THEY might have blown it in the Tests, but Australia has a chance to redeem itself in the one day series and the bookies think it’s a no-brainer.
Our friends over at sportsbet.com.au have installed the Australians as hot $1.40 favourites to take out the five match series, starting on September 3 at Southampton.
The English are $2.90 outsiders, despite the fact that seven new players have been included in a squad that last won the World Cup on home soil.
Steve Smith, the $3.50 favourite to top the Australian run scoring in the series, has been officially named captain of the one day side, but the Aussies will also be without frontline seam pair Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazlewood, gun all rounder James Faulkner and marauding opening bat Aaron Finch, who has a busted foot.
Faulkner felt the wrath of the selectors after his off field misdemeanour in July when he was arrested for drink driving in England.
Finch’s fellow opener David Warner is next on the run scoring list, rated a $3.75 chance, with the Victorian’s replacement, Joe Burns, a $5.50 third favourite.
“The reality is Aaron isn’t fit for selection at this stage and he also hasn’t played as much cricket as we would have liked him to following a couple of serious injuries,” Marsh said.
“He may look to return to Yorkshire, fitness dependent, for a few games at the end of the season as he prepares for the Matador Cup at home in October.”
Burns is an intriguing inclusion after blasting the Indians all over the Chennai ground last week while playing for Australia A.
He slapped 154 from 131 deliveries, including 14 sixes and looks like he can step right in and fill the attacking void left by Finch.
National Selection Panel chairman Rod Marsh said Burns had “impressed us immensely”.
“He is a very capable young batsman who has experience opening, and we think he will grab his opportunity with the white ball during this series,” Marsh said.
One of the surprise omissions was off spinner Nathan Lyon, whose one day career now looks in trouble.
Lyon, who bowled beautifully in the Tests, can count himself very unlucky to miss out on the short form selection, especially considering Marsh’s slightly strange excuse.
He said the selectors preferred the left arm orthodox spin of Ashton Agar against an England batting card that is set to feature five right handers in the top seven. He also wanted to protect Lyon from being got at in the short form.
“He’s (Lyon) bowling that well in Test match cricket it almost seems a shame for him to perhaps lose any of that by perhaps copping a hiding every now and then in one day cricket,” Marsh said. “His confidence is high (just playing Tests),” Marsh said.
“We need someone going away from the bat, so it was either a leg-spinner or Agar or (Steve) O’Keefe.
“Agar’s played here and played well here so we opted for him.
“Plus, he’s bowling very well at the moment.”
Marsh says Agar beat out Ashes tours Fawad Ahmed for the only spinning spot in the one day line up.
“He (Fawad) didn’t do a bad job at all when he played one day internationals after the 2013 Ashes, but we’ve opted for Ashton because we just reckon that with what’s coming up, a left arm orthodox is going to be vital,” Marsh said.
“There could, in fact, be two left arm orthodox on some of these tours, and it could be we also have Nathan Lyon and Glenn Maxwell.
Agar like Burns, has been super impressive on the tour of India for the Aussies reserves and picked up a bag of 5/39 last week.
“Ashton has performed very well with the ball since his return from shoulder surgery,” Marsh said. “He has played in these conditions over here before and the NSP believes he has a very bright future.”
Agar is $23 to lead Australia’s wicket taking list and a juicy $67 to top the run scoring table.
Joining him as a chance to debut in the short form of the game is seaming all round Marcus Stionis, who also impressed in India by averaging 48 with the bat and 31 with the ball.
“Marcus has performed very well in India during the four-day series and we have always liked that option of the extra allrounder in our side, so with James Faulkner’s unavailability, this is a great opportunity for Marcus,” Marsh said.
Stionis is rated a $34 chance to head Australia’s bowling stocks, while with the bat he’s $34.
Shane Watson has, remarkably, kept his spot in the side, indicating the Aussies haven’t yet given up on the bitterly disappointing all rounder. He is $9 to make the most runs in the series and $23 for the most wickets.
Replacing Johnson and Hazlewood in the fast bowling stocks are Victorian quick James Pattinson, back in the swing after a wretched run with injury, and Nathan Coulter-Nile, whose pace with the rock and lusty hitting with the willow are set to be a feature if he gets a gig.
Joining them in the battle for the new rock is Mitchell Starc, who has overcome the ankle issues that have hurt his Ashes campaign and burly fellow left armer Pat Cummins.
Matthew Wade will look after the wicket keeping duties and could open the batting if needed.
Middle order run machine George Bailey keeps his spot, with the departure of Clarke.
He might be a sneaky good pick for most runs in the series. He seems to score plenty and does it at a quick rate through the middle order and, at $6.50, represents good value as an old hand in this changing of the guard.
Which way do the punters lean for the fifth Ashes dead rubber?
While we’re on the cricket, there still is another match to be played in the Ashes Test series, albeit a dead rubber, with the English already taking home the treasured urn, holding an unassailable 3-1 lead.
And they’ve finally been installed as favourites to win a Test match in the series, after starting as outsiders in each of the first four tests.
Our mates at WilliamHill.com.au have the Poms listed as a $2.35 favourite to rub it in and make it a 4-1 series victory.
The draw is the rank outsider at $4.25, while the Aussies aren’t without hope, with odds of $2.50 about them to make at least the ledger look prettier.
They have plenty to play for with Australian captain Michael Clarke bowing out of Test cricket in his last ever game.
A host of other names could also be playing their last Test and here’s hoping the sentimental side of things helps the Aussies find something special.
Australia squad: Steve Smith (captain), Ashton Agar, George Bailey (vice captain), Joe Burns, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Patrick Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Shane Watson, David Warner, Cameron Boyce (Twenty 20 international only)
Qantas Tour of the British Isles fixtures
- One Day International vs. Ireland, Thursday, August 27, 2015, 6.45pm AEST, Belfast
- Twenty 20 vs. England, Tuesday, August 31, 2015, midnight, Cardiff
- Five match One Day International series vs. England
- Tuesday, September 3, 2015, 11pm, AEST, Southampton
- Thursday, September 5, 2015, 7.30pm, AEST, Lord’s
- Tuesday, September 8, 2015, 11pm, AEST, Old Trafford
- Friday, September 11, 2015, 7.30pm, AEST, Headingley
- Sunday, September 13, 2015, 7.30pm, AEST, Old Trafford
Five match One Day International series vs. England market odds
Head to head:
Series correct result:
England 5-0 ($41)
England 4-1 ($13)
England 3-2 ($4.33)
Australia 3-2 ($2.63)
Australia 4-1 ($3.25)
Australia 5-0 ($7)
Series top run scorer – Australia
Steve Smith ($3.50)
David Warner ($3.75)
Joe Burns ($5.50)
George Bailey ($6.50)
Glenn Maxwell ($7)
Shane Watson ($9)
Mitch Marsh ($17)
Matthew Wade ($21)
Marcus Stoinis ($34)
Ashton Agar ($67)
Nathan Coulter-Nile ($101)
Series top wicket taker – Australia
Mitchell Starc ($3)
Pat Cummins ($3.75)
Mitch Marsh ($6)
Nathan Coulter-Nile ($6)
James Pattinson ($6.50)
Glenn Maxwell ($11)
Shane Watson ($23)
Ashton Agar ($23)
Marcus Stoinis ($34)
Steve Smith ($101)
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