In the early hours of Sunday morning England and Australia do battle in the Carlton Mid Tri-Series final at the WACA and having defeated India in Perth only days before, the tourists can take a degree of confidence into the match.
With a World Cup a stone’s throw away, victory for either side will be much more significant psychologically than in terms of the silverware on offer.
This will be the team’s third meeting of the series and although George Bailey’s men have prevailed in both of them, the margins of victory have not been vast by any stretch.
Chasing England’s 303/8 at Hobart last time, the winning runs were only struck with a ball and three wickets to spare by Australia.
There are also a few other factors working in Eoin Morgan’s side’s favour which make a flutter on England worthwhile.
Not least that the left-handed bat and his team are more accustomed to the variable bounce on the WACA strip this series, as Australia are yet to turn out at the iconic venue.
This is also the scene of England’s last ODI victory over the Green Caps a year ago, so many such as wicketkeeper Jos Buttler will extract confidence from that fact.
England’s number six dug the tourists out from a position of 66/5, racking up 67 from just 43 balls to bring about India’s demise and the middle-order saviour also top-scored with 76 in that WACA win over Australia last year.
Then there is Australia’s gamble on Mitchell Johnson’s inclusion, as England’s Ashes scourge has not featured in any cricket for a month after hamstring trouble.
With matters so delicately poised getting behind James Taylor – whose 82 against India at the WACA was his fourth 50 in eight ODI innings since his recall – to make another half-century at 9/4 could be the way to play this one.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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