JOSH Healey (@joshhealey04) looks ahead to England’s ODI series with Australia and picks out Top England Batsman value.
England v Australia ODI Series | Top England Batsman | 3rd-13th September 2015
The absence of Joe Root enticingly opens up the top England batsman market in this ODI series. Favourite Alex Hales offers no value whilst there is no desire to back Jos Buttler at 12s after he failed to deliver at 20/1 against New Zealand. With the game time of many players up in the air, we must turn towards the certain starters that offer value.
There are two stand out candidates worth backing – Eoin Morgan and Moeen Ali. An equal stake bet on both Morgan at 9/2 and Moeen at 13/2, ultimately renders them 7/4 and 11/4 shots in what is effectively a double chance bet.
Morgan is thriving off the captaincy, a responsibility that transpires to be a burden for many. His 322 runs at 64.40 against New Zealand was followed up with a poor run for Middlesex which consequently led to a month off.
A display of immaculate hitting in Cardiff proved the break had benefited him significantly, and Morgan says he is now “mentally and physically fresh”. A well-prepared, fit and clear-minded batsman is a severely dangerous one, meaning the England captain could lead his youthful side in exemplary fashion once again.
Moeen may be wearier after his Ashes exploits, but you cannot ignore his form. The all-rounder notched 293 runs at 36.62 at number eight having been given the freedom to attack without consequence. Although there will be more pressure here, a free-license will still be handed to him.
Moeen is likely to occupy a top three spot and will have ample time to rack up runs. An average of 33.27 after 22 ODIs is more than respectable, and his effortlessly graceful stroke-play is certainly something to get excited about. This price is too big for a man quickly finding his feet at international level.