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Simon Hughes: Perhaps Chris Woakes needs to get nasty

07 Sep | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Simon Hughes: Perhaps Chris Woakes needs to get nasty

Australia's superiority in the last 20 overs is proving decisive in this ODI series - England need to be more aggressive, says The Analyst

The loss of the injured David Warner and Shane Watson for Australia will be a major boost for England as they attempt to get back into the Royal London One-Day Series.

The power and experience of those two will be much harder to replace – although Aaron Finch is likely to be back from injury – than Jos Buttler currently is for England.

In fact, with Johnny Bairstow coming in for the understandably-weary Buttler, it is arguable that England are actually stronger.

The third ODI at Old Trafford, therefore, is a perfect opportunity to make a dent in Australia’s superb recent one-day record (W18, L1) and halve the 2-0 deficit.

11/10 – England to win the third ODI against Australia

Interestingly, in each of the previous two matches England have been ahead of Australia roughly halfway to the target.

In both games, England have got to 150 three overs earlier than Australia (around the 27th over).

The trouble is that by the time they reach 200, they have lost seven or eight wickets. There has been nothing left in the tank for that final assault.

Australia, on the other hand, have scored at more than nine an over from the last 10.

That is partly because they have had wickets in hand and partly because one of those wickets was Mitchell Marsh, who hits the ball as far as anyone in the modern game.

He not only endangers bowlers’ figures, but also spectators’ well-being.

In the final 20 overs of the game, Australia are better with bat and ball.

They have the power hitters – Glenn Maxwell, Marsh, Watson (though not any more) and the ingenuity of Matthew Wade.

2/1 – Mitchell Marsh to hit a six and take a wicket

England’s equivalents – Ben Stokes, Buttler, Moeen Ali and Chrs Woakes – haven’t matched up.

The reason is less to do with the inability of England’s batting quartet and more to do with the relative potency of the Australian bowling.

During that period, England are confronted with Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins – both of whom consistently exceed 90mph – one-day specialist Nathan Coulter-Nile and Maxwell, who is a much-underrated spinner.

The pacemen bowl straight and fast and intersperse full deliveries with the odd sharp bouncer. It is hard to take too many liberties.

The ball gets softer because of the severity with which they bang it in to the pitch and is harder to hit for sixes.

Of England’s quickmen, only Liam Plunkett touches 90mph and then only occasionally. That consistent extra 3mph makes all the difference if well directed.

England need to find something – a bit more mystery or aggression in those later overs – to augment Adil Rashid’s wicket-taking knack.

Perhaps the admirable Chris Woakes needs to get nasty.

4/1 – Chris Woakes to be England’s top bowler

And, ultimately, they could do with someone at seven or eight who can whack big sixes.

David Willey might be the answer with the bat (though he lacks pace with the ball).

But until England find a Marsh-like finisher with the bat and a Starc-like death bowler, they will continue to lose as many one dayers as they win.

England v Australia third ODI betting

England v Australia ODI series betting