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Simon Hughes: Skipper and emerging stars to continue England’s ODI renaissance

02 Sep | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Simon Hughes: Skipper and emerging stars to continue England’s ODI renaissance

Eoin Morgan has two able lieutenants in Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes - England are favourites for the series against Australia, says The Analyst

Under the mercurial Eoin Morgan, England’s one-day renaissance seems set to continue in the ODI series-opener against Australia at the Ageas Bowl on Thursday and beyond.

England’s free spirit, first evident during the Test and one-day series against New Zealand earlier in the summer, was again visible in Monday’s T20 international at Cardiff.

England were 18-2 when Morgan came to the wicket.

And, despite playing hardly any cricket for a month, Morgan set about resurrecting the innings and when he left the score was 153-3.

Morgan is the figurehead – and now England’s leading T20 runmaker – but his able lieutenants in the victory were Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes.

9/2 – Eoin Morgan to be England’s top series batsman

Ali seems to be able to bat anywhere with the same languid skill and fluency. Nothing seems to bother him: pace or spin, left arm or right arm.

His easy grace belies a clear mind, though. That free-swinging bat also has a precise aim and his placement of the ball, especially on the legside, is clinical.

He scythes quicks through the offside with the fastest hands in the west, and deposits spinners over long-on and mid-wicket with calculating effect.

He was deservedly man of the match (also taking a key wicket, too).

12/1 – Moeen Ali to be man of the match in the first ODI against Australia

I would have no hesitation in opening with Ali and Alex Hales in the one-day series.

The former could profit from the early powerplay – which Jason Roy has struggled to do.

Roy tries too hard to assault the bowling – something Ali does naturally and fearlessly.

And a left-hand, right-hand combination at the top of the order might work better.

That would allow England to bring in either James Taylor or perhaps the richly-talented James Vince into the middle order spot vacated by the resting Joe Root.

England’s other rapidly emerging one-day star is Stokes. He did not contribute with the bat on Monday – he did not get the chance – but he will.

England v Australia series betting

The Durham man has as much power as anyone, but his bowling and fielding had a major impact.

It was his brilliant boundary catch that secured the key wicket of Glenn Maxwell on Monday.

And it was his nerveless bowling – and taking of fast returns from the outfield – that sealed victory.

Stokes mixed fast yorkers with clever slower balls – and a calm temperament – to keep the Australians to just six off the final over.

And twice he took flat throws from long-on to perform crucial run-outs when other players might have panicked and fumbled the ball.

He has the best hands in the team.

11/2 – Ben Stokes to be England’s top series bowler

You not only need ability, versatility and calmness to bowl at the death, but you actually have to want what is one of the most precarious jobs in the game, too.

One ball can determine whether you are a winner’s hero or a loser’s culprit and Stokes clearly revels in the role.

England bowled only one wide and no no balls in Monday’s T20 victory.

They also missed nothing in the field – one of coach Trevor Bayliss’s areas of special focus when he took over.

That control and reliability allied to their obvious hitting ability throughout the team makes England favourites to overcome the talented-but-erratic World Cup holders.

7/4 – England to win the ODI series against Australia

England v Australia first ODI betting