With their Test side thoroughly and comprehensively spanked by their Australian counterparts, the England ODI side will look forward to the change in format, hoping that the white ball can give them more joy than the red one. Now just one year out from the World Cup, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand, the ODI leg of this Ashes tour will serve as an important leg on the journey to that tournament for both sides, as fringe players get a chance to stake a claim in the squad and the more accomplished get a chance to square off against one of their biggest opponents. Not that any game between Australia in England lacks for context, but this series will be an important one, as both sides look to move on from the Test series: one looking to get past humiliation, the other to try and temper euphoria ahead of a trip to South Africa next month.
Australia vs England ODI Series Odds
The composition to the ODI sides for both teams will be different from the ones that have gone head to head over the last month and a half, with several players expected to be rested – Mitchell Johnson, who took 37 wickets during the Test series, will miss the first game – and different combinations tried out. England will welcome to the tour their 2013 player of the year in the format Ravi Bopara and Eoin Morgan, as well as explosive batsman Jos Butler, who will look to make an impression as ‘keeper as well, with a view to climbing into the Test side, following the axing of Matt Prior in the middle of the Ashes series and the inadequate performance turned in by his replacement, Jonny Bairstow. For Australia, Shaun Marsh and Aaron Finch will bolster the top order, with the all-round capabilities of Glenn Maxwell likely to give captain George Bailey more options.
Following their domination in the longer format of the game, Australia are understandably favourites for the ODI series, going in at 1/3. Alastair Cook’s men go into the series as 12/5 underdogs, and will look to repeat what the Aussie did in September last year by bouncing back to win the ODI series after losing the Test series. It will be difficult for the English to bounce back from their whitewash, and an Australian 3-2 or 4-1 victory at 15/8 and 9/4 respectively the most likely outcome. Another 5-0 whitewash (5/1) would be a brave prediction even from Australia’s most ardent supporter. An England series win trades at 10/3 and 10/1 for 3-2 and 4-1 results respectively.
Dave Warner was one of the highest – and quickest – scorers for the Aussies in the tests and is favourite to top the scorers’ chart for them at 10/3, followed by Finch (7/2); Watson and Clarke are at 4/1. Bopara showed he was not a spent force by turning out strongly on his recall to the side in the Champions Trophy last year, and is 8/1 to continue his form in the format and top score for his side. Ian Bell and Cook are 3/1 chances, with Morgan and Michael Carberry just behind at 5/1 and 6/1 respectively.
Keep in touch with the series here.