Bollinger aims for final flourish
Doug Bollinger has admitted that it would be "devastating" to concede a one-day series whitewash to England, but is confident Australia can regain some pride in the final two matches after their late surge at Old Trafford nearly pulled off a stunning comeback.
England lost six for 18 in 38 balls as a comfortable chase turned into a nerve-jangling conclusion before Tim Bresnan edged James Hopes to seal victory and give the hosts an unassailable lead in the series. Bollinger had been a major factor in the late jitters as he removed Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad in his last over with reverse swing, while the recalled Shaun Tait and legspinner Steven Smith also made England sweat.
However, for a large part of the match Australia had been a distant second best once the opening stand of 75 between Shane Watson and Tim Paine was broken, leaving the visitors in the almost unknown position of having to save face at The Oval and Lord's this week.
"We'd love to stop them, 5-0 would be devastating," said Bollinger. "But we've just got to go out there and do everything properly and hopefully win the next two; 3-2 would still be disappointing but it would be two good wins.
"It isn't the start we wanted being 3-0 down but there isn't much we can do. Everyone went out and played their guts off and sometimes it just doesn't work out. We can't whinge about it, we just have to try and finish well in these two one-dayers before the T20s and Tests against Pakistan."
Bollinger, though, conceded that England have made huge strides with their one-day game since the 6-1 thrashing by Australia last year and will be a tough side to compete with after the confidence gained from recent limited-overs success.
"They've come on massively, especially with winning the Twenty20 they are sky high at the moment," he said. "Everyone in their team has got their game together. We have to lift 10-15 percent and we are capable of doing that. Nobody likes a winning team unless it's your own but we'll be alright."
Despite Australia's problems in the series, Bollinger has continued his impressive form of the last nine months which as seen him become the team's premier strike bowler. The partnership with Tait, who was limited to two-over spells by Ricky Ponting in his first ODI since February 2009, certainly gave the attack an added dimension after it had looked pedestrian in the opening two encounters.
"It was good to drag them back a bit in those last 10 overs and that means everything is starting to come together," said Bollinger. "Hopefully we can build on that. We've been very successful in the last few years and a couple of losses probably isn't that bad even though nobody likes to lose."
Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo