Rain delays the inevitable and could do so again
Australia were in a dominant looking position in the first Twenty20 international on Sunday before the traditional Manchester rain arrived in time to save England from probable defeat.
The second Twenty20 takes place on Tuesday, again at Old Trafford, and unsurprisingly the weather forecast is not good with rain expected.
If the weather holds then an Australian victory certainly looks the most likely outcome., especially given the 8/13 about a win for the tourists. England are available at 6/5.
I simply cannot back England as Australia are a far superior side to the Three Lions in the shorter formats of the game. Of course now and again England produce the goods but they are nowhere near consistent enough against the top sides.
Australia are priced at 4/6 favourites in the most sixes market and with the explosive David Warner at the top of the order as well as many other big hitters in the line-up then they are very worthy favourites.
Warner is once again the favourite to top score for the Aussies, as he was in the first T20, at 7/2. However, again I would want a bigger price if I were to back him despite him scoring second highest on Sunday with 33.
Cameron White top scored with a quick fire 55 and he is 6/1 to do so again. My selection though would be stand-in captain Michael Clarke at 4/1. The number three hit 27 not out and he is a solid choice.
England captain Paul Collingwood was the pick of the home bowlers taking 2/20 but fellow two-wicket man Stuart Broad is the man in form and at 3/1 represents the bet to take the most Aussie wickets.
England's innings had barely started on Sunday when the rain came, although they were already 4/2 after just 1.1 overs. Ravi Bopara continued his awful form scoring just one before being caught by Shane Watson off a Mitchell Johnson delivery.
It is hard to assess the England batting line-up based on the first T20 as Joe Denly was dismissed for a duck and Jonathan Trott didn't manage to score a run off four deliveries and then the rain came.
Therefore I will stick with the value of Matt Prior, that was advised for the first T20, at 6/1 as the wicketkeeper is slated to come in at four and has more than a fair chance of producing the goods at a relatively big price.
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Mitchell Johnson and Brett Lee took the wickets of Bopara and Denly respectively and the duo form an awesome opening attack. For me though once again Lee is the pick at 9/4 to be the top Australian bowler.
Cricket fans everywhere will be hoping that the rain holds off and if it does we are in store for an entertaining game but my money will only be going in one direction on the match - Australia.
As usual we will be offering a wide range of in-running betting opportunities via our Live In-Play service, so you won't miss a thing when the match starts at 19:00 live on Sky Sports 1.