Rain tarnished England’s chances of becoming the world’s number one cricket side in all forms of the game, and I can tell you that this cricket writer is one happy man. Not that I am biased much. It is also lifted my spirits knowing now that all the Aussies can now do is draw this one-day series, and it looks a bit of a stretch at that. With all the rain forecast for the remainder of the series, it’s all looking pretty grim in England. All I can say is the sun better be smiling when the South Africans arrive. I don’t want any excuses.
So the snooty Alistair Cook and his semi-English cohorts still grip the series by the short and curlies at 2-0 with two to play. The rain brought sadness to both captains, as I previously explained, but none more so than Michael Clarke’s bunch of hooligans. Their batting has taken some flack recently, not without reason, and John Invariety’s comments don’t seem to ring true. He states that 37 year olds such as Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey are fitter than 37 years olds in the past have ever been, and can still play test cricket, the most physical format of the game. Yet, he drops them from the one-day set up? Yes, making room for younger players and getting them acclimatised to English conditions is pivotal. But are the two old men not going to be around next year? Look I’m not a coach, I’m a critic, and if I was an Australian, I would like to win just as much as the rest of their insipid kind.
Enough with the hate speech, we’re here to make some money. Now, James Anderson is back on the scene to the chorus of colonial jubilation, overcoming the thigh strain that sidelined him for the second ODI. The hound faced paceman is worthy of a fair amount of fear too, as our youtube video attests. Replacement Jade Dernbach served up a bowl of swill at the Oval, and if Anderson had been opening with Steven Finn it may have been an even more one-sided encounter.
The English batting is as strong as ever, and as a betting man, it is tough to pick a top scorer amongst them. They all have the prospensity for a big score on their day, as Morgan and Bopara showed in the first two encounters, but before them you have the likes of Cook, Bell and Trott. The Australian bowling has showed no direction and unless they pull it together, will be picked apart like a carcass in the desert sun.
The Aussies have not even been close to living up to their label as the world’s number one ODI side. At least there may have been some justice in them getting whitewashed in this series, just so the ranking system did not seem so flawed. David Warner has misfired. Watson, although somehow accumulating runs, has looked far from the front foot bully of the past. He doesn’t seem to have the mental stamina to last a 50 over innings, and this does not bode well for Australian test cricket. The middle order became heavily bogged down in the second ODI and will need to pace themselves better to hit the 300 mark that seems necessary to push teams such as England these days.
The bowling have not redeemed the batting woes either. They have yet to even test the English in a run chase, and Mitchell Johnson just doesn’t seem like international quality to me. I realise he has the ability to bowl those magic spells, but is it really worth hanging around for while he oversteps, bowls wide and gets pummelled to all ends of the ground? I think not. Australia have a wealth of quality pace bowlers and some of them are not even in the six strong pace attack that currently find themselves in one day squad. Why does Mitchell Johnson consistently land up there? Mystifying.
It’s been a mixed bag for the Australians at this ground, they’ve won one and most recently, lost one. However, with rain today, all day tomorrow, and a 60% chance on the opening morning, don’t expect to be seeing much cricket.
BEST: Top England Batsman, Eoin Morgan 9/2
I am of the opinion that if we get a full game in here, England may be in need of some quick runs. Cue an Eoin Morgan blitzkrieg. He’s in form and fighting for a place at number six in the test team. Some players play best with their backs to the wall and Morgan is one of them.
VERDICT: England 1/1
If you get a full game in, I would suggest backing England. They are simply the better side.
Written by @IAMaverickWhite for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!
Think we've got it wrong? Well leave your comments below and tell us how you think this one is going to play out.