Australia v England First T20 Betting: Hosts' horrible record makes Broad's boys the bet

Hales is the top batting talent on show
Hales is the top batting talent on show

Ed Hawkins takes a look at the first match of three in the T20 series on Wednesday in Hobart. And he expects England to prove they are superior to Australia in the short format...

"In the Big Bash League the Hobart Hurricanes made 209 for seven batting first against the Brisbane Heat last week"

Recommended bet
Back side batting first to score 160 or more at 1.84/5

Australia v England 
Start time: 08.35 
TV: live on Sky Sports 2

The wrecking balls who destroyed English confidence this winter are absent. There is no Michael Clarke, who quit the format some time ago, while Shane Watson, David Warner, Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson are all unavailable. Instead George Bailey leads a squad which will at least be used to the thrash and bash style after honing skills in the domestic T20. Aaron Finch, who hammered the England bowling in the ODI series, is the main threat with the bat. Cameron White, Bailey and Chris Lynn are the only other specialists in the camp with plenty of reliance on musclebound all-rounders like Glenn Maxwell, Moises Henriques and Ben Cutting. Clint McKay is a big miss with the ball so Nathan Coulter-Nile is the 'senior' pace option.

Alastair Cook has gone home and pretty much everyone involved with England will be pleased about that. Stuart Broad takes over. It is a blessing, surely, that only three players remain from the originally-named Ashes party. And of those, Ben Stokes is absolutely crucial while Joe Root and Boyd Rankin will probably be deemed surplus to requirements. Instead, it's down to the new breed. Jos Buttler and Luke Wright have done something no Englishman managed in the Ashes - play destructively and freely. They did it in the Big Bash and they must produce again. Jade Dernbach and Stuart Broad will take the new ball as the Nos 2 and 8 on the top bowler lists in the last two years.

Series odds 
As discussed in the series preview, It makes sense to back England because the gulf in odds is not justified by the gulf in ability. In fact, these sides are evenly matched. England are 2.568/5 with Australia 1.684/6 and the draw 12.5.

Match odds 
It's worth repeating that Australia are the worst-ranked of all the Test-playing nations in Twenty20. They have lost seven of their last eight, a record which would embarrass England. The sides have met in eight matches which have produced results with four wins each. England have won two of the last three. It is notable that only two of those contests have been close with some heavy margins of victory. So on the recent stats and historic ones the odds don't make a huge amount of sense until you have a lightbulb moment and reckon they're being priced on what happened in the Test and ODI series. We can't have that. By and large we have too many new players here. Australia are 1.738/11 and England 2.35/4. Unsurprisingly therefore we have to side with the tourists. It is the common sense call. 

First-innings runs 
There has been only one T20 international played at the Bellerive Oval, Hobart. Australia posted an impressive 179 for eight to beat West Indies by 38 runs in 2010. And we're pretty confident the pitch remains good. In the Big Bash League the Hobart Hurricanes made 209 for seven batting first against the Brisbane Heat last week. In the other two matches the first-innings scores were 167 and 162. Last season the first-innings scores were: 177-152-162-150. The season before they were: 169-138-203-173-153. If we put all those domestic scores over the last three years together in the pot we get an average of a very healthy 168. Betting 160 or more looks fair if you can get 1.84/5. There are a few spots of rain around but we are confident overs will not be reduced.

Top Australia runscorer 
Finch has 50 on this ground in the Big Bash league this term and he goes off a very short favourite indeed at around 3.55/2. White or Lynn could open with Finch and are 4.03/1 and 5.14/1 respectively. Bailey is 4.1 and Matthew Wade, the wicketkeeper, 6.05/1.

Top England runscorer 
We hope this market will mature as there is only one batsman who looks value at the moment and that is Buttler, who was superb in the ODI series, at 8.07/1. We were hoping for a bit more room in the price of Wright, who shares joint-favourite status with the run machine Alex Hales at 4.3100/30. Hales has more runs than anyone else on show in T20 in the last two years. Eoin Morgan, always a fancy, is 5.04/1.

Recommended bet
Back side batting first to score 160 or more at 1.84/5

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