Saturday sees the fifth and final one day international, played at Durham. With the series tied at 2-2, its winner take all for England and New Zealand


David Willey top England bowler 5th ODI England v New Zealand 4-1 William Hill

So far it has been the fastest-scoring one-day series in history, with a combined run rate of over seven runs an over. What’s more England have four consecutive ODI totals over 300 and at Nottingham on thursday England chased down 350 to level the series – their highest successful chase and the fourth-highest in ODIs ever – and with seven wickets and six overs to spare.

The transformation of England’s ODI team really is remarkable. Over and above the change in approach from England, finally playing a more modern game with aggression and intent throughout, the reasons for records tumbling all series are becoming well known. ODI regulations (both fielding restrictions and two new balls an innings) favour batsmen enormously, the pitches this series have been firm and true, modern bats allow for huge hitting and batsmen are stronger and quicker, with much improved hand speed and strength and conditioning. In this series though there is a further factor that has a huge bearing on possible betting opportunities. The batting line-ups are simply much stronger, and deeper, than the bowling line ups.
Looking for a player in the “top batsman” market? Well for England Root and Morgan, as well as Hales and Buttler, have to be on the shortlist. For New Zealand Williamson and Taylor are the top run-scorers in the series with over 300 each and Guptill and McCullum have threatened without going onto make the big score, which they might on any occasion.
In the “top bowler” markets both sides are far weaker. England rested Anderson and Broad then lost Jordan and Plunkett to injury. New Zealand lost Boult after six wickets in two games and Milne and Anderson haven’t played in the series. Neither side has a really threatening spinner. The result is if we look at both bowling line ups and performances so far in the series we can narrow down likely winners quite substantially
New Zealand (wickets/games/top bowler price 5th ODI)
Mcglenahan 4/4 – 7/2
Henry 4/3 - 7/2
Southee 4/3 – 11/4
Santner 4/4 – 6/1
Wheeler 3/2 – 4/1
England (wickets/games/top bowler price 5th ODI)
Stokes 6/4 – 4/1
Finn 6/4 – 100/30
Rashid 6/4 – 4/1
Willey 5/2 – 4/1
Wood 2/2 -7/2
Fitness permitting, with the series tied 2-2 the teams are unlikely to experiment much and these will be the bowling line-ups. The one area I see clear value is in the England prices. For New Zealand, Southee or Henry look most likely and prices don’t especially offer any value when we consider that neither have looked consistently threatening all series.
I have been following David Willey since he broke through into the Northants side four or five years ago. When he was younger he was a tearaway. Ran in and flung it down with no guile. Easily frustrated when it went wrong too, which it frequently did. Off the field he was a bad trainer, too. A few years on he has grown up a lot off the field and physically is far more mature.
He’s a quick enough left arm seamer who bowls with the new ball and routinely gets it to swing. He then tends to bowl the remainder of his ODI overs in the second powerplay if not at the death. He has a good slower ball and most importantly of all a big match temperament, a real competitor. Coming into the side after the injury to Jordan he took 3 wickets at Southampton and 2 at Trent Bridge winning and then dead-heating in the top bowler market and we backed him for Trent Bridge
Looking at the prices above he is the same price as Rashid and Stokes yet has a significantly better strike rate over the two games, admittedly a small sample
Strike rates in this ODI series (balls per wicket)
Willey 24.0
Stokes 29.0
Finn 37.0
Rashid  38.0
Wood 60.0
I have Willey as my favourite in the top bowler sub-market precisely because he bowls at the stage of the innings where he can both use the new ball and benefit from risks being taken late in the innings. Stokes can be a “golden arm” and i wouldn’t have him a higher price than Finn and Wood either. Rashid is a talented cricketer but in this series has been bowling against players well set on wickets that don’t offer much assistance. Durham should be the same
David Willey top England bowler 5th ODI England v New Zealand 4-1 William Hill