England v Australia T20 Betting: Hosts can give Aussies a fright

Eoin Morgan has been in poor touch
Eoin Morgan has been in poor touch

Ed Hawkins previews the only shortest format contest between the sides and expects a close encounter in Cardiff on Monday

"One gets the feeling the toss will be key on a track which should keep the bowlers interested."

Recommended Bet

Back England at 2.285/4

England v Australia
Start time: Monday, 15:00
TV: Live on Sky Sports

England

England have decided to rest Joe Root for the end-of-season jamboree. They have kept faith with the enterprising new faces which impressed against New Zealand at the start of the summer while adding some new talent.

Alex Hales will open with either Jason Roy or James Vince while there is no shortage of all-round power. Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, David Willey, Adil Rashid and Chris Woakes are all class acts in two disciplines.

Willey, who impressed again in Finals Day, is a left-armer and should get the nod ahead of fellow southpaw Reece Topley. Steven Finn is expected to lead the attack. Eoin Morgan leads.


Australia

Steve Smith leads Australia's T20 outfit and he can call on plenty of experience in the form of George Bailey - who has had a stint with Sussex -, David Warner and Shane Watson.

Those are four impressive batsmen in this format and it is with the willow where the balance of power lies. Australia could bat Watson at No 6 and Glenn Maxwell, known as the Big Show, one place above.
Joe Burns opened the batting with Warner in their warm-up win against Ireland. Mitchell Starc, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Pat Cummins are expected to form the pace attack.


First-innings runs

There have been only two T20s played at Cardiff. Pakistan could manage only 126 and 89 in two defeats against England in 2010. In county cricket, the first-innings scores in the last two years read: 146-115-159-169-148-144-108-157-170-165-177-178. That is an average of 153.


Match odds

England are 2.285/4 with Australia 1.758/11. It is tempting to reckon that England are the value because of the weakness the Aussies have under heavy skies and against a moving ball. Reckless attack is unlikely to pay off.

But are England actually better equipped to play more sensibly? They are gung-ho now in limited-overs and sooner or later they will get a reminder that it cannot be attack for the sake of it.

The key will be whether they bat first or not under dark clouds (no rain is predicted). If they field first and see the ball zipping about they will adjust accordingly. There is no toss bias - it's almost a fifty-fifty split in the last two years domestically - but one gets the feeling it will be key on a track which should keep the bowlers interested.

In such conditions you would have to say England should at least go toe-to-toe with Australia, who are the better side. Since beating England in Hobart at the start of 2014, Australia have lost won eight from 12. Over the same period England have lost eight from 12.

The Aussies have won seven of the 11 meetings between the two. Three of the defeats came outside Australia, two in England.


Top England runscorer

Hales, Roy and Vince are 4.03/1, 4.57/2 and 5.04/1 respectively. Morgan, who hasn't played since August 1, is in horrific form and can be ruled out at 5.59/2. The value could be further down the list, particularly if Australia's bowlers get to the grips with the surface. Moeen (although we're not sure where he'll bat) Buttler and Stokes stand out.


Top Australia runscorer

Aaron Finch is Australia's top bat over the last two years but he is not available. So Maxwell is the next best with 295 runs at 21. A strike rate of 177 means he won't have to bat for long. He should be around 7.06/1, though, given his probable batting position. Smith and Warner are 4.03/1.


Recommended Bet

Back England at 2.285/4

Ed Hawkins P/L

2015: +£312.30
2014: +315.10
2013: +250.80

To £10 level stakes (unless otherwise stated), based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate.

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