Ed Hawkins makes sense of an Australia batting line-up packed with class ahead of game one in Southampton on Friday night
"Maxwell has a century in the warm-up and as discussed in the match preview, an excellent record against England, to boot"
England v Australia
Friday 4 September 18:00
TV: live on Sky Sport
Maxwell in charge
David Warner and Aaron Finch are Australia's powerhouses in the opening berth slot. Bowlers fear them. So do the bookies. These two, behind Babar Azam, have some of the highest win rates on the top bat market in T20 international.
Over their careers Warner and Finch have topped 20% and 29.5% of the time respectively. With such a whopping number combined, it makes little sense to look elsewhere in the green and gold for value.
Warner is the 13/5 with Sportsbook while Finch is 9/4. On three-year form, we have Warner at 5/2 and Finch at 11/2. So clearly we only have one wrong price. And to repeat the maxim: we only bet if the price is wrong. Finch is dangerous and has a penchant for English bowling and we swerve not because we think he is a poor player but purely because the odds are not there.
As for Warner, the edge Sportsbook give us is 0.8% probability points. Not much but for a man of his class, experience and, most importantly, cast-iron guarantee that he will open the batting it is is value.
The problem is with Warner, there is bigger value elsewhere. Glenn Maxwell is the man who goes under the radar. We described Warner and Finch as having 'some of' the best win rates in the world precisely because Maxwell is among them. He has won 21% of the time. In the last three years he has won eight times out of 23. That's a win rate of 34.7.
Even if allowing for the return of Warner after his spell out of the side (Maxwell has missed games, too, by the way due to stress) the 7/1 is toppy. Maxwell has a century in the warm-up and as discussed in the match preview, an excellent record against England, to boot.
Steve Smith is the man who could confound all of our hard work. On career form, he is no fun at all at 4/1. But he has made great strides this year in developing his T20 game. Frustratingly, he is batting at No 3 where Maxwell should be.
If Warner is your man then the best way to get with him is to take the 11/4 that he scores a fifty - a 26.7% chance. In the last three years he has managed it 37.5%.
Top Australia bat wins/matches
Warner 4/13 - has career win rate of 40
M Marsh t/4
Smith 5/39 (career)
Top Australia bowler wins/matches
K Richardson 3 3t/15
Agar 4 t/22
Maxwell 2 t/25
Zampa 1 3t/20
Jos Buttler returns to coloured clothing for England having gone a long way to prove he can cut it a Test level. It is perhaps no coincidence that he found red-ball form after a long break from white.
He slots straight back into the opening berth, a role which he proved so destructive in the format that chief selector Ed Smith wanted him to reprise down the order in the longer form. He is 9/4 favourite with Sportsbook for most runs. When you look at his career win rate - just 14% - it's a price that makes you balk.
However, it is important to filter results. Buttler hasn't always opened and when he has, he has a win rate of 33.3%, although he has opened only nine times, notching a win in each of his first three. He is overdue, as they say.
Where are Australia strong and weak? This week on Cricket...Only Bettor