England vs Australia: Second ODI Preview

Batsman faces bowler in front of packed cordon

England face Australia at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on Saturday 16 June in the second of five One Day Internationals.  

England have an early lead in the five-match affair, after a relatively low-scoring victory in London. Now, they're off to Wales, where a two-nil advantage would put the opposition under all sorts of pressure.

The Aussies managed to expose the batting frailties of the English at The Oval, but were unable to ultimately capitalise. They've got a second chance to do exactly that in Cardiff.

England vs Australia | Saturday, 16 June | Sophia Gardens, Cardiff | 12:00

To Win Match
England 52/100
Tie 35/1 
Australia 31/20

England
The hosts did enough to win in London, but hardly justified their number one ODI ranking. Indeed, that was an isolated performance, but if they collect a few substandard showings, questions will again be asked. Their top-order failed, while the middle men failed to convert promising starts, leaving too much to do for a lower-order lined with capable all-rounders.

Opportunity, indeed, knocks for correction in a different country, before Eoin Mogan and company return to England for the remainder of the series. Morgan will be the first to admit he should have converted his half-century to a ton in the first match, when a three-wicket win with six overs to spare should have been substantially larger - and all the more telling.

Spin accounted for almost 50 percent of England's overs at The Oval. Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid can almost certainly expect a full allotment each again, while part-timer Joe Root should get a spell too. The Aussies, conversely, deployed a mere 10 overs of spin. They will want to give Ashton Agar more of a go this time - and perhaps draft Nathan Lyon into the XI at the expense of a seamer.

England's last outing at Saturday's venue resulted in defeat, to Pakistan, in 2017. The last time they played Australia here, in 2013, the home side won. Six of the last 10 ODIs at this ground have been won by the time batting second, suggestion whoever wins the toss will bowl first. This will be particularly instrumental if a 70 percent chance of rain interferes with either innings.

Australia
Lyon will almost certainly enter the fray ahead of Michael Neser, who is the most junior of the current seam attack. Billy Stanlake was marvelous, but he can't do it alone - and will require Kane Richardson and Andrew Tye to deliver on cue. The latter delivered 20-plus slower balls in London - and as many, if not more, variations will be in high demand in Cardiff.

There was a lot to be said for their batting in the series opener, as five of the top seven reached at least 20, but then couldn't follow through. Tim Paine's pre-meditation in getting out while reverse sweeping was a case in point, which must be avoided on the weekend. Agar, Shaun Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell - they all need to build on what they started.

There's evidently a weakness against spin - wrist and finger. This could be successfully combated with outright targeting and attack, or simply milking the slow bowlers. One surmises the latter would be the stronger option, but the likes of Aaron Finch and Travis Head might lack the discipline for such an approach. Marsh, then, will be key to marshalling the innings.

Morgan and Root aside, Australia were quick to stifle the challenge of England's three most attacking batsmen earlier this week. Jos Buttler, Jason Roy and Alex Hales shared a mere 14 runs in London. They would have seen a lot of Tye in the Indian Premier League - and could be locked and loaded to take on his characteristic slower deliveries.

Verdict: England 52/100
The English should put in an improved performance, while the new-look Aussie outfit is still finding its groove. So a two-zip scoreline rather than an all-square scenario is likely.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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