One hopes that Friday’s match is less affected by the horrible British summer we’re experiencing at the moment, although Chester-le-Street is about as far north as you can play cricket in England so it’s a case of wait and see.
Despite holding a 2-0 lead, England can be backed at odds of even money (bet365 £200 free bets) to win the 4th ODI and they will be missing key spinner Graeme Swann who will be given the chance to nurse an elbow injury that has been aggravating him for some time.
Geoff Miller, the national selector, said: “We had earmarked the fourth and fifth matches in this series as an opportunity to rest Graeme regardless of the result at Edgbaston as we have to consider our preparations for the Investec Test series later this month. Graeme has some pain in his elbow at the moment and we feel that an extra week’s rest will allow his elbow to settle.”
Warwickshire’s all-rounder Chris Woakes and Kent off-spinner James Tredwell are in the squad for this match and England will be keen to continue the momentum that has seen them achieve wins at Lord’s and The Oval.
The Aussies will be chomping at the bit to haul themselves back into contention and odds of 20/21 (Stan James free £10 bet) are available that the tourists make it 2-1 in the series and set up an exciting finale in Manchester next week.
Shane Watson is the wicket that every England bowler wants to get out, although he flew the flag well for the Aussies at The Oval and odds of 4/1 seem pretty decent about the opener. George Bailey was the other star performer with the bat as the Melbourne Stars player amassed 65 runs before being bowled by Tim Bresnan.
Bresnan’s two wickets in the second match was enough for the Yorkshire medium-fast bowler to be top English batsman and the 27-year-old is 7/2 to claim the most Australia wickets, with James Anderson slight favourite at 3/1.
As for the Aussie bowlers, they struggled to get wickets a few days ago and Clint McKay is the preference ahead of Brett Lee as he looked more menacing in the 2nd ODI and looks appealing at 15/4.