Australia have been on the receiving end of a hammering at the hands of England in their one-day series against their bitter rivals. The Baggy Greens’ defeat was confirmed when Eoin Morgan’s men blasted a world-record score at Trent Bridge, allowing the home side to secure their largest ODI victory to claim the series.
Tim Paine’s side have had no answer for the power of England’s batting line-up. Almost all of the home side’s key players have fired to drive them to the dominant triumph, even without Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes in the team. Australia have been made to toil without David Warner and Steve Smith in their ranks, while their key pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins are also missing from the tour due to injury.
Their replacements have failed to rise to the occasion, which will concern new coach Justin Langer ahead of the 2019 World Cup. Langer was appointed in the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal and has been thrown in at the deep end, facing the number-one ranked side in the world. He has just one year to prepare his team for the defence of their 50-over crown in England, and the harrowing experience may not have benefitted the younger players in his squad.
Despite their battering at the hands of the Three Lions, Australia remain one of the leading contenders for the World Cup with leading bookmakers. It’s important to remember that Warner and Smith will be available again after their one-year bans come to an end before the tournament. Starc, Cummins and Hazlewood will also come back into the fold, pending their fitness. The trio proved during the Ashes that they are one of the most potent units in the world when playing alongside each other. Starc is arguably the best one-day seamer in the game, with his ability to bowl devastating yorkers at the death a vital asset for the Baggy Greens.
As a result, their odds of 4/1 with bet365 could be worth considering, although it’s worth monitoring the rest of the bookmakers for value as others may be put off by their performances against England. It’ll become more clear what the Australia best bets are when the competition begins next year, where Langer’s plans for his team will be in full view – though, at the moment free bets like bet365’s welcome bonus will be widely used due to the uncertainty surrounding the team. There’s not a great deal of time to prepare and his side are trending in the wrong direction, slipping down to sixth in the world rankings.
Australia would have been looking at the series as an opportunity to cultivate their depth. However, no one has stuck their hand up to deliver for Paine’s men. Billy Stanlake has potential but has had issues with his fitness and form in England. Experienced bowlers Andrew Tye and Kane Richardson have been blasted to all parts, while the same can be said of Jhye Richardson, although at the age of 21 he has an excuse for his mistakes. The batting has been a similar story as Marcus Stoinis, Aaron Finch and Travis Head have offered very little. It’s concerning for Langer and Australia that their next crop of players look completely out of their depth at the highest level.