England vs Australia: Fifth ODI Preview

Batsman plays shot off back foot

The English will look to complete a 5-0 series whitewash against Australia when the sides meet in Manchester on Sunday.  

England have demonstrated a startling gulf in class between themselves and Australia in the four ODIs so far, outplaying the tourists in every facet of the game even while not quite hitting their straps fully apart from the demolition at Trent Bridge in match three.

The final match of the series offers little for either side to prove though Australia will be eager to start playing fifty over cricket more befitting their rich history and can still regain fifth spot on the ICC Rankings from Pakistan with a win.

 England v Australia | Sunday, 24 June | Old Trafford, Manchester | 12:00 

To Win Match 
England 42/100
Tie 35/1 
Australia 19/10
 
England 
The hosts will have their eyes on preparing for the 2019 World Cup with the series already in the bag. It looks like there could be a number of changes to the team yet again after Liam Plunkett was rested for the fourth ODI, allowing Craig Overton to make his debut in the emphatic victory at Chester-Le-Street.

Sam Curran was an unused member of the squad that travelled up to the north of England on Thursday, but it is unclear if he will be released back to either the England Lions or county side Surrey, or if he will get a chance to put his hand up for one of the few places in the squad still up for grabs.

England will certainly be targeting improving their seam bowling which has at times in this series come across as more filler than killer with the spin duo of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid looking most likely to win ODIs for the number one ranked side. 

Eoin Morgan's charges are no closer to sorting out who will make way for allrounder Ben Stokes when he returns to full fitness with Alex Hales relieving some of the pressure on him with a hundred from number three at Trent Bridge and a solid not out at the Riverside Stadium. Were it not for their troubles with the ball one might question whether Stokes should even come straight back into the XI at all. 

England have a good record at Old Trafford winning two thirds of the ODI matches played at the venue. Interestingly five of England's last eight ODIs at Old Trafford have been against Australia who have a decent record at the venue winning seven and losing six in thirteen visits to the ground but two of those victories came against neutral opposition.

The weather looks set fair for Sunday in Manchester with low probability of rain and warm temperatures expected.

Australia 
Australia's effort in the fourth ODI will have left them scratching their heads when it comes to the best combination to deliver a brand of cricket that isn't off the pace after Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh struck centuries but somehow still didn't quite look world class.

The tourists need to find a way to keep the board ticking over from the outset and throughout the middle overs after it was made clear to them in Durham that wickets in hand in the last ten just aren't enough when facing a team like England who seem to be able to score at will at any stage of the innings.

Spinners Nathan Lyon and Ashton Agar were the pick of a disappointing bunch of Australia bowlers in the fourth ODI and may turn out together in the final match of the series while the selectors will be left to spin their seamer roulette wheel to determine which members of a decidedly second-string pace attack take the field at Old Trafford. Jhye Richardson has impressed in patches as has Andrew Tye while more will be expected from Kane Richardson, Billy Stanlake and Michael Neser.

After a string of mediocre displays, Glenn Maxwell and D'Arcy Short missed out at Chester-Le-Street, though the former may feel somewhat aggrieved after hitting a half-century earlier in the series.

Questions remain about whether skipper Tim Paine is a good enough ODI player to guarantee his selection in the team with Alex Carey, who played as a batsman in the fourth ODI, knocking on the door.

Verdict: England 42/100
With the series wrapped up, England will be looking to put in another stellar display and should have more than enough quality to secure the whitewash in Manchester. 

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Written by James Richardson for Hollywoodbets.

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