England will certainly want James Anderson fully fit for the Test series with South Africa that begins on July 19th and so he could rest a groin strain for the second one-day meeting with Australia.
Anderson was unable to bowl his full quota of overs in England’s 15-run victory in the opening one-day encounter at Lord’s because of his injured groin, but he still chipped in with a valuable two wickets.
However, with the remaining four games taking place within a ten-day spell, this is a semi-hectic schedule ahead of the South African series.
England will undoubtedly want Anderson to bowl again before South Africa, but with a solid collection of one-day pace bowlers awaiting an opportunity, it would make sense to give him a few days rest.
Four seamers were picked for the first Australia showdown, along with Graeme Swann, but there would be no need to change approach for England as they look to build a 2-0 series lead at the Oval.
Jade Dernbach would seem the logical replacement if Anderson did sit out, although Stuart Meaker and Chris Woakes would also be in contention, with Woakes in particular strengthening the batting line-up.
England’s odds are 2/5 to now win the one-day series with Australia and having avoided a single defeat against Pakistan and the West Indies, some punters will fancy a 5-0 romp despite the strength of the opposition.
It is 9/1 that England win 5-0.
Meanwhile, the Test series with South Africa looks particularly tough to call, with the two top seam attacks in Test cricket going head-to-head, heightening the need for Anderson to be fully fit.
England are marginal favourites to beat South Africa at 13/8 with home advantage, while the visitors can be backed at 2/1.