Australia make up half of One Day International team of the year
With the Ashes just 49 days away, the International Cricket Committee have made a strong case for Australia winning the one day international Ashes series with England.
The ICC awarded five Australia players a place in the world ODI team of the year, with Ricky Ponting given the captaincy of the side.
Opening batsman Shane Watson and Michael Hussey make up half of the top order, whilst Aussie bowlers Doug Bollinger and Ryan Harris form part of the attack.
Stuart Broad and Paul Collingwood find themselves in the team but Australia can be confident of victory in the ODI’s that follow the Ashes test series this winter.
However, the ICC Test team of the year makes for different reading with two England bowlers making the side and just one Australian batsman.
Graeme Swann and James Anderson join Australia’s Simon Katich in a team that suggests Australia’s Test form is poor heading into the Ashes.
Australia face India in their final warm-up game before the Ashes and having lost the first Test, Ponting will want his team to respond with a win in the second test which starts on Saturday – Australia are 5/2 to win the second test.
A loss would see India complete the whitewash, India are 2/7 to win the series, and give England the confidence to go to Australia and attack.
England haven’t won in Australia since the 1986/87 tour but do hold the Ashes after their triumph over Australia in 2009.
A series draw would be enough for England to retain the Ashes and that is available at 9/2.
Andrew Strauss has always been a conservative captain and would settle for the draw now but England are 9/4 to win the series and 10/1 to win the series 2-1.
Australia are 4/6 to win the Ashes on their home turf. See the full The Ashes betting odds market here.