England have cruised to a 4-0 series lead over Australia. Eoin Morgan’s side are leading the way in One-Day International cricket at the moment and look as good as unstoppable. Australia, meanwhile, are doing their very best to impersonate the failings of England’s white-ball cricket in the first half of this decade.
The fourth ODI at Chester-le-Street was as uncompetitive as the others in this series. Australia avoided a repeat of the humiliation they suffered in the third match but set a meagre 310 that England chased down with over five overs to spare. The chasm between the two sides has been clear to see in all four matches so far.
England’s odds to win each match are shortening. Heading to Old Trafford for the series-closing day-night affair, the hosts are in at 2/5 to get the win and complete the series whitewash.
It’s obviously a pretty indifferent price, particularly if Eoin Morgan and the management team opt to rotate. Value in this match is elsewhere.
Even in a drubbing of this proportion, there are a few bets on the tourists that could be worthwhile. Shaun Marsh, for instance, has looked in fine touch. The veteran notched a century in the fourth match and is at a decent 13/2 price to be the top batsman from both teams in this one.
Marsh doesn’t carry the same destructive threat as much of the England order, but is more than capable of building an innings as Australia look to set the table.
Only Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy have scored more than Marsh this series, who is perhaps even better value at 7/2 to be the top Australian batsman.
Australia’s bowling department offers less value. No bowler has taken more than five wickets in the series for the tourists, and all have struggled to control the scoring of England’s batting line-up.
Nathan Lyon at 3/4 to take more wickets than Moeen Ali is probably the best option, though Moeen has had a fair bit of success this series as the Australian batsman have targeted his off spin.
The aforementioned Roy and Bairstow lead the top batsman odds. Both average over 70 in the series and have put the Australian new ball bowlers to the sword with relentless shot-making in the powerplay overs. The pair both sit at 5/1 to be the top batsman in the match or 3/1 to be England’s top batsman.
The equally destructive Alex Hales is at a marginally longer price of 11/2 (13/4 in team betting). Hales has blown hot and cold in this series but has the ability – as we were all reminded of at Trent Bridge – to score big and do it at a ludicrous pace.
Hales is a definite candidate to add a seventh ODI century to his resume and looks the best bet in the top batsman markets.
It’s almost cruel to make Australia play England again. They’re playing a different sport at the moment, and that will be evident again at Old Trafford. England to hit the most fours at 3/5 and sixes at 4/5 are once again the best picks.
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*