After a 2-1 win over Australia in the T20I series, which maintained their unbeaten series run since cricket’s resumption following the global virus enforced worldwide lockdown, England will now look to get the better of the Aussies in the ODIs. Australia, though, will be looking to make amends in the three-match ODI series that’s slated to begin from Friday in Manchester having fallen short in the T20Is. With both teams boasting plenty of talented game-changers, we have a look at a few potential difference-makers in the first ODI.
Jos Buttler has been in tremendous form across formats over the English summer. He’s been amongst the runs against West Indies, Pakistan and most recently Australia in the T20I series. Buttler made 44 and an unbeaten 77 in the two T20I matches against Australia that he was involved in. The English wicket-keeper has scored two hundreds and made 926 runs at an average of 46.30 and a strike rate of 107.93 in 27 ODI innings against the Aussies. He will once again pose a huge threat to the opposition bowlers, making it imperative for the men from down under to dismiss him early.
Like Buttler, Adil Rashid has enjoyed a fruitful summer, albeit with the ball instead of the bat. He’s consistently picked up wickets against Ireland, Pakistan and in the T20I series against Australia. Not only has he picked up wickets and broken dangerous partnerships for England at regular intervals, but Rashid has also managed to keep things tight and remain economical at the same time. How the Aussies fare against him could go a long way into dictating the eventual outcome of the series, making him a key player to keep an eye on.
It’s no secret that Aaron Finch loves competing against England in the limited-over formats and going by his form in the recent T20Is against them, expect the Australian skipper to fire on all cylinders in the ODIs. Finch made 46, 40 and 39 against England in the three T20Is but failed to convert his starts into a match-winning innings. However, his current form and history against England in ODIs doesn’t make for kind reading if you are an English supporter. Seven of Finch’s 16 ODI centuries have come against England and his average of 50.12 against them is better than his career average of 41.02, which is why dismissing him quickly is so important for the hosts.
The slow left-arm orthodox spinner from Melbourne, Victoria managed to make inroads into the English batting line-up in all three T20I matches and he will be hoping to do more of the same in the ODIs. Ashton Agar outperformed Australia’s more established spinner Adam Zampa in the T20I series and will most likely be the Aussies’ go-to spin option, at least in the first ODI. He took five wickets against the hosts in the T20Is and will be hoping to make a more telling impact against them in the ODIs. No muck with the bat either, Agar can also contribute for the team from a batting perspective.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Mike Hewitt
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