Johnson’s return won’t routinely bring wickets to second ODI

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There was good news for England cricket fans everywhere as the men’s side finally won a match. That this was against a rag-tag Prime Minister’s XI will only serve to falsely boost hope ahead of the second ODI in Brisbane.

Alastair Cook’s men arrive at the Gabba as the 9/4 outsiders to win the match, with Australia a 4/11 shot to take a two-nil lead in the five-match series.

The Aussie squad rotation system continues to operate, although the fact that Shane Watson will miss the next three matches shouldn’t derail Michael Clarke’s win train.

The men in green and gold didn’t miss Mitchell Johnson too much during the first ODI and have the left-arm slinger back among their number at the same ground where he set the cannon ball swinging through England’s tour in the first Ashes Test.

Unsurprisingly, the man of the moment is favourite to be the Australian’s top wicket taker in this match at 5/2 and given his exploits in the five-day game there, that would be a wise punt.

However, Clint McKay, who took three English scalps in the first ODI, is an attractive proposition at 3/1.

The 30-year-old has claimed nine victims over the course of his three matches in Brisbane, a tally good enough to put him second on the wicket taking list at the ground over the last five years. Johnson, on the other hand only has six Gabba wickets to his name despite playing in five more matches.

For England, one of only two men the side can really rely on at the moment is Gary Ballance. The Zimbabwe-born Yorkshireman backed up his encouraging Test match debut with 79 in the first ODI, then chipped in with 56 more runs in that warm-up win over the PM’s XI. He’s a superbly priced 5/1 to be the tourist’s top runscorer here.

The other steadfast performer in this current side is Chris Jordan, who you can read all about here.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.