Sun, Jan 30, 11:29am by Kevin Pitstock
Australian hopes of a clean sweep in the seven game Commonwealth Bank Series against England went out the window at Adelaide Oval on Australia Day, when they let England record a mammoth 298 run total and the chase was just too much for the struggling Australian batsmen.
Heading into todays fifth match at the Gabba, Clarke’s Australian side is looking to wrap up the series win, while England remain a mathematical chance to take the ODI series right down to the wire.
For England to continue their great run they’ll need further good service from Trott and Prior with the bat, as well as Tremlett to be right on song with the ball. One thing England will have learned from Adelaide will be too give Anderson good use of the new ball.
If Trott and Prior can continue to form the basis of a good England batting foundation, it is just a matter of time before Pietersen especially, but also Bell, Collingwood or Strauss will catch the enthusiasm and post a big innings. All have been under performing, but it will only take one of them to support Trott and Prior for England to post good scores.
Meanwhile Clarke continues to be a liability with the bat for Australia. It’s clear he cannot balance the captaincy role and that of a specialist batsmen. The skipper has scored just 70 runs from 4 innings and is in desperate need to strike form before the World Cup or he could miss the plane flight completely.
With todays match set to dedicate revenues to the Queensland Flood Appeal, look for local Ipswich hero Shane Watson to play an inspired game both with bat and ball. The 29-year-old has been nothing short of outstanding this summer, with 435 runs in the Ashes series and brilliant all-round performances in both limited overs formats. However at the Gabba, Watson has scored just 94 runs at an average of 23.5 in his six matches. On today of all days, Watson will be desperate to rectify that poor history.
Centrebet Australia have Australia at $1.88 and England at $1.93 head to head. With England confidence riding high and given Watson’s poor history at the Gabba, we can’t see Clarke making a miraculous betting resurrection and have little confidence in Johnson keeping it on the pitch, so we’ll be all over the $1.93 for an England win.
Not surprisingly Watson is the hi bat favourite at $3.85 at Centrebet Australia but given his history it’s impossible to get on at that price. With Haddin and Marsh under desperate pressure with the bat, we’re on Mr Consistency David Hussey at $6.00 to do the job yet again and hi bat for Australia.
Centrebet Australia have Trott at $4.25 as hi bat for England, but after a confidence building innings with the bat in Adelaide, it would be foolish to go past Prior at $6.00 to hi bat for England.
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