5th ODI betting: Dominant England deserve more respect

Watson is expected to miss out

Ed Hawkins, the SJA Betting Writer of the Year, says the hosts are still not short enough for the final ODI at Old Trafford on Tuesday

"The gap between the two in price is ludicrously small"

Back England in 5th ODI at 1.91


The home team have clinched the series after a comprehensive victory at Chester-le-Street. This despite being without Graeme Swann, who will not play in Manchester, either. A fit-again James Anderson should retain his place in the XI and it is likely that there will be no more chopping and changing.

Still, if there to be a switch it is possible that Chris Woakes is given a go at the expense of Tim Bresnan. The selectors may feel now is a good time to get a closer look at a man who keeps getting called up for squads but rarely gets a game.


Problems. The Aussies are 3-0 down and their coach, Micky Arthur, says they have been "bullied". Not many teams have managed to do that to Australia down the years but it just exposes the lack of confidence in the camp.

They have called up Mitchell Starc, the left-armer who has been playing for Yorkshire, because Shane Watson and Brett Lee have suffered injuries and are major doubts. Both have calf injuries. Ben Hilfenhaus will keep his place and if Mitchell Johnson recovers from a sore foot, he will also play. Steven Smith should also be recalled.

Venue and conditions

Toss bias alert. Of the five day-night matches played at Old Trafford, Lancashire's home ground, four have been won by the side batting first. This is a heavy enough swing to suggest that the ball does more under lights at this venue and we should factor this into our thinking.

The average first-innings score is 212 over the last ten matches so we should not expect a run feast, particularly as there has been no hot weather to flatten out pitches and make it easier for batsmen. Old Trafford is traditional good for the quicks and bowlers like Stuart Broad and Steven Finn will expect to do well.

The weather forecast is again poor but it was dreadful for Chester-le-Street and not too bad for Edgbaston but we got a full game and a washout with those two respectively so go figure. Heavy rain is expected to turn up at around 18.00BST with the odd light shower preceding it. Delays look inevitable.

Match odds

Throughout the series we have been somewhat incredulous at the stedfast refusal of the Betfair betting public not to shorten up England prohibitively. Well, they have refused to do so again and although we can scratch our heads and wonder why, surely we should just embrace it and jump in.

England are still as big as 1.9010/11 to beat a side they have three times duffed up - each match has brought a bigger winning margin - and yet Australia are not better than 2.0811/10.
It is a truly dreadful price about a side which have now only three batsmen who have proved themselves at this level and a patched up, inferior bowling line-up. Ordinarily we can make a case for the outsiders because of a toss bias but not in Australia's case. The gap between the two in price is ludicrously small. Take advantage.

Top England batsman

Jonathan Trott, who impressed with a half century up at Durham, has ground form. He hit 72 against Sri Lanka last summer at the venue, a game England won by 16 runs. Eoin Morgan also made a fifty in that game.

Top Australia batsman

There is not much point looking past David Hussey, who made an impressive half-century last time out, and Michael Clarke simply because the rest cannot be trusted. Watson made 61 against England on this ground two years ago and will be sorely missed. England won that game as well, by the way, by one wicket.

Recommended bet

England 1.9110/11

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