably slightly better with more pace and a greater variety of slower balls, but is now out of the series.)

Ben Stokes is willing but not yet quite reliable enough, while Steven Finn does not bowl yorkers.

Equally, England have not quite fathomed their best batsmen for the final assault.

In the absence of Jos Buttler – who is perfectly suited to the role – they have muddled through with Ali, Stokes and Liam Plunkett.

It is a bit hit and miss.

Sam Billings did the job well against New Zealand and would be an excellent choice, but they can’t fit him in the side.

So they will probably carry on as they are.

The Old Trafford pitch is likely to turn – as it did on Tuesday – and, with the exception of the mercurial Glenn Maxwell, the Australian batsmen look less equipped to deal with the spinning ball.

For England, meanwhile, Taylor and Morgan are particularly good in such circumstances.

The teams are evenly matched, but home advantage and a fresher mentality – many of the Australians have been on the road for four months – should give England a fractional edge.

The best plan will be to do the bulk of the job in the first 40 overs of each innings and be sure to they hold their catches.

If they do that and win the match it will complete a highly rejuvenating summer.

England v Australia fifth ODI betting