Despite calls from the likes of Virat Kohli for World Cup crowds to take it easy on disgraced ball-tampering duo Steve Smith and David Warner, it seems unlikely they’ll encounter a very forgiving crowd at Lord’s today.
Frankly, the reception they receive will be of little concern to either man, or to the Australians as a whole.
It’s a joint Ashes and World Cup summer in England and the Aussies, as always, have come to win, not make friends.
Both Smith and Warner have stepped up for their side so far during the tournament.
Warner looked far from his belligerent best in the tournament’s early stages, but has found form recently with two hundreds.
Smith has been slightly less successful since his return, but has still picked up three handy fifties.
He is the consistent scoring, calming influence on this Australian team, akin to Joe Root for England.
Smith has eight international centuries against England, and although just one of them has come in ODIs, he did grab one in the sides’ recent warm-up game.
Sporting Index offer a spread on Smith’s performance of 46-51 and that buy price looks too good to turn down.
Smith has shown on numerous occasions his ability to turn up in the big games and there aren’t any bigger than this for either nation, so I’ll be backing the former Aussie skipper to lead from the front again.
Likewise, I’m keen to support David Warner here.
As I mentioned, he started the tournament slowly, but is bang in form now and the often pantomime villain will like nothing else than inflicting more misery on the old enemy today.
He averages 66.0 in World Cups and I’ll be backing him to continue his fine form again.
Buy David Warner Performance 58 (Sporting Index)
Buy Steve Smith Performance 51 (Sporting Index