England v Australia, 1st ODI, Rose Bowl June 21, 2010

A Phoney War with focus

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Match facts

June 22, 2010
Start time 2.30pm (13.30GMT)

Big Picture

If there is a future for 50-over cricket, then surely it lies in contests such as this: a five-match hors d'oeuvre that is decidedly and unashamedly geared towards more significant encounters in the not-so-distant future. Everything that England and Australia have done in their recent outings - whether it's thumping Pakistan or labouring past Bangladesh - has been assessed in the context of their Ashes preparations. So here we go then. Here's a proper Phoney War to be getting on with. May the best team steal the momentum and land the psychological blows.

Whatever happens in the coming five games, it is hard to envisage a scoreline as one-sided as last September's 6-1 drubbing. England have come on in leaps and bounds since that ignominious thrashing - their gameplans have been liberated by key personnel such as Eoin Morgan and Craig Kieswetter - while Australia, regardless of their status as World Cup and Champions Trophy-holders, are in an undeniable period of transition, and beset by a raft of injuries to many of their first-choice seam attack, most notably Mitchell Johnson, Ben Hilfenhaus and the fading Brett Lee.

But the real reason why this series could and should be a humdinger lies in its timing. Ever since the days of the Texaco Trophy, English teams have invariably performed better when the one-dayers have preceded the Tests. In 2005, England produced some of their best 50-over form of the decade to share the NatWest Series courtesy of a tied final against Australia (before slumping 2-1 in the subsequent NatWest Challenge, but that's another story), while their achievement in beating South Africa in South Africa back in November gave them vital self-belief ahead of the tough Test series that followed.

Whether the public interest will match the expected commitment from the teams is a moot point - although given how woeful both England and Australia have been in the football World Cup to date, many sports fans might quite enjoy the chance to recapture some bragging rights.

Form guide (last five completed matches)

England WWWWW
Australia WLWWW

Watch out for...

Ricky Ponting is back in England and bristling for vengeance once again. His last two visits have not been among the most enjoyable memories of his illustrious career, seeing as he surrendered the Ashes in both 2005 and 2009, but the indignities will only have strengthened his resolve. He's now the elder statesman of a new-look team, and his talents may not be as razor-edged as they once were, but his presence on a cricket field remains inspirational nonetheless.

Paul Collingwood was a part of the England side that thrashed Australia by 100 runs on this very ground in 2005, in the first Twenty20 international between the two teams. While the prospect of once again reducing the Aussies to 31 for 7 may be improbable, Collingwood knows full well how critical it is to attack from the outset, just as they did five years ago. After his break during the Bangladesh series, he's fit and refreshed, and ready to resume hostilities.

Team news

Cameron White scored a century on this ground when the teams met last September, and he is now the fulcrum of the batting line-up at No. 5. Tim Paine resumes his wicketkeeping duties following the injury to Brad Haddin, while Doug Bollinger leads an inexperienced seam attack, in the absence of Johnson and Hilfenhaus.

Australia (probable) 1 Shane Watson, 2 Tim Paine (wk), 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Clarke, 5 Cameron White, 6 Michael Hussey, 7 James Hopes, 8 Nathan Hauritz, 9 Ryan Harris, 10 Clint McKay, 11 Doug Bollinger.

England eased to victory over Scotland at the weekend, and it's hard to envisage many changes to the side for that game. Andrew Strauss and Craig Kieswetter gelled as an opening partnership at the first time of asking, while Stuart Broad will be better for his first outing since the World Twenty20 final.

England (probable) 1 Andrew Strauss (capt), 2 Craig Kieswetter (wk), 3 Kevin Pietersen, 4 Paul Collingwood, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Luke Wright, 7 Tim Bresnan, 8 Graeme Swann, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Ajmal Shahzad, 11 James Anderson.

Pitch and conditions

The Rose Bowl had a reputation as a seamer's paradise in its early years, but the pitch has settled down considerably since then. With fine weather in prospect, the challenge of batting under lights will be less daunting than it might otherwise have been, although White and Co. weren't exactly unsettled by the autumnal chill they experienced on their last visit.

Stats and Trivia

  • The Rose Bowl match will be the 3000th ODI, and it will feature the same two teams who contested the first, at Melbourne in January 1971.

  • Despite defeating Australia in the Ashes and the final of the World Twenty20, England's recent record in ODIs against them is woeful. They've lost eight of their last nine fixtures, dating back to the World Cup in March 2007, and most recently were crushed by nine wickets in the semi-final of the Champions Trophy last October.

  • Australia have a 100% record in ODIs at the Rose Bowl, albeit they've played just two matches, against England in 2009 and the USA in 2004. England have won two, lost two in four visits.

Quotes

"We all remember that Twenty20 game at Hampshire where we kept nipping them out. You've got to go hard at them. We've learnt that over the last five or six years."
Paul Collingwood wants no quarter given as England begin their Ashes preparations in earnest

"Whenever there is a big series coming up the build-up starts a fair way out - and for the Ashes it's already started. Pretty much from now until the Ashes are over and done with in the middle of January, everything we do will have some sort of focus on the Ashes series. There will be no excuses for us come late November."
Ricky Ponting is quite focused, it would appear.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Tayles_100 on June 23, 2010, 13:12 GMT

    @Paullie Oops, looks like I might have been right after all. The Aussie batting looked toothless, the bowling one-dimensional and the captaincy unimagninative. It's been a good run for the Aussie side, but their number's up. When Ponting retires, is there anyone of a similar calibre to step into his shoes? Michael Clarke? Don't make me laugh.

  • landl47 on June 22, 2010, 21:14 GMT

    Well, I guess those who said that Australia would easily beat England might have to start rethinking. This isn't the England team of a couple of years ago nor, for that matter, is it the same Australian team. Interestingly, the England team had 9 of the same players who won the T20 World Cup (Strauss and Anderson for Lumb and Sidebottom were the changes). This side has the habit of winning and now they have players all through the order who can rise to the occasion. Good effort as always by the Aussies, but they came up short today.

  • JovialJim on June 22, 2010, 17:37 GMT

    Darren Pattinson was born in England....and in case anymore accusations fly, Strauss has an English mother and Prior has an English father. Usman Khawaja was born in Pakistan and has Pakistani parents and grandparents, and only qualifies for Australia via residency. His only comparison with Bopara & Panesar is the colour of his skin, and the English moved away from that as a criteria decades ago.

    People in glass houses shouldnt throw stones.

  • JovialJim on June 22, 2010, 13:05 GMT

    Matt Rule: So it's ok for Dirk Nannes to play for Holland and Australia, but not Joyce and Morgan? I think you will find that players who are eligible for non-test playing nations, can choose to play for a test playing nation that they are affiliated to. The recent Scotland Captain also played for England..and Joyce now plays for Ireland again. Kieswetter qualifies via his Scottish Mother. And i think you will find that KP has an English mother and so can play for England on merit without residency. Lumbs father is English so same applies. Trotts grandparents are English and he has duel nationality. G.Jones parents are Welsh....and so plays for the England & Wales Cricket team without question. Bopara and Panesar are English. The fact they are not white is irrelevent. Crincinfo is a great site, and you can find all the info to get your facts right with a modicum of research.

  • PeterCook on June 22, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    I think the Australians have forgotten that Andrew Symonds, one of their best ODI players of all time, was born in Birmingham - which was in England last time I checked.

  • dummy4fb on June 22, 2010, 11:12 GMT

    Can't believe English people saying that they pick their own team. Australia does pick people who are different ie Khawaja, Henriques like England have with some players like Bopara and Penesar . The point is players like Kiewetter, Trott, Pieterson, Ambrose, Geraint Jones and Darren Pattinson shouldn't be able to play for England just because they aren't good enough for their own country. Oh, and Morgan and Joyce should never be allowed to play for England. How is Ireland ever going to get any good if this continues?

  • JovialJim on June 22, 2010, 10:48 GMT

    Englands football team has indeed been poor recently Loudhailer606 , but we havent lost 4-0 to anyone as yet. And fortunately we didnt have to wait for an England v Australia cricket match to gain some pride, as our Rugby boys beat the Aussies on Saturday.

  • __PK on June 22, 2010, 10:44 GMT

    Hey Tayles_100, you reckon we just wait until things go our way? Well, you know what? They ALWAYS DO! Funny, that. A fading force? It seems to me we've been hearing that line for almost as long as we've been hearing English claims of a resurgence, with just as little evidence of a long-term trend. Sorry, but the fading and subesequent transition period lasted about 2 months and it's long over. Black-Panther may be an idiot, for regurgitating the old irrelevance about England's overseas-raised players, but it doesn't mean he isn't probably right about the result (if nothing else). And, Rooboy, take a look at the recent ODI results - if that's from an unsettled side, then God help the rest when it does settle. But you're spot on about one thing - this series will have little impact on the Ashes later in the year. ODI's and Ashes series frequently go in opposite directions, even when they're played back-to-back.

  • dummy4fb on June 22, 2010, 10:01 GMT

    As a neutral cricket fan, I find some of the comments really funny, but what the helll the english have to support their team even if it is a "foreign legion' and Australia have to talk about how theirs is a truly Australian team, though I am glad that Usman Khawaja has been selected for the Pakistan series. This series will have limited if any impact on this years Ashes played as it will be in front of booisterous, rabidly parochial crowds and a hostile media. We need to see how some of the younger English {?} players cope with the pressure and sledging. While England can crow about their recent successes, I think their track record in Ashes games for the last twenty years or so has been pathetic. They have been scarred by Warne.Mcgrath, Steve Waugh and Adam Gilchrist. They have been mentally disintegrated systematically over the years particulary in Australia. Now with Australia in transition England can tilt the balance. Will they continue to be "pretenders"? I think so. Sridhar

  • arsalan1996 on June 22, 2010, 9:04 GMT

    come on Aussies,repeat the history of 1971 once again.

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