England v Australia, 2nd ODI, Cardiff June 24, 2010

Liberated England turn the tables

28

When, in the aftermath of another one-sided contest, it was put to Ricky Ponting that England are now one victory away from being able to claim bragging rights in all three forms of international cricket, he bridled with the sort of indignity which suggested that the question was not as preposterous as it might have sounded six months ago. Much like the purported "rivalry" between England and Germany in football, the stats may not stack up when viewed in the fullness of time, but that has never prevented the here and now from assuming the most relevance.

And right here, right now, England are hurtling towards the sort of ascendancy that looked inconceivable while Australia cruising to their 6-1 ODI triumph nine months ago. "We've only got ourselves to blame for the hole we're in at the moment," said Ponting after the match, but he was being disingenuous. With their liberated array of strokemaking batsmen, allied to a canny bowling attack with a priceless ability to think on the hoof, England have got the measure of the Aussies in this series, and it will take an incredible (and dare one say it, inconceivable?) collapse of resolve for a 2-0 deficit to be overturned in the remaining three fixtures.

"Australia have had a very good 12 months or so, and they played well against us last summer, but ultimately that was last summer," said England's captain, Andrew Strauss. "Times have moved on, and I'm happy with where we are as a side at the moment. Ultimately, this series will be decided in five games not two, but that 6-1 defeat is still fresh in our minds, so we want revenge for that if we can."

There are a myriad of mitigating circumstances that will prevent England from claiming full satisfaction in the event of a series victory - not least the fact that Australia's attack is down to the barest of bones, with Ryan Harris, their quickest bowler at the Rose Bowl, joining an injury list that already includes the likes of Mitchell Johnson, Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle and Brett Lee. But, whereas the first match was all about the batting exploits of Eoin Morgan, the Cardiff fixture showcased the second crucial string to England's bow. Namely they are developing an extremely intelligent attack.

Admittedly, it didn't look too clever when James Anderson was clattered for 13 runs in the opening over of the match, and at 34 for 0 after five, Australia had a platform from which they might realistically have expected to set a minimum target of 280. But then up stepped Stuart Broad, celebrating his 24th birthday, and brimming with enthusiasm after his enforced absence from the Bangladesh series. In tandem with Luke Wright, another man whose confidence and tactical awareness has surged through his involvement in the Twenty20 set-up, he set about stifling the momentum of Australia's top-order.

"The most pleasing thing was the way we adapted as a bowling unit," said Broad. "I think the first couple of overs didn't go to plan, but we communicated about the best ways to go, and we tried to bowl as straight as possible because players thrive on a bit of width these days. We used cross seamers pretty much straightaway today, because there was no swing, and that aided us with a bit of extra bounce and a bit more skiddiness.

"The communication side of things is massive in Twenty20s," Broad added. "It's such a short form of the game, you have to be speaking virtually every ball because one ball can win or lose you the game. That was all that was in our minds, as long as we didn't give any width, and that helped us claw it back to a decent score after 20 overs."

Ponting, for his part, conceded that England's tactics had been pretty smart. "They probably bowled 80 or 90% of their balls across the seam, and got the ball to leap from those deliveries," he said. "I think they just adapted really well. It's a good skill to be able to do that, and they put us under pressure. From 4 for 90, it's hard to fight back into the game."

The ability to think on one's feet is one thing - and Broad himself has long been credited, not least by his first Test captain, Michael Vaughan, as an intelligent cricketer. Having the confidence to put such plans into action, however, requires an extra veneer that is rapidly becoming the hallmark of this England outfit. And Strauss, whose own freeflowing half-century was a vital factor in the final result, credited the lesson he and his team had been handed by the Australians last September for transforming their outlook on one-day cricket.

"When we got beaten by Australia last summer, that was an eye-opener," he said. "We'd been playing okay up until then but it made us realise that what we were doing was not good enough and we had to find a way of being better. We came out to the Champions Trophy [in South Africa] and tried to play a more fearless type of cricket, but as well as being fearless and aggressive, it is very, very important that we are calculated as well. In the field we've been far better, the communication is better and the gameplan is clearer. We've stifled Australia with the ball and that's been as important as anything.

"It's always important to learn from your mistakes," he added. "You learn more about a side when you're losing than when you're winning, so in that respect [last year's beating] was a good thing. For those of us who went through it, it was pretty horrendous, but what's been good is that everyone realised we had to do things differently, and a lot of people have been putting in suggestions about where we can take things from here on in. It's very encouraging, and we all feel like we are part of something that can grow, and grow, and grow."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on June 25, 2010, 19:16 GMT

    As you have seen, a well planned shot pitch deliveries can get even the best batsmen out, not just the indians, isnt clarke and ponting supposed to be invincible against short pitch balls?

  • itslateagain on June 25, 2010, 17:14 GMT

    I second the points others have made that the 'depleted side' excuse isn't necessarily a completely valid one, and that Australia's batting this past two games hasn't been up to par. Having said that, look at the attack we just fielded: Bollinger, McKay, Hopes, Hauritz as our specialist bowlers (and Hopes is a ho-hum all-rounder). A few years ago those guys wouldn't have made our fourth string! I know it's over but may I indulge in a quick mourning of the days of McGrath, Lee and Warne, with Mitchell as our third seamer? As things stand, Hazelwood looks awfully raw but if given the choice, get him in for McKay. No offense Clint, but you're just not good enough. Hopefully Harris is good for test three and I second those talking Tait, Nannes and Bracks. Any one of that three would do better than McKay or Hazelwood! When did priming for the future mean automatically passing on existing quality?!

  • Umair_umair on June 25, 2010, 14:41 GMT

    What don't anyone talk about Tait and Nannes? Is it a stamp on them that they wull only play T20 ? Why ? Those two are far better bowlers even in ODIs, comapred to this current bunch.

  • TruSport on June 25, 2010, 14:16 GMT

    While it's true that Aussies are playing a depleated side, it's probably equally true that they are a depleated side. England on the other hand seem to have found a band that can perform in all seasons and I say finally. Their team has been bits and pieces after the 70s. There were a few (eg. Flintoff, Vaughn, Harmison, Monty) who showed promise only to fade away before full bloom. They have not really found a Waqar or Warne or Tendulkar or Lara or Dhoni. But now they have Pieterson who seems to belong to that league. Then there are Morgan, Broad and Swan who are threatning to show that promise. Ahem - am I onto a bloggers curse!

  • 2.14istherunrate on June 25, 2010, 13:33 GMT

    I do not know how often England have had to field their 3rd choice attack against Aus,particularly downunder,and yet those victories still count the same, so stretched bowling resources is not really a good enough excuse. We won fair and square. I know it feels weird actually beating these guys but it's a lot of fun too, and long may it conintue. To me a reallly good feature was Strauss's batting, smooth cool and at times audacious.Why anyone would want to substitute a top class player like him for a lesser light foi ANY reason is lost on me. Also good was the fact that everyone has so far contributed in the two matches. it takes 11 to win a World Cup.

  • gloves71 on June 25, 2010, 13:16 GMT

    Excellent article - thank you Mr. Miller. Nice to see praise where praise is due, instead of a constant barrage of negatives against the England team.

  • JosRoberts on June 25, 2010, 12:50 GMT

    I've had enough of these whinging po... Sorry, force of habit, whinging Aussies. The England attack isn't exactly the most experienced either, Anderson and Broad excluded. Michael Yardy was tying the Aussie batsmen in knots, in what, his 9th ODI? And as has been pointed out by other commentators, the batting lineup should be experienced enough to give your bowlers a platform. Truth is, to a certain extent the batsmen have been found out on this tour. And as for Ricky Ponting, his comments after both games point to a sore loser who's been too used to having a team full of greats and can't cope without them.

  • SettingSun on June 25, 2010, 12:34 GMT

    It's funny seeing these excuses about Australia fielding a weakened bowling attack clearly hampering their chances. Where is this much vaunted bench strength of Australia's? I saw several, including @popcorn, crowing about it a while back - but there's little sign of it here. At no point has McKay so far looked an international bowler in all the matches I've seen him in, whilst Hazlewood is VERY raw. So now they go back to Tait, a bowler who apparently wasn't good enough to make the squad in the first place. Look, I've offered several times already - do you want Pattinson back or not?

  • on June 25, 2010, 11:37 GMT

    I believe England's current success in the shorter forms of the game is the result of a subtle but evident change in attitude towards test vs ODI/Tw20 cricket. Before, the test side was the default team for all forms, with a couple of changes here and there to field a more "balanced side". England were crap at ODIs and tw/20. Bell and Prior opening in the one-dayers worked for a couple of games, but it was just reshuffling the test batting order. Now, the selectors are simply picking the best men for the job at hand: Lumb and Kieswetter suddenly appear as openers in tw/20, and Morgan comes in. England wipe the floor with everbody. Now, people want Kieswetter and Morgan in the test side as well! Ironically, this development preserves test cricket as the top form of the game: You are promoted to full dress based on your feats in your pyjamas, not the other way round! This is how it should be, IMHO.

  • landl47 on June 25, 2010, 11:34 GMT

    So now all those who said Australia would win 5-0 are coming out with the excuses. As usual, most of them have got it wrong. Australia's bowling has actually been pretty tidy, although McKay didn't look too good at Cardiff. It's the much-vaunted Australian batting which hasn't been good enough against England's well thought-out and executed plans. It doesn't matter who is bowling, 239 isn't enough to defend on a good wicket against a deep batting line-up. Australia are fighters and never give up. The fact is, though, they are struggling against a very good England side.

  • on June 25, 2010, 19:16 GMT

    As you have seen, a well planned shot pitch deliveries can get even the best batsmen out, not just the indians, isnt clarke and ponting supposed to be invincible against short pitch balls?

  • itslateagain on June 25, 2010, 17:14 GMT

    I second the points others have made that the 'depleted side' excuse isn't necessarily a completely valid one, and that Australia's batting this past two games hasn't been up to par. Having said that, look at the attack we just fielded: Bollinger, McKay, Hopes, Hauritz as our specialist bowlers (and Hopes is a ho-hum all-rounder). A few years ago those guys wouldn't have made our fourth string! I know it's over but may I indulge in a quick mourning of the days of McGrath, Lee and Warne, with Mitchell as our third seamer? As things stand, Hazelwood looks awfully raw but if given the choice, get him in for McKay. No offense Clint, but you're just not good enough. Hopefully Harris is good for test three and I second those talking Tait, Nannes and Bracks. Any one of that three would do better than McKay or Hazelwood! When did priming for the future mean automatically passing on existing quality?!

  • Umair_umair on June 25, 2010, 14:41 GMT

    What don't anyone talk about Tait and Nannes? Is it a stamp on them that they wull only play T20 ? Why ? Those two are far better bowlers even in ODIs, comapred to this current bunch.

  • TruSport on June 25, 2010, 14:16 GMT

    While it's true that Aussies are playing a depleated side, it's probably equally true that they are a depleated side. England on the other hand seem to have found a band that can perform in all seasons and I say finally. Their team has been bits and pieces after the 70s. There were a few (eg. Flintoff, Vaughn, Harmison, Monty) who showed promise only to fade away before full bloom. They have not really found a Waqar or Warne or Tendulkar or Lara or Dhoni. But now they have Pieterson who seems to belong to that league. Then there are Morgan, Broad and Swan who are threatning to show that promise. Ahem - am I onto a bloggers curse!

  • 2.14istherunrate on June 25, 2010, 13:33 GMT

    I do not know how often England have had to field their 3rd choice attack against Aus,particularly downunder,and yet those victories still count the same, so stretched bowling resources is not really a good enough excuse. We won fair and square. I know it feels weird actually beating these guys but it's a lot of fun too, and long may it conintue. To me a reallly good feature was Strauss's batting, smooth cool and at times audacious.Why anyone would want to substitute a top class player like him for a lesser light foi ANY reason is lost on me. Also good was the fact that everyone has so far contributed in the two matches. it takes 11 to win a World Cup.

  • gloves71 on June 25, 2010, 13:16 GMT

    Excellent article - thank you Mr. Miller. Nice to see praise where praise is due, instead of a constant barrage of negatives against the England team.

  • JosRoberts on June 25, 2010, 12:50 GMT

    I've had enough of these whinging po... Sorry, force of habit, whinging Aussies. The England attack isn't exactly the most experienced either, Anderson and Broad excluded. Michael Yardy was tying the Aussie batsmen in knots, in what, his 9th ODI? And as has been pointed out by other commentators, the batting lineup should be experienced enough to give your bowlers a platform. Truth is, to a certain extent the batsmen have been found out on this tour. And as for Ricky Ponting, his comments after both games point to a sore loser who's been too used to having a team full of greats and can't cope without them.

  • SettingSun on June 25, 2010, 12:34 GMT

    It's funny seeing these excuses about Australia fielding a weakened bowling attack clearly hampering their chances. Where is this much vaunted bench strength of Australia's? I saw several, including @popcorn, crowing about it a while back - but there's little sign of it here. At no point has McKay so far looked an international bowler in all the matches I've seen him in, whilst Hazlewood is VERY raw. So now they go back to Tait, a bowler who apparently wasn't good enough to make the squad in the first place. Look, I've offered several times already - do you want Pattinson back or not?

  • on June 25, 2010, 11:37 GMT

    I believe England's current success in the shorter forms of the game is the result of a subtle but evident change in attitude towards test vs ODI/Tw20 cricket. Before, the test side was the default team for all forms, with a couple of changes here and there to field a more "balanced side". England were crap at ODIs and tw/20. Bell and Prior opening in the one-dayers worked for a couple of games, but it was just reshuffling the test batting order. Now, the selectors are simply picking the best men for the job at hand: Lumb and Kieswetter suddenly appear as openers in tw/20, and Morgan comes in. England wipe the floor with everbody. Now, people want Kieswetter and Morgan in the test side as well! Ironically, this development preserves test cricket as the top form of the game: You are promoted to full dress based on your feats in your pyjamas, not the other way round! This is how it should be, IMHO.

  • landl47 on June 25, 2010, 11:34 GMT

    So now all those who said Australia would win 5-0 are coming out with the excuses. As usual, most of them have got it wrong. Australia's bowling has actually been pretty tidy, although McKay didn't look too good at Cardiff. It's the much-vaunted Australian batting which hasn't been good enough against England's well thought-out and executed plans. It doesn't matter who is bowling, 239 isn't enough to defend on a good wicket against a deep batting line-up. Australia are fighters and never give up. The fact is, though, they are struggling against a very good England side.

  • on June 25, 2010, 10:31 GMT

    i think tait always been best pick for austrailia, he can change the game with his speed and aggression. we will see changed australia if tait is in 11.

  • popcorn on June 25, 2010, 10:13 GMT

    Why is the fox, Nathan Bracken, the ODI specialist not in the side? He is fit, and is playing for NSW.I am beginning to think that there is a longer term thinking about the Team selection, which is why Josh Hazlewood has leap -frogged into the Team to give him international experience, and to observe how he shapes up. The Aussie sights are on the World Cup 2011 - NOT on this ODI Series against England! Also, I would have thought Josh Hazlewood should have been drafted into the side AFTER the Ausssies had got a 2 -0 lead, rather than in the first game itself. Surprising that Clint McKay who is more experienced, should have been asked to sit out the first game. He came into Game 2 only because Ryan Harris was injured.

  • Guernica on June 25, 2010, 9:11 GMT

    AD_Sonic: Tait is fit and playing t20 for Glamorgan - he just hasn't been picked for this series. And you may as well forget about Brett Lee. Great one day bowler though he was, he can't be part of Australia's plans for the next World Cup. It's a bit like saying that England are missing Flintoff through injury. Australia were always supposed to have great strength in depth - bowlers like McKay show that is not quite the case.

  • kdcricket on June 25, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    Let us get the facts very clear(and that too from a neutral third party)....In England you have a team which is balanced, intelligent, adaptable and above all has thew ability to raise their game in crucial fixtures. Aussies have a good team and will continue to be a good team, but I guess even with their so called "full strength" team(which is a figment of fertile Aussie imagination) the results would have been no different and the fact that you have to resort to excuse of injuries just goes to show that England are dominating all forms of the game and the world might as well accept,applaud and respect this fact.

  • MiddlePeg on June 25, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    Sorry, whilst I accept that Australia can't pick their number one squad through injury, England are THE past masters at fielding an injury depleted team. I can't think of too many Ashes Test matches in Australia where England have been able to name anything like their best team. Did Australia ever admit that they were winning against a below par team? I don't think so. Modern cricket = injuries. If your squad isn't deep enough then you're not good enough.

  • Chapelau on June 25, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    It's interesting to see comments about Australia's injury woes. Now the boot is on the other foot it seems! English bowlers of the past 30 years have the worst international injury record of any nation, but if we mentioned this as an "excuse" we were called whinging poms. The reality - having actually been there and watched the games is that there is a confidence about England and dare I say an "aura" that they are on top and believe they can win.

  • rspr on June 25, 2010, 8:00 GMT

    Its not that barmy's army has acquainted themselves with the nuances of thee modern game that they have pushed Oz against the wall. Giving full credits to the English team, please remember that the current Oz side looks second string with their bowling attack. Facing their full strength searing attack would have been a riscky proposition taking in the fact that when they cropped last summer, the additions of fringe players of the likes keisweter and Yardy is no failsafe way of winning matches. They still lack the nip of a speedster, currently they are with two good bowlers in Swann and Broad. Rest might be just desirable aberrations and nothing much else.

  • sindgeon-smythe on June 25, 2010, 7:54 GMT

    Re some of the comments below, it's the batting that Aus should be most worried about at the moment. Aus has batted first in both games - it is impossible to attribute those poor performances to pressure created by poor bowling performances. As to injuries, I don't remember the Aussies ever having allowed Eng to rely on bowler injuries as an excuse for losing. Eng has perhaps suffered more from bowler injuries than any other team in recent times. Goff was perpetually injured, so was Flintoff, Anderson's been injured more often than not, so has Sidebottom, Simon Jones's career is basically over because of injury just when he was looking good, etc etc etc.

  • EVH316 on June 25, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    Andrew Miller writes "There are a myriad of mitigating circumstances that will prevent England from claiming full satisfaction in the event of a series victory - not least the fact that Australia's attack is down to the barest of bones". I don`t see why I should care about that, or even take it into account, when I think of the number of Ashes series in Aus. that saw planeload after planeload of crocked English bowlers returning home, and the replacements were pretty much whoever was holidaying in the appropriate state at the time! It never seemed to affect the degree of Australian smugness over a victory!

  • AD_Sonic on June 25, 2010, 7:10 GMT

    Ant team in the world would struggle with their best six bowlers unfit..- Johnson,Lee,Hilfy,Siddle,Harris,Tait.... Why does no one see that??? But anyway Aussie batsmen are letting them down.. Their experienced batters really should do more...They need to shrug off the rust and play like they normally do... if so Aussies will be Winning...

  • on June 25, 2010, 5:56 GMT

    just i we dont out real attack, when we beat england last summer in england and SA, there was brett lee and mitchell johnson. right now we dont have the firepower and the poms are a formidable side at home. i think its time ryan harris and bollinger stepped up and became match winners. we need to dismiss them all out on saturday...COMMON AUSTRALIA

  • jackiethepen on June 25, 2010, 5:33 GMT

    As Durham found at the beginning of the County season, if you lose all your bowlers to injury, then you are severely handicapped. Durham's bowling attack was feared. Australia had the same reputation. As their batsmen are finding out, it is not so easy to dominate once you feel your attack is weak. I hope the current success against this injury-hit Australia side does not prevent us analysing the strengths and weaknesses of our own team. Kieswetter has yet to fire at the top of the order. His batting at the moment looks full of holes. Luke Wright's success with the ball should not disguise that he is too high at 6 and the media-led and Flower implemented idea that Yardy could bat at 6 shrivelled in the reality of 97-4. He is now batting where he should at 9. Eoin Morgan won't always come to the rescue. No 6 should be a proper batsman. Despite the free-flowing jargon about the Twenty-20 vibes, 50-over cricket needs a batsman like Bell who can building an innings as well as hit out.

  • punterman on June 25, 2010, 5:22 GMT

    I think josh hazlewood should play the rest of the series regardless of results i'm afraid Clint mckay isn't up to this level and Mitchell Marsh should have been in the squad for the experience,

    Yes Andrew the foreign legion have the wood on us at the moment.

  • on June 25, 2010, 2:56 GMT

    I think England's win has to be be taken with a pinch of salt.They are playing at home against a depleted Australian side after a long lay off with a bowling attack that is mediocre at best. Australia need to make many, many more runs if they are to win and based on yesterday it does seem almost inconceivable. There is a new resolution to England , for they might have wobbled earlier after the fall of Morgan. I think while England can talk about all three versions of the game and that seems quite certain now, I think it is only fair to put in a sense of history to it and Australia"s domination of the last decade or more. An English revival is good for the game, as they have been flattering to deceive for the last two decades or so. Yet I believe that all of this may have limited relevance in the Ashes. I think the signs are there for Ponting to move on before his very place in the side gets questioned . Well done England but you have miles to go before you sleep. Sridhar

  • lucyferr on June 25, 2010, 2:01 GMT

    Yawn... false dawns, false dawns... wake me up when England (& Wales) win the Ashes in Australia. Or when Mahut vs Isner becomes the 2nd longest match in tennis history, whichever comes sooner.

  • on June 25, 2010, 1:43 GMT

    it was a great match England bowled well and about batting it was a dream come true for a guy like Morgan and captain Strauss and Strauss managed the resources well and they have initiated and have an intention to take the revenge and they have taken the right step forward. broad back in form after injury is a big bonus to English team and Eion Morgan is at a moon now............................exceptionally the white showed a great character to get his team to respectable target it was like a mindful and great knock ponting should learn from these youngsters overall poor captaincy for ponting and has not lead his side to safe.....

  • mrchs on June 25, 2010, 0:31 GMT

    Good to see England playing and winning like this.. BUT.. atlast it is England.

  • thewayitwas on June 24, 2010, 23:39 GMT

    if any team in the world didnt have their top 6 bowlers fit - lee johnson harris hilfy siddle and tait then ofcourse they are going to struggle/lose horribly.. this result shows nothing except australia's batsmen are rusty

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  • thewayitwas on June 24, 2010, 23:39 GMT

    if any team in the world didnt have their top 6 bowlers fit - lee johnson harris hilfy siddle and tait then ofcourse they are going to struggle/lose horribly.. this result shows nothing except australia's batsmen are rusty

  • mrchs on June 25, 2010, 0:31 GMT

    Good to see England playing and winning like this.. BUT.. atlast it is England.

  • on June 25, 2010, 1:43 GMT

    it was a great match England bowled well and about batting it was a dream come true for a guy like Morgan and captain Strauss and Strauss managed the resources well and they have initiated and have an intention to take the revenge and they have taken the right step forward. broad back in form after injury is a big bonus to English team and Eion Morgan is at a moon now............................exceptionally the white showed a great character to get his team to respectable target it was like a mindful and great knock ponting should learn from these youngsters overall poor captaincy for ponting and has not lead his side to safe.....

  • lucyferr on June 25, 2010, 2:01 GMT

    Yawn... false dawns, false dawns... wake me up when England (& Wales) win the Ashes in Australia. Or when Mahut vs Isner becomes the 2nd longest match in tennis history, whichever comes sooner.

  • on June 25, 2010, 2:56 GMT

    I think England's win has to be be taken with a pinch of salt.They are playing at home against a depleted Australian side after a long lay off with a bowling attack that is mediocre at best. Australia need to make many, many more runs if they are to win and based on yesterday it does seem almost inconceivable. There is a new resolution to England , for they might have wobbled earlier after the fall of Morgan. I think while England can talk about all three versions of the game and that seems quite certain now, I think it is only fair to put in a sense of history to it and Australia"s domination of the last decade or more. An English revival is good for the game, as they have been flattering to deceive for the last two decades or so. Yet I believe that all of this may have limited relevance in the Ashes. I think the signs are there for Ponting to move on before his very place in the side gets questioned . Well done England but you have miles to go before you sleep. Sridhar

  • punterman on June 25, 2010, 5:22 GMT

    I think josh hazlewood should play the rest of the series regardless of results i'm afraid Clint mckay isn't up to this level and Mitchell Marsh should have been in the squad for the experience,

    Yes Andrew the foreign legion have the wood on us at the moment.

  • jackiethepen on June 25, 2010, 5:33 GMT

    As Durham found at the beginning of the County season, if you lose all your bowlers to injury, then you are severely handicapped. Durham's bowling attack was feared. Australia had the same reputation. As their batsmen are finding out, it is not so easy to dominate once you feel your attack is weak. I hope the current success against this injury-hit Australia side does not prevent us analysing the strengths and weaknesses of our own team. Kieswetter has yet to fire at the top of the order. His batting at the moment looks full of holes. Luke Wright's success with the ball should not disguise that he is too high at 6 and the media-led and Flower implemented idea that Yardy could bat at 6 shrivelled in the reality of 97-4. He is now batting where he should at 9. Eoin Morgan won't always come to the rescue. No 6 should be a proper batsman. Despite the free-flowing jargon about the Twenty-20 vibes, 50-over cricket needs a batsman like Bell who can building an innings as well as hit out.

  • on June 25, 2010, 5:56 GMT

    just i we dont out real attack, when we beat england last summer in england and SA, there was brett lee and mitchell johnson. right now we dont have the firepower and the poms are a formidable side at home. i think its time ryan harris and bollinger stepped up and became match winners. we need to dismiss them all out on saturday...COMMON AUSTRALIA

  • AD_Sonic on June 25, 2010, 7:10 GMT

    Ant team in the world would struggle with their best six bowlers unfit..- Johnson,Lee,Hilfy,Siddle,Harris,Tait.... Why does no one see that??? But anyway Aussie batsmen are letting them down.. Their experienced batters really should do more...They need to shrug off the rust and play like they normally do... if so Aussies will be Winning...

  • EVH316 on June 25, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    Andrew Miller writes "There are a myriad of mitigating circumstances that will prevent England from claiming full satisfaction in the event of a series victory - not least the fact that Australia's attack is down to the barest of bones". I don`t see why I should care about that, or even take it into account, when I think of the number of Ashes series in Aus. that saw planeload after planeload of crocked English bowlers returning home, and the replacements were pretty much whoever was holidaying in the appropriate state at the time! It never seemed to affect the degree of Australian smugness over a victory!