England wrapped up this five-match series with their Tuesday victory. Now they head to Durham to face the wounded Australians for a fourth time, as the focus switches to a five-nil series.
The depleted Australia were always underdogs for this tour. Even after England’s loss to Scotland, Australia were expected to lose this series. At the moment, though, this is not just a series defeat, it borders on humiliation.
It gets little more embarrassing than giving up a world record score. The mammoth 481 England compiled absolutely smashed their own record and was another step in reminding everyone they are a serious contender for the World Cup next year.
A repeat of the Trent Bridge carnage is unlikely. Chester-le-Street will not provide such a favourable surface to the batsmen, and even this deep England line-up can’t just cruise to 400. As we saw at Trent Bridge, however, England are full of in-form batsmen.
Thus, picking one from the betting market is challenging. Jason Roy was at his destructive best until an error, Jonny Bairstow continued his majestic form, Alex Hales struck a century and skipper Eoin Morgan looked in fine touch.
That’s before we even get to the best pure batsman of the lot, Joe Root. Bairstow and Roy are tied atop the ‘top batsman’ in the match odds at 6/1.
Both have been superb, but the 10/1 price on Morgan is a good one after his blistering cameo at Trent Bridge. If he gets long enough to build an innings, we could see Morgan become the latest England batsman to reach three figures.
Australia’s batsmen have not been able to live with England. Travis Head, who is 15/4 to be Australia’s top batsman, has perhaps looked to the most fearsome, but there’s little value in backing any of the tourists to be the top batsman in the match.
The 3/5 price on it to be a player in an England shirt is good value. It is hard not to wince when you think about the Australian bowlers after the third match.
White-ball specialist Andrew Tye was dispatched around Nottingham for 100 runs in nine overs, and of their seven bowlers used, only part-timer Aaron Finch (who bowled just six deliveries) and Ashton Agar went for under nine runs an over.
Jhye Richardson was the only bowler to take multiple wickets. Australia needed a couple of run outs amongst their six dismissals, but Richardson was the most successful bowler despite being taken deep four times and giving up over 90 runs.
His 15/4 to be Australia’s top bowler is on the short side, however. Tye is still a better price at 11/4, even after his Trent Bridge disaster.
Adil Rashid, the series’ leading wicket-taker, is the 11/2 favourite to be top bowler in the match. Rashid took four wickets in 10 excellent overs in the last match; Australia are yet to have an answer for him. He’s the best value in the bowler markets, just as he has been all series.
England are way in at 4/9 to win this one. It’s still a decent price given their dominance so far, but the boundary markets are slightly better value. An England player to score a century is worth backing at EVENS, too.
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*