Australia v England First ODI betting: New-look tourists can give Aussies a fright

Ed is backing Ian Bell to continue his good form
Ed is backing Ian Bell to continue his good form

Ed Hawkins previews the first game of the Carlton-Mid series in Sydney in the early hours of Friday and expects Eoin Morgan's team to go on the attack...

"Ian Bell and Moeen Ali are a dynamic duo and in the two warm-ups – admittedly the bowling has been weak – England have scored big runs"

Recommended Bet
Back Ian Bell to be top England runscorer at 4.84/1

Australia v England
Start time: 03.20GMT
TV: live on Sky Sports

Australia
Australia, favourites for the series, have two injury worries ahead of the World Cup. Michael Clarke is racing to be fit with back and hamstring problems and Mitchell Marsh, the all-rounder, has also been struggling with a hamstring.

It would be a major surprise if Clarke was to play in this game and he may not be fit enough to appear in this series at all. Marsh will first play as a batsman only but that will not be until the third game in Hobart.

There are positives, though. Glenn Maxwell brutalised England's attack in defeat in Canberra on Wednesday and the batting looks strong. David Warner, Aaron Finch and Shane Watson are powerful hitters while James Faulkner, the all-rounder, is an emerging star.

They have plenty of pace options, too. Mitchell Johnson, Josh Hazlewood  and Mitchell Starc all have super records in this format.


England
A brave new world for England. Very brave. It takes some guts to sack your captain weeks before a World Cup. Some might call that madness. Others might say the definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing expecting different results.

So, a rarity this, in a World Cup, England will go on the attack with two openers given free rein. Ian Bell and Moeen Ali are a dynamic duo and in the two warm-ups - admittedly the bowling has been weak - England have scored big runs.

James Taylor will bat at No 3 and an engine room with Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, the new captain, Ravi Bopara and Joss Buttler looks solid. England's major call in game one is whether to pick James Tredwell as a specialist spinner. It's between him and Steven Finn as Stuart Broad and James Anderson return.


First-innings runs
The first-innings average in the last ten at the SCG is a low 236. Runs have been hard to come by and from that study section more than 275 has been breached only twice. The highest was 333 by England in 2011 and it wasn't enough to win the match. 


Match odds
England will be pleased to begin at the SCG, a surface which will assist their bowlers. Historically, they have always done better on bowler-friendly pitches rather than batsman-friendly ones.

There is a big gulf in odds between the two. Australia are 1.454/9 and England 3.211/5. We don't play at such skinny odds about the hosts, particularly as this 'new' England are untested. 

Normally, England are dreadful value when the ball spins or there is a tacky surface. We don't expect either in Sydney and they are capable of going toe-to-toe with the Aussies and we certainly expect a back-to-lay to pay off.

England have lost their last three against Australia in Sydney. There is no toss bias for contests under lights - 12 of the last 22 have been won by the side batting first. Australia have won five of their last six against England. And only two from the last 12 at home. 


Top Australia runscorer
Shane Watson, Aaron Finch and Steve Smith all scored half-centuries last time out at the venue against South Africa in November. Watson top scored. This time last year Warner shared honours with Shaun Marsh against England. In the game previous to that, against West Indies, Watson took honours again. Watson has 623 runs against England since 2011, second only to Clarke on 625.


Top England runscorer
Eoin Morgan top scored in that game with 54 and back in 2011 he struck at 161 in a fun cameo to propel England to what should have been a winning total. Morgan is England's most successful batsman against the Aussies since 2011, scoring 679 runs at 45. Ian Bell, who will open, is next best with 461 at 37. Bell's form has been good in the warm-ups and he is worth following at 4.84/1


Recommended Bet
Back Ian Bell to be top England runscorer at 4.84/1

Ed Hawkins P/L

2015: -£20

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