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Simon Hughes: Injury-ravaged Australia are there for the taking

10 Sep | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Simon Hughes: Injury-ravaged Australia are there for the taking

A rejig of the batting order would turn England into a formidable one-day side - starting at Headingley on Friday, says The Analyst

As well as England – and James Taylor – played at Old Trafford on Tuesday, there was still a feeling that their batting – and their batting order – was not quite right.

There is some rejigging to do that would make England into a formidable one-day side.
 
Alex Hales and Jason Roy are evolving into an excellent opening pair.

Hales hasn’t quite clicked, being caught three times in front of the wicket as the fast bowlers sought to restrict his powerful driving by bringing their lengths back a touch.

He tends to hit the ball in the air over the legside – especially when playing the pull shot – and that gets him into trouble.

He has resorted to ducking the bouncer now rather than taking it on. He needs to find a controlled – yet still productive – response to the short ball.

Roy, meanwhile, has emerged as a batsman of class.

7/2 – Jason Roy to be England’s top batsman in fourth ODI

Once he stopped trying to assault the ball and attempted instead to use his considerable ability to ease it around with excellent timing, he found real fluency.

He has great hands and is able to manipulate the ball wide of – or over – the infield.

What he needs now is an understanding of how to convert excellent fifties into really dominant scores. He must avoid the temptation to get bored and try anything too funky.

Moeen Ali’s silky timing is misplaced at number seven.

Especially in the absence of Joe Root, Ali needs to bat at number three where he can caress the ball to the boundary with the field up, rather than resort to slogging at the death.

That is not his game.

Incidentally, he also found the right (quicker) pace to bowl his offspin – around 57mph – and was a real handful when the ball gripped.

He can learn from the pace – and slightly shorter length – that the excellent Glenn Maxwell bowls. The ball is likely to turn at Headingley in the fourth ODI on Friday.

England v Australia fourth ODI betting

With Ali at three, Taylor can bat at four. He is particularly good against spin, using his feet superbly and wristily working the ball into gaps.

More limited against pace, he is is ideal for flicking, nudging and nurdling – and haring up and down the wicket – in the middle overs (there were only five boundaries in his hundred on Tuesday).

This would leave Eoin Morgan one place lower at five, which has two advantages.

One, he is less exposed to the fast, short stuff with the newish ball which he has looked uncomfortable against and, two, he has the power and range to get the boundaries England need later on to convert 180-3 to scores of 340-plus.

That puts the busy Johnny Bairstow at six and Ben Stokes – who looks a little weary and hasn’t passed 15 since the Ashes Test at Lord’s in July – at seven.

Perhaps Stokes needs to be slightly more patient and subtle before launching his big assault.

At the moment he is either blocking or whacking. He hasn’t quite worked out a one-day method yet, but it will come in time.

With their two spinners and steady seamers, England can win this series if they bat first, keep wickets intact until the 35th over and ensure that their excellent starts are properly built on.

An injury-ravaged, travel-weary Australia are there for the taking.

21/20 – England to win the fourth ODI

England v Australia ODI series betting

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