Cricket Betting – Can England win the first dead rubber?

Stan James at 5/6 is the stand out price on another Australia win in the 6th ODI from Sydney later tonight. VC Bet go 4/5 and after that most bookmakers are as short as 8/11 on the Aussies to continue their dominance.

England are a best price of 11/10 with most of the bookies, Stan James are the exception to the rule with a surprisingly short price of 5/6 on our hapless looking team.

Hard to see much changing now at this stage of the series, England have been poor since the end of the Ashes and with our bowling line up on its last legs and our batsmen all over the place, the players probably just want to head home for their quick break pre world cup.

Surely only Aussie complacency can cost them now, although they have plenty of previous of not turning up for dead rubbers themselves.

Think from the match result point of view, I would have to fancy Australia. If England are to win any of the remaining two games, it will probably be the final one.

Such is England’s poor form with the bat, they are 4/1 with William Hill for anyone to score a century. Considering the way Chris Woakes tour has gone so far (and the England ODI batsmen), I think I might have a silly quid on him to be top England run scorer at 40/1 with Paddy Power, it’s about the only value bet I can see.

English positives thin on the ground

To coin an old and rather annoying phrase from England captains of a past era, I have spent the last day wondering just what – if any – positives can be taken from the current abysmal showing from England so far in the current ODI series.

The batting has been awful, we seem to have players badly out of form and we have players who are apparently in form who keep giving their wickets away cheaply.

So far I can come up with just two positives, both are Warwickshire players but this is based on facts, not team bias.

First, Chris Woakes hasn’t done himself any harm given all the injuries to the world cup bowlers. Woakes must have given himself a great chance of getting the nod should Shahzad or Bresnan not make it due to their respective injuries.

With Chris Tremlett now also injured, that can only improve Woakes chances even more. Woakes also gives a bit more variation and can bat, while I’d imagine Tremlett would be viewed as too similar to Stuart Broad.

The second positive is Jonathan Trott. He has by a mile been England’s best batsman in the series so far, as a result of this he seems to have gained the most as he now must be a certain starter for the world cup. Trott is the only Englishman with a century in this series and is averaging 56 with 224 runs to date.

Of all the other batsmen, they have been very disappointing. Bell has looked great without actually doing anything – Pietersen has been ok, but is still under achieving – Strauss has been as guilty as anyone of chucking his wicket away cheaply – Morgan looks out of sorts and Paul Collingwood’s recent form speaks for itself.

Matt Prior has also been more miss than hit, I’m still not convinced he is batting in the right position. I’m not going to criticise the bowlers as we have most of our first choice line up out.

At least that is one area of the team that we are settled in when we get to the world cup, that is providing we can get Bresnan, Broad and Swann fit. Yardy looks a touch out of sorts, but the sub-continent conditions should suit him better.

We could well do with a couple of confidence building wins from the remaining two games, but I’m not sure they will be forthcoming.

Shabby England

I was critical of England after the 1st ODI, I thought that maybe I was being a bit harsh on them as they have had a great series to date. After seeing what happened in Hobart earlier I see that it wasn’t just a blip last week, that England need to up their game or risk ending this tour with a confidence sapping series defeat.

England weren’t just beat on Friday, they were thrashed in my view. It was a shabby, disjointed, weary looking performance. If England want to be regarded as the best side in the world, then you can’t just switch off after the test series is finished.

The positive side is that the bowlers did ok and with James Anderson returning for the 4th game they will be refreshed more.

But the batting let England down. Although they got a massive score in the 1st ODI, I think it is widely acknowledged that they should have got more. Plenty of top order wickets were needlessly thrown away.

The same problem surfaced again in Hobart on Friday. Strauss, Trott and Bell all got starts and failed. Prior and Pietersen both fell early in their innings, but from time to time that happens in ODI’s.

I’m no knocker of Ian Bell, in fact as a Warwickshire man I’m a biased fan of his. But it’s high time he played a match winning innings, he keeps coming to the wicket, looking great, but not playing a match defining or match winning innings.

To an extent Morgan threw his wicket away as well. But the top order aren’t setting the game up for him, they are leaving him with too much to do. When he came to the wicket the score was 83/4.

Shortly after when Bell chucked his wicket away it was 96/5 and England still required 135 runs to win with Morgan batting with the tail. He must have thought ‘here we go again, I’m expected to get us home with the bowlers.’

Leave him 50 to 60 at a run a ball with the tail and I’m sure more often than not he will get us home, but over 100 is just asking too much of him. It’s like we are depending on him too much these days.

Another problem England have is how to freshen the batting up. While the bowlers have the eager to impress Chris Woakes and the returning James Anderson to freshen things up, the batsmen have an out of form Luke Wright and the confidence shot Paul Collingwood in reserve. It isn’t ideal preparation for the world cup.

I suppose Steven Davies is still there, but I doubt he is in the greatest frame of mind after the kick in the guts he has suffered.

While we may have won the Ashes, this series isn’t just an end of tour thrash around, it needs to be taken seriously. There was a chance to hammer Australia into the ground here, there is also a chance to hit the world cup with some sort of form. At least we haven’t peaked too early for the world cup, haha.

But speaking as an England fan who has watched his country get thrashed by Australia so ofter, first get beat in one format and then humiliated in the other – this is our chance of revenge, so come on England pull your fingers out and lets get back on track in Sydney.

Two wins in a row for Aussies

Congratulations to Australia and Shane Watson on their victory in the 1st ODI, from the bits I seen, it looked an exciting – if not top quality – match.

Australia chased down an imposing target for their win, they’ve shown plenty of character now to come back with two wins from their last two games and throughout the 3 limited over matches to date, they have had the outstanding player in Shane Watson.

But I couldn’t help think that again, like in the second T20 match, England were the architects of their own downfall. Too many wickets just needlessly thrown away, it loathes me to criticise England after the tour they have had so far, but I feel they are starting to let Australia off the hook.

Strauss, Bell and Morgan all got out trying to get on with things, but they were all pretty bad wickets to give away, even by ODI standard. As for Yardy, braindead suggests he has a brain. He couldn’t get the ball off the square for a single to get Pietersen on strike, so decided to get out slogging instead. An absolute joke.

Steven Davies failed to convert again, but I think his role is to get the team off to a good start, which he did. The match situation led to Bresnan and Swann getting out slogging at the end, even so, Swann’s effort wasn’t too clever either.

Have I become spoilt by England lately and expect too much? Maybe I have. But I was quite disappointed with what I seen, I believe England are capable of a lot better.

I suppose the same can be said for Australia as well, Haddin was appauling behind the stumps and the fielding was fairly patchy, at times going from one extreme to the other.

I was watching the game wondering when Australia are going to wake up to reality, take the plunge and ditch Mitch. He was awful yet again, all over the place, his final figures of 2/54 from 7.4 overs is actually quite flattering.

His figures show 5 wides, but in reality the umpires let him away with a couple and Kevin Pietersen let him off the hook by chasing and hitting at least another 5 he bowled.

Then he goes and sums up the enigma he is by turning the game on it’s head with his run out of Pietersen, it’s remarkable that his most meaningful contribution to the match was with his foot.

The Aussie selectors deserve stick for some of their decisions, but having to decide how best to handle Johnson must be one even Albert Einstein would struggle to come up with a solution too.