England are set to host Australia for five one-day internationals and a one-off T20 international. The Aussies will commence their tour with a couple of 50-overs practice matches against Sussex and Middlesex on June 7 and 9 respectively before the ODI series gets underway from June 13. The fifth and final match is scheduled to be played on June 24. Australia will round off their tour of England with the solitary T20 international on June 27. The ODI and T20I series will be contested across six different venues.
Read on for team previews, betting odds, betting tips and series predictions for Australia tour of England 2018....
Eoin Morgan will lead England's 14-man squad for the ODI series. The team will be without their frontline pace bowler Chris Woakes who has been ruled out of the series with a leg injury. Jake Ball and Tom Curran have been added to the squad as replacement for Woakes. Ben Stokes is recovering from his hamstring injury and he will not be joining the team until the second-half of the series. The all-rounder has been replaced in the squad by Sam Billings and Dawid Malan. Jos Buttler will return to the side after being rested for the ODI against Scotland.
Eoin Morgan and Joe Root are amongst the leading run-getters for England in one-day internationals. While the former is the most experienced batsman in the side with 5287 runs in 177 matches, the latter is currently ranked fourth in the ICC ODI rankings for batsmen. There will also be high expectations from Jonny Bairstow who had a good last series against New Zealand, scoring the most runs for his side. Jos Buttler has been in tremendous form lately and he too is a key figure in this batting line-up. In the absence of Chris Woakes, England's pace bowling will rely on Liam Plunkett, David Willey, Mark Wood and Jake Ball. Plunkett has 100 ODI wickets under his belt and is the most experienced of the four. Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid form a potent spin attack. The latter has 93 wickets in 64 matches and is more likely to strangle the Australian batsmen in this ODI series.
England have won their last six bilateral ODI series in a row which goes to show how hard it has been to beat them in the 50-overs format in recent times. After failing to reach the finals of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy at home, they secured a 4-0 series victory against the West Indies. They then flew off to Australia and beat the hosts comfortably by a 4-1 margin before getting the better of New Zealand by 3-2 in their most recent ODI series.
England have not been that impressive in the shortest format as they have been in 50-overs cricket, losing four of their past six bilateral T20I series. Their last T20 assignment came in the Trans-Tasman Twenty20 Tri-Series held in Australia and New Zealand earlier this year. They could not make it to the finals of that series after losing three out of their four matches.
Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, David Willey, Mark Wood, Sam Billings, Jake Ball
Australia's chances on this tour have taken a serious setback as they will be without their pace trio of Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc. While Starc and Cummins were already ruled out due to injuries, Hazlewood is the latest to join the injury club. The spearhead is suffering from a back injury and he has been replaced in the 15-man ODI squad by uncapped medium pacer Michael Neser. Apart from him, Billy Stanlake, Kane Richardson, Jhye Richardson and Andrew Tye will form the pace attack for Australia. The visitors will also be without the services of David Warner and Steven Smith who are serving a one-year suspension for their involvement in the Ashes ball-tampering scandal.
Australia have named a slightly different squad for the T20I series. While Tim Paine will be in charge of the team for the ODIs, the 14-man T20 squad will be led by Aaron Finch. The selectors have dropped Tim Paine, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh and Michael Neser for the shortest format and have given an opportunity to uncapped players Nic Maddinson, Mitchell Swepson and Jack Wildermuth to showcase their talent at the international level.
With David Warner and Steven Smith unavailable, Australia will look to the likes of Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, Travis Head and Marcus Stoinis to deliver the goods with the bat. Finch topped the runs charts in the last ODI series against England at home in January and the team will be hoping that he is able to fire for them once again at the top of the order. The opening batsman will also be the key man for the visitors in the T20s and so will be Glenn Maxwell who is the no. 3 batsman in the ICC T20I rankings. The all-rounder is amongst the leading run-getters for Australia in this format and has a strike rate of 166. Seamers Andrew Tye and Kane Richardson will be the skipper's go-to bowlers on this tour. Tye was the team's best bowler in the home ODI series against England and he was also the leading wicket-taker in the Trans-Tasman T20I series. Billy Stanlake has been impressive with his pace in his short career and he will be backed by his team to do some early damage with the new ball.
Australia have lost their last three bilateral one-day international series. Since thrashing Pakistan 4-1 in the home ODI series last year in January, the Aussies have suffered a 0-2 loss against New Zealand and a 1-4 series defeats against India and England.
Since 2014, Australia have played ten bilateral T20I series out of which they have won six, lost three and drawn one. They were the strongest of the three teams in the Trans-Tasman Twenty20 Tri-Series where they won all their five matches, including the final against New Zealand at Auckland.
Tim Paine (c/wk), Aaron Finch, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Travis Head, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Michael Neser
Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (wk), Ashton Agar, Travis Head, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Jack Wildermuth, Kane Richardson
Australia have won 81 out of the 139 one-day internationals they have played against England in the past. While 56 have been won by the latter, 2 have resulted in tied contests. Since 2012, the two teams have played five bilateral ODI series against each other with Australia winning three of those. The Aussies have also beaten England on their last couple of tours; they won 2-1 in 2013 and then 3-2 in 2015. However, it was England who emerged victorious by 4-1 in the most recently played series earlier this year in Australia.
England and Australia have played 14 T20 internationals against each other in the past and the latter leads the scoreline 9-5. Both have won two series each out of the seven bilateral T20I series played between these two nations with the rest all having resulted in draws. Australia last faced England in a one-off T20 international series on their last tour in 2015 when the hosts edged out the touring side by five runs.
England begin as heavy favorites amongst the bookmakers to win the five-match one-day international series. Bet365 is offering an extremely short price of 1.33 on the hosts. Now this does not come as a surprise as they are the no. 1 ODI side in the world and are coming on the back of six consecutive bilateral series wins in this format. Australia are starting the series as the bookmakers' underdogs and are being offered at odds of 3.40 on Bet365. The tourists are currently ranked fifth in the ICC ODI rankings and are devoid of their first choice pace attack in Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.
Both teams have been struck by injuries ahead of this series. While England have lost Woakes and Stokes, Australia will rue the loss of their three frontline fast bowlers - Hazlewood, Starc and Cummins. The hosts have a strong batting line-up and their batsmen will be licking their lips when they face a depleted and inexperienced Aussie bowling attack. The visitors have also lost a lot of firepower at the top of the order in the form of Warner and Smith which is going to put additional pressure on the likes of Finch, Marsh and Head. Australia faced a heavy series defeat at home against England earlier this year and this time they will be taking on the same opposition in their own conditions. The hosts are a very tough side to beat at home and so we feel it would be worth backing them to win this series.
Final Verdict: Back England to beat Australia in the ODI series at 1.33 on Bet365.
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