Cricket / Preview / England V Australia Odi Series

England v Australia ODI Series

After losing the Ashes, can Michael Clarke and Australia salvage something from a disappointing tour of England with an ODI series victory?

England v Australia



Having reclaimed the Ashes and endured a damp squib of a Twenty20 contest in Manchester, the attention now turns to the seven ODIs between England and Australia. Despite losing their first three matches against Australia in the 2006/07 triangular series, England’s results against New Zealand allowed them to sneak in to the final where they promptly beat Australia in both matches to give them their first one-day series success against the old enemy since 1997. Their chances of retaining the trophy have been boosted by Ricky Ponting’s return home — meaning Michael Clarke will be the stand-in skipper until Punter’s return for the fourth match of the series.



 England have been an incredibly streaky team in one-dayers in the last few years, most recently winning their last five in a row but losing seven of eight prior to that. They have lost 55% (46/84) of their ODIs that have produced a result over the last four years — 59% against the other major nations — although have been better of late, winning almost as many as they have lost (W19-L20-T1) against non-minnows since the end of the last World Cup. Like in the longer format, their results at home (W29-L29-T1 against non-minnows in the last seven years) are markedly better than outside of England (W29-L54-T1 in the same period).

Despite losing more games than they have won since the World Cup, England have actually won the majority of their series (W5-L4) in that time. Three of the series wins came by just one game, while their last three series defeats have been by at least two matches. Looking at all of their head-to-head series of at least four games in the last 10 years, England have won only four of 15 (W4-D3-L8), although all four triumphs have come in the last two years (W4-L3).



 Over a six year period from 2003-2008, Australia were utterly dominant in ODIs, winning roughly three quarters (W98-L34-T1) of their games against non-minnows (the next-best side, South Africa won 53% of their games in that time and England only 37%). As has happened in the Test arena however, their position as the dominant side has slipped somewhat — having lost more games than they have won (W8-L11) against non-minnows in the last year. One interesting quirk of their recent results is that, since the start of the last World Cup, Australia are W18-L4 in regular ODIs against non-minnows but only W13-L13 in day-nighters. England have done slightly better in day-nighters in that time as well: W8-L8 compared to W12-L16 in normal day games.

Since their triumph at the last World Cup in the Caribbean, Australia have won half (W4-D1-L3) of their ODI series. They have won only two of their six since the start of 2008 — their 3-2 victory in the UAE over Pakistan was their first ODI series win in four attempts in 2009 — although it is worth noting that the only teams to beat them over a series in that time are South Africa (twice) and India — the two sides ranked above them in the ICC ODI Championship.

Unsurprisingly, Australia lead the head-to-head series, beating England in 57% of the 91 matches that produced a result since the first ever one-dayer in 1971. Over the last 10 years they have won nearly three quarters of the contests between the two sides (W23-L8-T1), although it has been closer (W8-L6-T1) in the last five years.


ODI's after a Test Series

 Australia will likely be more motivated to win this series than the hosts having suffered a very short World Twenty20 campaign and followed that up by losing the Ashes. However, there is no strong evidence that the side that wins the Test series will go on to lose an ensuing one-day series. Over the last 10 years, there have been 51 instances of a Test series between two non-minnows of at least three games being followed by a one-day series of at least three games. The side that wins the Test series went on to win just over half of the following one-day series (W26-D4-L21), with no noticeable difference if it was the home team winning the Test series (W18-D3-L14). Having said that, in that period, England have struggled against sides they have just beaten in the Test series, losing six of their nine such one-day campaigns that followed (W1-D2-L6) — their solitary triumph coming in the home 2002 triangular series after beating Sri Lanka. Australia have been in this position only three times previously in the last 10 years, beating India home and away in the one-dayers in 2001 and 2004 and losing at home to South Africa earlier in the year.


Batting First

 English wickets have tended to favour the chasing side in ODIs, with teams batting first in non-rain-affected games (and excluding those involving minnows) winning only 40% of games that produced a result dating back to the 1999 World Cup — compared to 51% everywhere else. The combined figure for the five grounds in use in this series is 33 wins for the chasing side to 20 for those batting first, with the Oval in particular (10 wins and five losses) favouring those batting second. However, since 2006, sides batting first have won 16 of the 28 ODIs in England (eight of 16 at the five venues for this series).

Both sides have had more success of late defending a target than chasing one. Since the end of the 2007 World Cup, Australia have won only half of their 12 matches against non-minnows when batting second (including only one of six when chasing 250 or more), compared to 18 of 29 when opening up (successfully defending 12 of 14 totals in excess of 250). England have won 10 of their 18 matches against non-minnows in that time batting first, going W7-L2-T1 when making 250 or more. When batting last they have won only nine of 21, with their highest total successfully chased just 239 — winning that game on the D/L method — and making only one score in excess of 250.


Our View

 While there have to be doubts over England’s motivation after regaining the Ashes, there is no doubt they have made progress in ODIs, winning three of their last four series, both overall and at home. Australia’s results in the past year have not been up to their usual high standard and with Ponting missing the first three games of the series — the Aussies are W11-L11 against non-minnows without him since his appointment as captain — England have a chance to gain an early advantage. While Australia still have to be regarded as the better team, there appears to be more value in an England series victory at 2.8. Six of their last 10 one-day series wins have been by a solitary game, so a 4-3 correct score to England (5.0) is a longer-priced alternative.

Recommendation: England series win 2.8

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