England clash with Australia at the Oval in the first of five ODI matches over the course of 15 days.
It will be Australia’s first time back in competitive cricket action since the ball-tampering affair in South Africa. And their first clash with England since the Ashes and ODI series on home soil earlier this year.
This is a new era for Australian cricket. New head coach Justin Langer will have to make do without a number of key players. Steve Smith and David Warner are still suspended, while pacemen Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Josh Hazlewood are all absent through injury.
Langer has drafted in a number of rookies with Billy Stanlake, Michael Neser, and Ashton Agar impressing in the warm-up games. Tim Paine captains the Baggy Greens.
Eoin Morgan’s side would have been favourites to win this ODI series anyway. But against a new-look, inexperienced Australia, they’re heavily odds-on to do so now.
The test side disappointed in the Ashes tests, losing comprehensively. However, the ODI side led by Morgan followed that up with a 4-1 win in five-game series.
There were a number of impressive performances that win Down Under with Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes cracking some big scores. Buttler is 7/1 to be England’s top run scorer here.
Alex Hales is also in the line-up top bolster the top order with Ben Stokes out injured. And the big-hitting Nottinghamshire could play a big part after some decent knocks in Australia. He’s 9/2 to be England’s top run scorer.
For the Aussies, some of the rookies are going to have to have big games. Of the newbies likely to start, it’ll be interesting to see how Stanlake gets on. The 23-year-old fast bowler stands at 6ft 10in and fires in some seriously pacy balls.
The Queensland right-arm fast could seize his chance and is a 10/3 shot to be the Baggy Green’s leading wicket-taker.
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All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication