England v Australia: Cook and Bell enhance appeal of century
One of the big features of England’s one-day successes of late have been the batting contributions of their top order and this helps make 6/4 a decent price that a century is scored by either team in their first encounter with Australia at Lord’s.
England are on a six-game winning run, with four victories against Pakistan followed up by a 2-0 home series win over the West Indies.
Pivotal to these victories have been that on each occasion, one of England’s openers has reached three figures.
Leading by example, Alastair Cook has three centuries in these games, while Ian Bell made it beyond 100 on his return to the side following the retirement of Kevin Pietersen.
Centuries have not been so forthcoming for Australia, with the last coming back in March when David Warner and Michael Clarke both scored impressively against Sri Lanka.
However, many of their players did surpass 50 in their latest series with the West Indies, while they scored 313 in their warm-up match with Essex, showing that their batsmen are clearly not out of touch.
In terms of top batsmen, Cook is unsurprisingly 7/2 to be England’s leading run scorer at Lord’s, despite making just five against Australia for Essex.
Openers Shane Watson and Warner lead the Australia betting at 3/1, but captain Clarke may be the better value at 4/1 as his job will be to keep the scoreboard ticking in the middle overs as the players around him chase the boundaries.
Meanwhile, Brett Lee is the stand-out name in the Australian bowling attack and is 7/2 to finish as their leading wicket taker in the first one-day showdown.
But Pat Cummins is available at the same price and took the most wickets against Essex.
It is difficult to separate the pair in terms of match betting, with England and Australia both priced at 10/11 to take the early series initiative.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.