Australia v England Fourth ODI Betting: Starc has to inspire hosts

Starc has to play for Australia
Starc has to play for Australia
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Ed Hawkins previews game four with the Aussies trying to restore pride - and there's no better day than Friday at Adelaide...

"It is a belief that the longer an unexpected sequence goes on, the more likely it is to end. Before The Gabba, Australia had never lost three-in-a-row in a two-team series at home. So four?"

Australia v England
Friday 26 January 03.20
TV: live on Sky Sports


Australia have never been whitewashed before in home ODI bilateral series. They also rarely lose on Australia Day. A 3-0 scoreline suggests the hosts some gulf between them and England. Something, then, has got to give.

It could be Australian caution. Steve Smith has said all series that England are more aggressive and yet Australia have not tried to up their ante. His 45 from 66 balls in a chase of 303 at Brisbane was nowhere near good enough.

Given the sluggishness it is a major blow that they have lost Aaron Finch to injury. His two centuries and a fifty have had England scratching their heads. Travis Head, who doesn't have as much muscle as Finch, is expected to open the batting instead.

Glenn Maxwell has been called up as cover. Really, he should play and bat at No 3, given licence to attack at will regardless of the over.

Mitchell Starc is expected to play which is a surprise. He is well overdue a rest given his injury record and it seems strange to risk him in a dead rubber.


England will have to tinker with their line-up after an injury to Liam Plunkett. Tom Curran, The Surrey all-rounder, could come in but he doesn't offer anything close to Plunkett's pace and gumption. The smart money is on David Willey, who can be extortionate, returning.

But then maybe we shouldn't get too carried away about Plunkett's absence. They essentially defended without him in Brisbane after he pulled up having bowled only 1.2 overs.

Dawid Malan could come in for a debut but the desire to keep the foot down on Australia's throat may override any sense of experimentation. It is a major motivator for the squad following the horrific Ashes showing.

First-innings runs

This is a drop-in pitch so how relevant past scores data should be is anyone's guess. At least in South Australia they have a better record for these types of wickets than Melbourne's turgid efforts. Australia amassed 369 against Pakistan last year and the tourists replied with 312. In 2015, though, in the World Cup quarter-final, Pakistan could manage only 213, losing by six wickets.

Match odds

Australia are [1.83] and England [2.18]. For the first time in the series, those are the sort of odds one would expect. Sure, Australia have been outplayed but they are never going to go off much bigger than that at home.

It is a belief that the longer an unexpected sequence goes on, the more likely it is to end. Before The Gabba, Australia had never lost three-in-a-row in a two-team series at home. So four?

We also have to be aware that England, who have been smart and aggressive, are allowed a dip, too. There is a chance that their performance levels could drop.

Last time out it looked as though that had happened when they were reduced to 189 for six. But Jos Buttler, with incredible striking, hit a ton and Chris Woakes a rapid fifty. And from there the Aussies looked beat.

Still, if they combine Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins again, they should go close again. It was notable that in Brisbane they played together for the first time and things were tighter.

Top Australia runscorer

This is a good one for Finch to miss. He had 13 runs in three innings at Adelaide. David Warner has the most runs, but he has played most games - six have yielded 370 which puts his 16 behind Michael Clarke on the all-rime run lists. Warner is having a poor series, though, with just 45 runs. He is [4.2]. Smith is [4.3] and has 125 in four.

Top England runscorer

Since Jason Roy's 180 he has scored only 21 runs in two innings. He could hit back here and the [4.9] has some appeal. Joe Root is the [4.4] jolly. Buttler is [8.2]. Malan, by the way, comes in at [10.5]. Now, he probably won't play but that doesn't matter. If he does, it's value so a speculative nibble could pay dividends.

Ed Hawkins P-L

2018: +15.28
2017: +14.5pts
2016: +18.1pts
2015: +38pts
2014: +31.5pts
2013: +25pts
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l

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