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Simon Hughes: Moeen Ali should bat at three for England

04 Sep | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Simon Hughes: Moeen Ali should bat at three for England

A re-jigged batting order and a clearer strategy would improve England's chances against Australia in the second ODI at Lord's, says The Analyst

England should not be too despondent about their 59-run loss to Australia in the first Royal London one-day international.

At least they were competitive against the world champions, something they were not remotely only a few months ago in the World Cup.

Their one-day team remains a work-in-progress and useful lessons were learnt at the Ageas Bowl on Thursday.

The first was that when chasing a score of more than 300, one of the top three needs to bat for the majority of the innings – at least the first 35 overs.

If one can score 80-plus from, say, 100 balls, then that leaves 200 balls for the other players to score at a run a ball (or better) and a total of at least 300 will result.

The mistake England made on Thursday night was that each of Jason Roy, Alex Hales and James Taylor played a poorly-executed shot when they were well set and sacrificed their wicket.

You never want two new batsmen together at the wicket (apart from at the start, obviously).

England v Australia ODI series betting

Secondly, England need to be a bit smarter in the middle overs (30-40).

It was here where Australia bowled cleverly with the spin of Glenn Maxwell one end and the quicks at the other bowling straight with a ball that had been (legally) made soft so it did not bounce much.

Instead of going for big shots, batsmen like Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler would have been better off trying to work it into gaps and kept their wickets intact for a final assault.

They were too hasty and left the lower order too much to do.

There is always more time than you think in an ODI. (Just ask MS Dhoni, who always leaves his final assault until the end.)

8/1 – Moeen Ali to be England’s top batsman in second ODI v Australia

For the second ODI at Lord’s on Saturday, England must consider pushing Moeen Ali up the order to number three.

He scores naturally quickly. He doesn’t have to try and is wasted at seven.

On current form, Taylor could be five, Stokes six and Buttler seven.

On the bowling front, the recalled Chris Woakes did well – both early on, bowling with well directed hostility and at the death where his yorkers and variety denied Australia boundaries.

4/1 – Chris Woakes to be England’s top bowler in second ODI v Australia

But Steven Finn was relatively innocuous and Mark Wood expensive.

Finn will bowl better on his home ground, but Wood is too easy to score off.

Liam Plunkett would be a better bet, both with his height and extra pace (and valuable batting at 10.)
With a re-jigged batting order and a slightly clearer strategy – plus extra pace with the ball – England would be a close match for Australia.

But with cloud and drizzle forecast in the morning, the team fielding first may have a narrow advantage.

13/10 – England to win the second ODI against Australia

England v Australia 2nd ODI betting