Having gone 1-0 in Melbourne last weekend, England travelled to Brisbane for the second match of the five game ODI series against Australia on Friday
Despite a second hundred in successive games by opener Aaron Finch England did well to restrict the hosts to 270. Few targets feel safe under the current ODI regulations but with 24 of England’s 50 overs bowled by spin, and taking 5 wickets, there were some signs that on a used pitch this might not be a straightforward target.
However at 225-3 England were coasting with contributions from Bairstow, Hales and Morgan putting England in the driving seat. Then three wickets from the premier global ODI bowler Mitchell Starc reduced England to 227-6 and it was game on. From that point Root and Woakes steadied the ship and took England home to a 4 wicket victory and a 2-0 lead in the series
England’s revival after the disaster of the 2015 World Cup therefore continues apace and is in contrast to their difficulties in test cricket away from home. It is based off an aggressive approach by a talented batting line up that is big hitting and deep whilst the range of bowling options, perhaps only missing that “x factor”bowler on flat pitches, is well balanced.
England have been helped so far this series by winning both tosses and choosing to chase. When Australia have only scored 300 and 270, England are immediately favourites as defending targets is so difficult.
For Sydney, where we can expect more hot weather and a good batting pitch (curators asked to set conditions up for the spectacle) winning the toss is once again important. There is nothing to say that a line up containing Warner, Finch, Smith and others wouldn’t be equally effective chasing down” middling totals.
Australia began the series at 8/11 for the first ODI and are now out at 10/11 for this match, which is definitely a price that they can be backed at generally across the market