Australia in England 2012 June 27, 2012

Watson questions England batting depth

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Australia have identified England's use of five specialist bowlers as a point of weakness to expose in the forthcoming ODI series, reasoning that the hosts' longer tail will place pressure on the middle order provided early wickets can be taken.

Shane Watson, the allrounder and vice-captain to Michael Clarke, pointed out that an England XI featuring Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan, Steven Finn and Graeme Swann had tremendous depth in bowling but not so much in batting. This was particularly so as the top three of Alastair Cook, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott had done the vast majority of the team's run-making in recent ODI matches against the West Indies and Pakistan.

Ravi Bopara, Eoin Morgan and Craig Kieswetter have had less to do in the wake of Cook's prolific efforts as ODI captain, while Bell's recent return has covered for the premature limited overs retirement of Kevin Pietersen. Watson said Australia's pace attack, likely to include the still slippery Brett Lee alongside the speedy 19-year-old Pat Cummins at Lord's on Friday, will be seeking to get them out into the middle early on.

"For England to be able to go in with four frontline quick bowlers is a very good thing for them against our batting line-up, but I suppose playing for out-and-out quick bowlers and one main spinner as well means if we're able to make inroads into their batting line-up early it means they might be one batsman short," Watson said. "That's something that we see as very important for us to have success here, to try to make early inroads.

"That's been one of England's strengths over the last period of time with their batting, being able to score heavily in the top three really, so we know if we're able to make inroads it might expose a part of the English team that hasn't really been exposed over the last little while as well. Hopefully that's something we're able to do, on the flipside of that we know England have got a very strong bowling line-up with no weaknesses there at all, so it's going to be a very good challenge."

In their 179-run pounding of Essex at Chelmsford on Tuesday, Australia opened with Watson and David Warner, leaving No. 7 in the highly capable hands of Matthew Wade. By contrast, England have promoted Tim Bresnan to accommodate the extra bowler, and Watson said that while he respected Bresnan's batting ability, he was happy to have someone of Wade's promise as his opposite batting number.

"I'll never sell Tim Bresnan short, I think he's an excellent cricketer, he's a very highly skilled bowler and he got 70-odd against us in the semi-final of the Champions Trophy a few years ago as well, so I know he can bat," Watson said. "But there's no doubt it does put a bit more pressure on him batting at seven, and Matthew Wade has had some pretty good success in his short career anyway opening or batting at seven as well. That could be to our advantage."

Bresnan had earlier padded away the suggestion that he might be one place too high in England's batting order, saying he was comfortable with where he stood. He was more forthcoming about the circumstances in which he had been left out of the team for the washed out third ODI against the West Indies at Headingley, admitting that his training efforts had slackened in recent weeks.

"It's always difficult in training, you are a little bit lethargic but can always get up for game, but if you are not preparing as well as you can that's always to the detriment of the team which suffers," Bresnan said. "So I felt I was lethargic and saving myself in training for games and that's a bad habit."

"I wanted to play at Headingley, but I understand the other side of the coin which says there's a lot of cricket coming up. We're off the back of a lot of cricket, I've bowled a lot of overs and if Andy [Flower] and the medical staff think I looked tired and need a break I respect that decision. I would rather take one game out and rest than be forced to take an extended spell out because of injury.

"They have a lot of communication between themselves, Andy and Dave Saker and the medical team, and the walls have ears, so if you whisper to somebody that you are tired it's going to get back to the coach pretty quickly."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dunger.bob on June 29, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    landl47 03:57 AM : Can't see how how identifying a possible weakness and formulating a basic plan to try and exploit it is 'claiming superiority'. I don't think he made any claims in that regard. To be honest, it sounds like a rehearsed line and probably a red herring for the arm-chair experts to chew over. (The media I mean) ... totally agree though that it should be a tough series. Unlike quite a few on the site, I'm really looking forward to this. It's my first good look at Cummins as well, and I'm an Aussie ! Anyway, I will be happy if we can shake the Poms up a bit and establish a bit of self doubt among them. I'd even be comfortable with a narrow series loss if they could manage to set a few alarm bells off along the way.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on June 29, 2012, 8:11 GMT

    I first thought Watson is a Gentleman. Watson! you should focus your team. Do not criticise opponent. That is the Aussie mania Cricinfo please publish this

  • zenboomerang on June 29, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    @landl47 :- "I'd be prepared to make a modest wager that if England bat first, Watson won't bowl 10 overs"... OK, a pasty roll (feeds 4) from my local bakery against some good fish & chips ;)... Seriously though, that depends on our squad & where Watson bats... That also depends on "if" Clarke, Smith, Hussey are used for an over or 2 with the ball... Conditions & the pitch also will be a factor... That aside, most agree that Watson does have limits in endurance & he even said himself earlier this year that he may just play as a batsman - problem with that is he is picked as an allrounder & none of the selectors were impressed...

  • YorkshirePudding on June 29, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    I totally disagree with those that claim Broad, Bresnan and Swann are all rounders, they arent, they are Bowlers who bat a bit (Emphasis on BIT), its like claiming the Trott or Bopara's are All rounders because they are Batsmen that can bowl a bit. True All-rounders are able to be picked purely on either Batting or Bowling, and you would select either of those three purely on thie batting skill, people like Sobers, Kallis, Botham, Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, are true all rounders as they can be selected for either their batting or bowling.

  • SirViv1973 on June 28, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    @subbass, we have had ODI series wins against SRL, Ind & Pak within the last 12 months (albeit having been reversed in Ind) So are you saying that Aus and SAF are the only big teams in terms of ODI's ? Its probably also worth pointing out that even though it was in 09 Eng bt SAF the last time they played an odi series!

  • JG2704 on June 28, 2012, 21:03 GMT

    @RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on (June 28 2012, 14:57 PM GMT) I think what is meant is that these guys are genuine frontline bowlers . It's a bonus that some can bat a bit too. But genuine bowlers as opposed to bits and pieces cricketers that may sum up the phrase "Jack of all trades , master of none"

  • JG2704 on June 28, 2012, 21:03 GMT

    Marcio on (June 28 2012, 14:31 PM GMT) - I can see where HM is coming from although I can see how it also might come across as a little ungracious and I'm sure it's not meant to. Trying to balance it -I believe that when you last regained the Ashes with a 5-0 ww , Eng won the OD series and by the same token I wonder if Australia's intensity levels dipped after winning the main series

  • suniljoseph on June 28, 2012, 18:31 GMT

    I think England have really come of ages under Cook as an ODI team and now they are going to face the rebuilding Aussies. Although Lee is there but I still think that England still have a better chance this time. If English batting finishes at 6, then what happened to Forest and Bailey against Narine in Carribean. Don't forger, they have to face Swann who is a much better bowler than Narine. Let's hope for a healthy competition between these two old rivals rather than giving some insane comments.

  • SpadeaSpade on June 28, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    Watsons comments are simply answers to media questions. What would people like to hear him say "oh this England team is great and we are just happy to be competing" Don't be stupid the day any australian team, in any sport walk out thinking they can't win or don't try to find a successful strategy is the day I'll give it away. As for all those people hooking into Steve Smith, I fear you may all end up with egg on your face. He clearly has loads of talent and is well worth sticking with. Players who get time to learn and master their game at international level tend to finish up as really good players. His a promising Leg spinner ( what Captain doesn't want one of those in his armoury ) his got a great eye but definatley needs to tighen up is technique and his probably the best fielder in the country. In one day cricket backing up the bowlers with quality fielding builds the kind of pressure that wins matches.

  • landl47 on June 28, 2012, 16:01 GMT

    @spesh: Watson's a decent bowler, but it is common and admitted knowledge that he can't bowl 10 overs and bat to his full potential. If it's necessary for Watson to bowl 10 overs, then Australia are effectively a batsman down if they are batting second. If he was batting at #6, it wouldn't be so much of an issue, but he's opening. I guess they could move Wade up to open, but where's the Aussie advantage at #7 then? Smith bats #7 and his average is almost identical to that of Bresnan. I'd be prepared to make a modest wager that if England bat first, Watson won't bowl 10 overs.

  • dunger.bob on June 29, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    landl47 03:57 AM : Can't see how how identifying a possible weakness and formulating a basic plan to try and exploit it is 'claiming superiority'. I don't think he made any claims in that regard. To be honest, it sounds like a rehearsed line and probably a red herring for the arm-chair experts to chew over. (The media I mean) ... totally agree though that it should be a tough series. Unlike quite a few on the site, I'm really looking forward to this. It's my first good look at Cummins as well, and I'm an Aussie ! Anyway, I will be happy if we can shake the Poms up a bit and establish a bit of self doubt among them. I'd even be comfortable with a narrow series loss if they could manage to set a few alarm bells off along the way.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on June 29, 2012, 8:11 GMT

    I first thought Watson is a Gentleman. Watson! you should focus your team. Do not criticise opponent. That is the Aussie mania Cricinfo please publish this

  • zenboomerang on June 29, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    @landl47 :- "I'd be prepared to make a modest wager that if England bat first, Watson won't bowl 10 overs"... OK, a pasty roll (feeds 4) from my local bakery against some good fish & chips ;)... Seriously though, that depends on our squad & where Watson bats... That also depends on "if" Clarke, Smith, Hussey are used for an over or 2 with the ball... Conditions & the pitch also will be a factor... That aside, most agree that Watson does have limits in endurance & he even said himself earlier this year that he may just play as a batsman - problem with that is he is picked as an allrounder & none of the selectors were impressed...

  • YorkshirePudding on June 29, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    I totally disagree with those that claim Broad, Bresnan and Swann are all rounders, they arent, they are Bowlers who bat a bit (Emphasis on BIT), its like claiming the Trott or Bopara's are All rounders because they are Batsmen that can bowl a bit. True All-rounders are able to be picked purely on either Batting or Bowling, and you would select either of those three purely on thie batting skill, people like Sobers, Kallis, Botham, Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, are true all rounders as they can be selected for either their batting or bowling.

  • SirViv1973 on June 28, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    @subbass, we have had ODI series wins against SRL, Ind & Pak within the last 12 months (albeit having been reversed in Ind) So are you saying that Aus and SAF are the only big teams in terms of ODI's ? Its probably also worth pointing out that even though it was in 09 Eng bt SAF the last time they played an odi series!

  • JG2704 on June 28, 2012, 21:03 GMT

    @RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on (June 28 2012, 14:57 PM GMT) I think what is meant is that these guys are genuine frontline bowlers . It's a bonus that some can bat a bit too. But genuine bowlers as opposed to bits and pieces cricketers that may sum up the phrase "Jack of all trades , master of none"

  • JG2704 on June 28, 2012, 21:03 GMT

    Marcio on (June 28 2012, 14:31 PM GMT) - I can see where HM is coming from although I can see how it also might come across as a little ungracious and I'm sure it's not meant to. Trying to balance it -I believe that when you last regained the Ashes with a 5-0 ww , Eng won the OD series and by the same token I wonder if Australia's intensity levels dipped after winning the main series

  • suniljoseph on June 28, 2012, 18:31 GMT

    I think England have really come of ages under Cook as an ODI team and now they are going to face the rebuilding Aussies. Although Lee is there but I still think that England still have a better chance this time. If English batting finishes at 6, then what happened to Forest and Bailey against Narine in Carribean. Don't forger, they have to face Swann who is a much better bowler than Narine. Let's hope for a healthy competition between these two old rivals rather than giving some insane comments.

  • SpadeaSpade on June 28, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    Watsons comments are simply answers to media questions. What would people like to hear him say "oh this England team is great and we are just happy to be competing" Don't be stupid the day any australian team, in any sport walk out thinking they can't win or don't try to find a successful strategy is the day I'll give it away. As for all those people hooking into Steve Smith, I fear you may all end up with egg on your face. He clearly has loads of talent and is well worth sticking with. Players who get time to learn and master their game at international level tend to finish up as really good players. His a promising Leg spinner ( what Captain doesn't want one of those in his armoury ) his got a great eye but definatley needs to tighen up is technique and his probably the best fielder in the country. In one day cricket backing up the bowlers with quality fielding builds the kind of pressure that wins matches.

  • landl47 on June 28, 2012, 16:01 GMT

    @spesh: Watson's a decent bowler, but it is common and admitted knowledge that he can't bowl 10 overs and bat to his full potential. If it's necessary for Watson to bowl 10 overs, then Australia are effectively a batsman down if they are batting second. If he was batting at #6, it wouldn't be so much of an issue, but he's opening. I guess they could move Wade up to open, but where's the Aussie advantage at #7 then? Smith bats #7 and his average is almost identical to that of Bresnan. I'd be prepared to make a modest wager that if England bat first, Watson won't bowl 10 overs.

  • JG2704 on June 28, 2012, 15:32 GMT

    @Sinhaya on (June 28 2012, 13:02 PM GMT) I guess it depends on which Aus and which Pak turn up. Eng were woeful playing spin in tests in UAE but fairly comfortable in the shorter formats so I guess that says that because a side struggles against a side on one turning track it doesn't necessarily mean they'll struggle on another

  • JG2704 on June 28, 2012, 15:32 GMT

    @Marcio on (June 28 2012, 09:11 AM GMT) Please don't associate one person's remarks by saying "How difficult is that to comprehend for the Poms? " Starc has been bowling consistently well in the shorter forms over here so if he can't get in the Aus side they must be a decent bowling unit. Eng have recently shown more promise but I have had many false alarms in recent years. I'm hoping we win and I personally feel this is the best formation for team England. Too often in the past I feel we have picked a bowler because he can bat A LITTLE better than another bowler who IS FAR SUPERIOR as a bowler.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on June 28, 2012, 14:57 GMT

    Utter unfounded thing watson is speaking. And what does brettig mean by 5 specialist bowlers? Bresnan and Broad are GENUINE allrounders. And Swann is as good a tonker as any in world cricket.

  • Ragav999 on June 28, 2012, 14:53 GMT

    @dunger.bob: Hussey is a legend, averages way more than Pieterson in ODI format. Hussey is the man for all situations. Hussey at 36 is more motivated,committed to every format of the game inspite of playing huge amount of cricket in his career before making his debut. Peterson is tired and retired from one form already at the age of 32! @Sinhaya: Swann did nothing in the Ashes series 2009 & 2011. Australia struggled against Narine because they did not play him before. Australia have the best record in SL in the last 15 years which is considered as spin fortress. Australia beat Pakistan in the previous UAE ODI series too under captaincy of Michael Clarke. Ajmal played in that series too. I think subcontinent teams (and their fans) place too much importance on one or two key players and hope they take their team through to the finish line which is not a great idea against teams like Aus and SA.

  • Hammond on June 28, 2012, 14:50 GMT

    Watson should query his own balance. Most overrated Australian cricketer I have ever seen.

  • Marcio on June 28, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    @TheHoneymonster you can try to explain your consistent ODI losses away all you want. Every time you lose it's because of some external factor, and when you win it is "for real". The fact is that historically Australia is a much better at ODI than England. As for the going 3-0 "then easing up", don't make me laugh! The first three games were extremely close, the deciding game won by a single wicket. Then you got thrashed in the last two games when Sean Tait came in. So there you have your little 3-2 win. The series before that - 6-1 to Australia yet again. Australia is #1, England #4. So why are you some of you talking like Australia is trash and your team is unbeatable? Sorry to remind you, but England only won 5 of their 14 internationals on the last tour of Australia, losing 8. This is not the dominant team your fans & media keeps harping on about. If your cricketers were so brilliant you would have won a big majority of the games, not approx 1 in 3.

  • subbass on June 28, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    Australia defo favourites to win this series and I am an ENG fan. But despite our recent good ODI form we have not beat a top side and got smashed 5-0 by India recently. OK it was away from home but we have a long way to go with the ODI side. The Test and T-20 side are far better than Australia's but this is the one format where they are ahead. I'm not too worried about our bowling all rounders though. If need be, then they will get runs.

    But yes I can see Cummins and Lee getting some joy, but then again I can see our bowlers getting wickets also, so there could be some low scoring games !

  • YorkshirePudding on June 28, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, correct Stokes is a medium pacer. sorry I got confused him with Scott Borthwick, who is about the same age and plays for Durham as well, and is often touted as being close to the england ODI team, though not as an All-rounder.

  • Sinhaya on June 28, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    @JG2704, I mean this is in UAE where tracks will favor spinners even more than in Sri Lanka. Australia struggled against Narine in Windies so they will struggle against Ajmal and may be Swann too.

  • on June 28, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    The devil is in the details, Bresnans ODI batting average against Australia is 41 from 14 innings. Also Wades away ODI average is 9, well done him.

  • SDHM on June 28, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    Also, on Bresnan himself - as some people have noted, his Test average is a bit misleading; bolstered by a few not outs, although a couple of 90s suggest he can play a bit! Someone mentioned that he actually looks the part as a batsman though, and I get the feeling he is working incredibly hard on his batting. His ODI bowling stats aren't very impressive at all, so he needs to give the side a few runs to make up for it! It's worth noting what this supposed 'weakness' can do - the middle order failed in the first ODI against the West Indies, and England still posted 290...

  • SDHM on June 28, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    Marcio - not sure how you can call Cook a plodder when over the last year his strike rate is over 90 and it's comfortably sitting above 80 over his career! And you're also conveniently forgetting the series win England had back in 2010, when they went 3-0 up before easing off. I think the last two post-Ashes wins for Australia are misnomers really - England had done what they wanted to do and you could tell, certainly in Australia, that they weren't really up for it. That's not to say I reckon England would have won those series if they were fully committed - I don't - but they may well have been closer. Flower and Cook have placed more emphasis on one-day cricket after getting to the top of the rankings so I expect to see a closely fought series here, and I'm actually looking forward to the cricket, even if I'd prefer to see another test against South Africa later in the summer.

  • Heisenburg on June 28, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    For the love of god Australia don't play smith, he's not ready, move Wade up to 7 and put Bailey at 6.

  • cloudmess on June 28, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    Much has been about the fate-tempting nature of Watson's comments - plus the fact that his side were smashed in the last Ashes, and are now playing a strong England team in English conditions. But as an England supporter whose first series was the 1989 Ashes, you always worry. I waited 16 years to see England beat Australia. You never really recover from an experience like that. I am of the Atherton-Stewart-Hussain generation. In 2005, I agreed with Hussain every time he said on commentary "that won't be good enough against these Australians" The Australian side of 2010-11 was the dying embers of the old empire, but now they have a new, younger team, not least with a revamped and vigorous bowling attack. Are these the new McGraths and Gillespies? India certainly seemed to think so last winter. Historically, Australia are never weak for long. The 1989 side was underrated when it arrived in England, simply because it was an unknown entity. I'm just hoping this is not the new 1989 side.

  • cdublew on June 28, 2012, 11:05 GMT

    I think it would be best for the Aussies to concentrate on what they can do to beat England rather than review and comment on the contents and skills of the English side and the selectors decision to strengthen their bowling attack.

  • on June 28, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    Let me tell you Positions No 7,8,9 are the thorn in the flesh which can turn tables in the test matches. Now a days these above positions are taken by all rounders.

  • EdGreen on June 28, 2012, 10:09 GMT

    We could read Watson's comment as "I like to smash part time bowlers", I'm sure he does.

  • Green_and_Gold on June 28, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    What he is saying makes sense. He has praised the Eng bowling attack and has said that the Aus goal is to get wickets early and put pressure on the mid order bats. Aus have a batting attack that is still trying to establish its self and the battle should be interesting. Looking forward to seeing Hussey and Smith play.

  • satish619chandar on June 28, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    Bresnan at 7, Broad at 8 and Swann at 9 is a pretty good tail(I would rather put them as lower middle order than tail).. Australia look a bit shaky with exit of Mike Hussey.. More often than not, it is Mike who had taken them out of hole in all the formats recent times..

  • Biggsey on June 28, 2012, 9:43 GMT

    And I would question the Aussies' commitment and dedication to training, having spotted Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus wandering around on Oxford Street yesterday, hanging behind their girlfirends carrying a number of shopping bags. Still, it's good practice for drinks carrying I suppose...

  • RedRoseMan on June 28, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    I'm an England fan, but I think Watson has a point about the England middle order - though not because England are playing five bowlers (three of whom are decent lower order batsmen). England do depend very heavily on their top three (one of whom is only there because of Piietersen's withdrawal) and at some point in the series Bopara, Kieswetter, Morgan are likely to be exposed early in an innings. There are serious doubts about the ability of those three to play long innings against a decent bowling line-up.

    In addition, without KP the England batting looks rather one-dimensional, with no real power player. A lot will rest on Morgan's ability in the acceleration and finishing role and they are obviously hoping that Kieswetter will step up, though to my eye he has always looked suspect against genuine pace.

    Having said that, I think the Australian line-up is also weak - get rid of the top two and there is not much to be worried about in terms of scoring rate.

  • getsetgopk on June 28, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    Nah I dont think Aus can beat this English side in English conditions even without KP, guys like Bell, Trott and especially Cook are way better than the Aus top order batters, Bresnan and Broad are far more accurate and gets substantial movement in those conditions and are handy with the bat in my opinion, I expect Eng to take this series though it will not be pretty!

  • jmcilhinney on June 28, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    Some England fans are keen to point out Bresnan's Test batting average but that's not really relevant here, plus I think that it's a bit of an anomaly. I reckon it will go down a bit in time as he plays more games. Bresnan has played enough ODI innings that his ODI record can stand on its own. Under the circumstances, I think it stands up well enough. I tend to think of Wade as being more of a batsman than Bresnan but I think that's because I think of Bresnan as a bowler. I've made an effort to watch Bresnan in a couple of innings recently and he does appear more accomplished than I thought he was.

  • jmcilhinney on June 28, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding on (June 28 2012, 07:11 AM GMT), I've never seen him bowl but Stokes' profile on this site says "Right-arm medium".

  • Marcio on June 28, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    @Selassie-I. Everything you have said is incorrect, which is some achievement. Australia's recent ODI form is good. Wins over BAN, SA and SL away, SL and IND at home, a drawn series in the WI. (I make that four-and-half-out-of-five). Far from Cook ending the careers of Siddle, Hilfenhaus and co, they have come back stronger than ever. And this is not test cricket. How difficult is that to comprehend for the Poms? Ya got smashed last time round - 2-from-9 was your scorecard in AUS for short formats. You are ranked #4, AUS #1. And you still think you are superior! LOL.

  • abyrao on June 28, 2012, 9:01 GMT

    Aussies have dominated cricket since last 2 decades, but cant understand why they have to indulge in cheap vocal volleys. They have lost respect due to such disgusting attitude. Shane Watson is really good at playing these gimmicks which are unwanted. He should worry about Smiths performance at the top level rather than Bresnans.

  • smudgeon on June 28, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    this is a bit of an odd tactic from Watto. i know the Aus ODI team is a different animal to the test team, but in the last 12 months, batting depth has been more of an issue for Australia than England. couldn't he have just gone with a classic mind game and picked a bunny?

  • dogcatcher on June 28, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    Yawn, just trying to breath life and get bums on seats for a 1 day series that shouldn't be taking place. Who cares.

  • StoneRose on June 28, 2012, 8:54 GMT

    Agree with Selassie-I. Watson wants to worry about Aus's number 3 (Bailey), 6 (Smith), 7 (Wade - still inexperienced).

  • JG2704 on June 28, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    Up to Watson what he thinks. What works for Oz might not work for Eng and vice versa. Personally (as any regulars on here would know) I'd prefer Eng to use the same balance in tests too. I'm still not 100% convinced by our batting line up but this series will tell us more. As a Somerset fan it pains me to say this but I'm not sure Craig at 6 is that convincing. Also a thing I have found with longer (on paper) batting line up is that (in tests) if Eng have lost the top order batsmen with few runs on the board then the number 6 will do very little.

  • JG2704 on June 28, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    @Sinhaya on (June 28 2012, 00:31 AM GMT) Were they not quite adept at managing spin in your homeland? I don't think they are as weak against spin as we were in UAE and the 1st SL test

  • JG2704 on June 28, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    @Tjoeps on (June 27 2012, 18:51 PM GMT) Your comms are a pleasant change from some of your fellow SA fans. I'm guessing part of you hopes for an Eng win as I guess an Eng win coupled with your guys winning the ODI series could put you top

  • JG2704 on June 28, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    @NaniIndCri on (June 27 2012, 17:31 PM GMT) No one really knows how much effort Eng did or didn't make to reach a compromise with KP. It was said that KP would be rested for the WI OD series so that kind of makes me think that KP was more stubborn than Eng. I wish they had come to a compromise but they didn't. Not sure how you think they are making different rules for Trott,Cook,Strauss etc - OD/T20 contracts come as a package. Strauss has retired from both fmts to concentrate on both. Cook and Trott - if ever selected - would be obligated to play T20 as well as ODIs.

  • Yevghenny on June 28, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    What England may lose in batting, they get back in bowling. I love this line up, a top quality bowler on every over - no 10 overs of middle of the road containment, Cook can always turn to someone to get a wicket

  • Selassie-I on June 28, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    Great from watto, he's suspicious of Bressa at 7 when Aus have Smith at 6! If he wants to worry about a dodgy tail he should worry about his own. Aus are a great ODI side, but recent results for them havn't been great and Eng are on a roll..... bring on tomorrow, they've changed their bowling line up since they last saw cook, I think he effectivley ended that set of bowlers careers in the last Ashes.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 28, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    And the mind games begin again... Who are these players to question other teams' strategies? Wouldn't it be best to concentrate on your own team, and your own performance? Watson's performances against weak English county teams recently were not exactly spectacular...

  • Truemans_Ghost on June 28, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    As Mercio says, he wasn't really saying anything especially provocative. If you play an extra bowler, you inevitably weaken your batting slightly. That is obvious. The relative merits of that or the extra batter in all forms of cricket is an ubiquitous one, and our Grandads were having it in pubs from Leeds to Melbourne when Bradman was playing and hopefully my future grandkids will be having it in years to come.

  • on June 28, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    Bres averages 40.22 in Test Cricket and a ODI average of 21.03 with a strike rate of 92.65. He can't be far away from being an all-rounder and Broad and Swan are no mugs if 20 or 30 is needed.

  • dunger.bob on June 28, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    England might be without KP, but Australia is without Mike Hussey. Now, before anyone gets all huffy, I am NOT saying that MH=KP. Huss is a damn good batsman but I have no problem saying KP is better. However, the actual loss to England is really the difference between the two, which is fair but not huge. ...Anyway, this is not a pointless series as some are suggesting. The Aussies get to blood some young players and England gets to look at those same young players. Oh, and by the way, for anyone who wants to actually watch the cricket, there should be some pretty good stuff for you to watch. .... Not pointless at all unless you are some sort of whinging elitist who only wants to watch World cup finals or top of the table Test matches.

  • spesh on June 28, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    @ landl47 "Aus has to put together 10 overs from Watson, Hussey and Clarke, as opposed to the 5 specialist bowlers England can field" - Watsons ODI bowling record is far superior to Bresnan's. If Hussey or Clarke have to bowl something has gone wrong, simarlarly if Trott or Bopara roll their arm over. The bowling attacks look similar on paper, perhaps a slight edge to Australia with their extra pace if Lords serves up some bounce. England have the quality and form in the batting but rely too heavily on the top 3.

  • on June 28, 2012, 7:26 GMT

    come back ponting and white australia squad.smith was very talanted young allrounder chance to him..pittintion and cummins both future star so keep them xi. in my view australia probable are: 1.watson 2.warner 3.ponting 4.clarke 5.white/hussey 6.smith 7.wade 8.johnsion/lee 9.pittition 10.cummins 11.doherty ....

  • EdGreen on June 28, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    If you've got specialist bowlers like Broad and Bresnan with test batting averages in their thirties then five bowlers is not an issue - if we had an opening bat who could bowl like Mr Watson then, of course, we might consider just four specialist bowlers, if our middle order went Proctor, Sobers, Botham, Fender - then one or two would be perfectly adequate.

  • The_bowlers_Holding on June 28, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    I think it will be a great series because it is England V Australia, both sides have potent bowling attacks and I am greatly looking forward to it. If we get stuffed I will take it on the chin and not invent a myriad of excuses. KURUWITA I agree with test matches being more important but as an Englishman when England are playing to be honest I will be watching my team regardless of the format they are in.

  • YorkshirePudding on June 28, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    Watson is correct the England tail is a little long with Bresnan (avg 21), Broad (avg 12), and swann (avg 14). but engladn at the mometn dont have a true alrounder and so the 5th bowler would most likely be made up of a combination of Trott, Bopara/Patel, if they wanted the extra batsman. the only real contender around at the moment for an Alrounder is Ben Stokes at Durham, who in list-A averages 26 with the bat and 13.4 with the ball, unfortunately hes a spinner so you either have to drop one of the 1 quicks or Swann.

  • jackthelad on June 28, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    It should be a competitive, if fairly pointless, series; however, I think Watson is putting too much confidence in a fast-bowling attack which is decent but hardly world-shaking. On present form, if no. 7 has to bat at all it will mean something has gone drastically wrong with England's top order.

  • on June 28, 2012, 7:01 GMT

    1.watson 2.warner 3.forrest 4.clarke 5.hussey 6.smith 7.wade 8.johnson 9.lee/cummins 10.pittintion 11.doherty

  • Okakaboka on June 28, 2012, 6:56 GMT

    What? Is Smith being picked for his fielding again. Geez.....Even Pattinson is a better batsman (well almost) and he can bowl.....and actually 'scare' those English batsman. Smith has not done anything to earn his place back! We may as well have Cam White back. At least he appears to be regaining form now that he realises (and us bloggers) that he is not a test batsman. Smith will put too much pressure on Wade.

  • Stieprox on June 28, 2012, 6:03 GMT

    its going to be an interesting ODI series,i am desperately waiting for it.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on June 28, 2012, 5:50 GMT

    We need to focus on SL Vs Pak It is test cricket.

  • on June 28, 2012, 5:23 GMT

    @ James Badge Wing, that is a great comment i couldnt agree more, Steve Smith has never scored a half century in ODI cricket, yet watson thinks englands batting is short but england has bresnan at 7 and broad at 8 both who average close to 30 runs per innings in county cricket, also with Swann as low as 9 i know that england lower order is more then a match for aussie lower order, the real thing that will decide the games will be top order batting and also the quality of bowling both teams are well resourced in both these departments so it will be a tight contest

  • heathrf1974 on June 28, 2012, 4:28 GMT

    It will be a good but meaningless series. England is more settled than Australia.

  • landl47 on June 28, 2012, 3:57 GMT

    I think he's right, England are a #7 batsman short. However, Watson does appear to have overlooked the fact that of the top 6 on each side, only one Australian (Michael Clarke) has a higher average than his opposing number on the England side. I think England will be happy with Aus having the advantage at #4 and #7 and England having the better numbers at 1,2,3,5 and 6. It also means Aus has to put together 10 overs from Watson, Hussey and Clarke, as opposed to the 5 specialist bowlers England can field. It's going to be a tough series, no doubt about that, but Watson appears to be blowing smoke rather than identifying a real Aussie superiority.

  • joseyesu on June 28, 2012, 3:55 GMT

    Aus beware of this long tail of eng batting. It is because of this Ind where not able to dominate the ENG team. A chip by every one, is a real advantage also to the failure of any batsman. An aggressive Wicket taker like AMIR(Pak) is a much need for the tour, i think Pattinson in bowling line up will be a good choice for Aus.

  • simon_w on June 28, 2012, 3:51 GMT

    Given the opportunity that Wade has had at the top of the order, and the number of times Bresnan's given his wicket away for the team coming in a 7, 8 or below late in the game, I'd say the fact that their ODI averages are so similar should give Bresnan all the confidence he needs that he is Wade's equal at 7. To see Wade batting below Steve Smith at #6 is what would concern me. I'm sure Smith must have come on a lot since the last time I saw him bat, but if I was an English bowler I wouldn't mind a look at that with only four wickets down...

  • simon_w on June 28, 2012, 3:45 GMT

    Based on Watson's comments, with which I mostly agree, it seems that England's weakness is that their middle-to-lower order hasn't been tested too much recently. This is, in part, because they swept aside a West Indies team which recently held Australia to a 2-2 draw without breaking sweat.

  • Marcio on June 28, 2012, 3:27 GMT

    @Nerk, you clearly haven't read the article. How is Watson "talking like this"? These are clearly not "mind games", merely some polite and casual observations on the upcoming series. It's obvious they are respectful responses to some reporter's questions, not pronouncements intended for the opposition. The strongest words he said? "For England to be able to go in with four frontline quick bowlers is a very good thing for them against our batting line-up, but I suppose playing for out-and-out quick bowlers and one main spinner as well means if we're able to make inroads into their batting line-up early it means they might be one batsman short."

  • hvijay.1985 on June 28, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    @Snick_To_Backward_Point hahaha well said, I can't stop laughing. You made my day.

  • on June 28, 2012, 2:18 GMT

    One point that Watson seems to have missed is that while Wade a 7 is a luxury, Smith at 6 is not. Not sure having someone who does not really justify his place on batting and barely gets a bowl is adding good balance to the side.

  • on June 28, 2012, 1:53 GMT

    @Snick_To_Backward_Point-Don't you mean the Aussie tail starts at no.1

  • jmcilhinney on June 28, 2012, 1:27 GMT

    Every team is always going to be looking any little weakness in their opposition and every team is going to talk up their chances, so I'm not going to attack Watson for these comments. I am going to disagree with them though. Wade's average is about 3 more than Bresnan's but his strike rate is about 18 less. That's right: 18! Wade has played 17 ODIs, which not a huge number but he's far from a newbie. People like to dump on Ian Bell's ODI performance but Wade's strike rate is almost exactly the same as Bell's. Maybe Wade has potential but Watson specifically mentioned his success so far, which just isn't evident from those numbers.

  • on June 28, 2012, 1:27 GMT

    I dont see nothing wrong with what England has been doing as it has been working for them lately in one day cricket. IMO Australia need to stop talking because they definately have a few weak areas themselves, and seem obsessed with thier bowlers and not finding the next generation of batsmen. This one day series means nothing as to how the Ashes next year will play out IMO.

  • jmcilhinney on June 28, 2012, 1:16 GMT

    @NaniIndCri on (June 27 2012, 17:31 PM GMT), why is anyone still talking like that. THERE IS NO DOUBLE STANDARD! the only accommodation that has been made for Cook, Strauss and Trott is that Strauss no longer plays limited-overs cricket. That's it, that's all. No accommodation has been made for Cook or Trott. They are not currently in the T20 side because they have not been selected for the T20 side. They are both AVAILABLE for selection for the T20 side and, as far as I'm aware, both want to be selected. The issue with KP is that he wanted to be allowed to play T20 while making himself unavailable for ODIs. No other England player has been allowed to do that so THERE IS NO DOUBLE STANDARD. How many times does this need to be explained?

  • Nerk on June 28, 2012, 0:53 GMT

    As an aussie, it worries me when my team starts talking like this. You could always tell Australia was going to lose a series when they started playing mind games with the opposition. Follow Border's model, shut up and concentrate on the cricket.

  • Cpt.Meanster on June 28, 2012, 0:48 GMT

    Dear English friends, Watson is only being your neighborhood friendly 'Aussie' by spewing such words. Having said that this could still turn out to be an interesting series. I wonder what England will say IF they lose the series. I don't want to hear the same old "we can't play ODI cricket" garbage. I predict this series to be close.

  • on June 28, 2012, 0:41 GMT

    this is one day cricket .. so # 7 - 11.. should not have cause to be batting more than 10 overs .. plus Broad, Bresman and Swann can all bat !!

  • Marcio on June 28, 2012, 0:35 GMT

    To be honest, I'd expect Australia to win the series, all things being equal. AUS has a pretty decent side here - batting, bowling and fielding. The best England can hope for is to get off to a great start and put AUS off. Even then, a best case scenario would be a close 3-2 series win. I'd expect Australia to win it 3-2 or 4-1. This would actually be a great improvement for the English side, which won only 2 of their 9 short format games the last time they played Australia. ENG lack a match winner like Watto or Warner in the batting dept. Even if Cook gets a century, ENG can still lose, because he is something of a "plodder", as someone recently mentioned, LOL.

  • Sinhaya on June 28, 2012, 0:31 GMT

    Remember Australia's recent ODI record is not that great. They got a real grinding in the CB series winning the 3rd final against the worn out Lankans after losing 4 times to them in the tournament. Later managed a tough draw against Windies 2-2. Not sure what can Watson do in the new fortress England really. Aussie batting is weak and wont stand a chance against Pakistani spin later when they tour UAE.

  • vrn59 on June 28, 2012, 0:16 GMT

    My Aus XI: Warner, Watson, Bailey/Forrest, Clarke (C), D Hussey, Smith, Wade (wk), Lee, Cummins, Doherty, Hilfenhaus (though I'd personally like to see Johnson)

    My Eng XI: Cook (C), Bell, Trott, Bopara, Morgan, Kieswetter (wk), Patel, Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Finn (or Bresnan at No. 7 and Anderson instead of Patel)

  • on June 27, 2012, 23:52 GMT

    When I hear: "Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan, Steven Finn and Graeme Swann" I think great batting depth. What is Watson talking about here?

  • yorkshirematt on June 27, 2012, 23:34 GMT

    Watson makes a good point and is perfectly within his rights to say where he thinks Australia can take advantage and win the matches. Nowt wrong wi that. At least he has some positive things to say about england as well. Unlike certain posters on here.

  • MattyP1979 on June 27, 2012, 23:34 GMT

    I actually think Aus have the problem with their balance. They seem to have 4 bowlers and no batsman lol. Without Punter/Hussey (the only 2 good cricketers in Aus...and the oldest lol) they are going to struggle against the mighty lions. Englands Pat Cummins should be good to watch, and the Netherlands Tenderwhatever impressed me too so they have some talent. Eng to win 5-0. Why isn't the Pakistani Khawjjjjajaja playing he looked pretty handy to me, they could also try the aging pom Simmonds too.

  • RandyOZ on June 27, 2012, 23:05 GMT

    Watson is only stating the obvious here; we all know how poor England's middle order is. Bairstow looks lik,e the new Bell (a bunny) and I just can't see where they are going to get their wickets from. Anderson can't do all the work and Swann has been belted to all parts for the best part of the last year.

  • on June 27, 2012, 22:56 GMT

    @AdrianVanDenStael So reading between the lines what you are saying is that Australia are better than England?

  • 2.14istherunrate on June 27, 2012, 22:24 GMT

    5 bowlers should be non-negotiable. Over time the fifth bowler has been such a headache and lost loads of games. We bowlers have bowlers who bat well and experience would say say that no'7 is not really that influentilal in ODI's beyond tkaing the side home with relatively small amounts of runs required, so the new setup makes sense. Watson doesn't and who cares what he says anyway? No English for sure.

  • AdrianVanDenStael on June 27, 2012, 21:46 GMT

    @PunchDrunkPunter: not really enough said, since England are about to play Australia at one-day cricket, not test cricket. Some quick research reveals that Wade averages more than Bresnan with the bat in ODIs (24 to 21), and Watson averages very nearly twice as much as Bresnan with the bat in ODIs (41 to 21).

  • SDHM on June 27, 2012, 21:46 GMT

    Considering Warne has said that England are the over-confident side, they've been pretty quiet and have barely said a word, whilst the Aussies aren't half talking a lot, are they? Read into that what you will...

  • Snick_To_Backward_Point on June 27, 2012, 21:43 GMT

    If I were Watto i'd be more worried about the Aussie tail. It's starts at no 5.

  • Muhtasim13 on June 27, 2012, 21:34 GMT

    i actually like England's choice of 5 specialist bowlers, instead of using 1 or 2 part-time bowlers. it makes them more aggressive

  • on June 27, 2012, 21:30 GMT

    True, but if you need number 7, 8 and 9 to pile on the runs for you, something has already gone terribly wrong...

  • Dashgar on June 27, 2012, 21:19 GMT

    @PunchDrunkPunter, These 3 guys averages in List A/ODI: Bresnan 19/21, Wade 35/24, Watson 39/41. Bresnan has played 11 test innings in 14 tests. He's batted against demoralised and outmatched bowling units almost exclusively. Saying he has a higher test average, when that isn't even the format we're playing, is definitely not 'nuff said'. Anyone with knowledge of the game would be able to tell you Australia has a better middle to lower order than England here. A lot rests on Cook, Bell and Trott for them and they know it.

  • Lmaotsetung on June 27, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    I personally like the 6 batsmen 5 bowlers lineup. Trying to fill your team with Jacques Kallis pretenders has and will never work. It will make the top 6 value their wickets more and put more pressure on the bowling all rounders to take their batting more seriously. In all fairness, Broad's batting has gone downhill since his early years in international cricket save for a knock here and there. Same can be said for Swanny. I expect these 2 to be more consistent but Broad has time on his side.

  • Dashgar on June 27, 2012, 20:57 GMT

    Bresnans numbers are good at the moment but he is not match winning number 7 by any means. In ODIs I wouldn't put his batting much above Brett Lee. Yes he's a handy guy at 8 but at 7 you want a genuine batsman. He is not that. Wade is.

  • on June 27, 2012, 20:49 GMT

    rather have England's XI any day of the week

  • Peterincanada on June 27, 2012, 20:44 GMT

    Watson should concentrate on his own game and not worry about the opposition. In any event in a limited overs match the number 7 does not often become a match winner as there is a limited number of overs left when he comes in. If he comes in with a lot left you will more than likely lose anyway. A man who can rack up a quick 20 or 30 is usually good enough.

    @PunchdrunkPunter True but Bresnan's runs have come at the relative comfort of 8 or 9 while Watson has played most of his innings at the top. Apples and oranges.

  • hhillbumper on June 27, 2012, 20:32 GMT

    given the injury hostory of the faster bowlers can we place bets on how long it takes for one of them to blow up and get injured.If they have the same attack for 5 games then I would be truely suprised.

  • SirViv1973 on June 27, 2012, 20:17 GMT

    Not sure why Watson has made these comments. The use of the 5 bowlers seems to be working and I think its a good ploy in Eng conditions. Besides when you have 3 genuine allrounders at 7,8 & 9 it doesn't really take much away from the batting. The squad is very flexible anyway Samit can always come in as the extra batter instead of Finn and share the 5th bowler duties with Bopara.

  • AdrianVanDenStael on June 27, 2012, 20:04 GMT

    @Munkeymomo: it seems to me that you've unconsciously indicated the objection to Watson's comments, which is not that he's wrong to suggest that Australia are a better ODI team than England (they clearly are, as the world rankings and recent contests between the two teams - the last thirty 50-over ODI contests between the two teams having been won 22-8 by Australia, I believe - clearly indicate), but that he's being a bit self-serving by highlighting and thus implicitly exaggerating his own importance to that superiority. I expect Australia to win this series, perhaps 3-1 or 4-1, and believe that they clearly are the better ODI team, but I believe Australia are the better one-day team all-round in practically every department, and not just because they have all-rounders such as Watson: his team-mates also deserve a lot of credit for that.

  • PunchDrunkPunter on June 27, 2012, 19:17 GMT

    Bresnan averages more than Wade and Watson as a Test batsman. Nuff said.

  • on June 27, 2012, 19:16 GMT

    " This was particularly so as the top three of Alastair Cook, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott had done the vast majority of the team's run-making in recent ODI matches against the West Indies and Pakistan."

    Not surprising since England lost on average about 4 wickets in those 6 ODIs. Bell only played in 2 of those ODIs, he must be confusing him with KP!

  • EnglishCricket on June 27, 2012, 18:57 GMT

    We'll see Watson but I just hope for your sake that you do well to regain your Number 1 All-Rounder ranking in ODIs cause you certainly need all the luck you can get. But what I don't understand is what's the point of this meaningless series? because they're going to be playing this same series next year again in England. It looks like Cricket is ruining itself.

  • Tjoeps on June 27, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    The mind games have started! As a Saffer I am going to follow this series with great interest, I think both teams are on Parr, I think a special performance from some guys will swing the outcome, a ton hear an a 5'er there would do the trick, depends who is on top of his game, on the day! Best wishes all! See you later playing the Proteas! Flower power!

  • hhillbumper on June 27, 2012, 18:44 GMT

    well here we go with Shane Watson talking about being an allrounder.Is that the sound of a twanged hamstring for this most robust of allrounders

  • TestsaretheBest on June 27, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    I am sure Watson intended to ramp up the pressure on England with his comments, but he inadvertently makes a very good point about the England batting. The Andocracy make very few mistakes but leaving Matt Prior out of the ODI side is one of them. Wade is well behind Prior as both a wicket keeper and a batsman (but so are Paine and Haddin). Kieswetter should not be in the side in my view. If we can only choose from the announced party, I'd give Jonny Bairstow the gloves and see what happens. It should be a cracking game on Friday and I look forward to seeing how Cummins gets going and how Whack 'em Warner manages the England attack.

  • on June 27, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    Hilarious from Watson. It's not like Wade has an amazing record that puts Bresnan to shame. Bresnan's got a superior Test batting average and averages just 3 less in ODIs despite the fact that Wade has had far more opportunity, batting in the top 3 for the majority of his matches (both are averaging in the twenties so hardly anything to shout about).

  • on June 27, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    Watson is right here in putting this view.. but Aussies too don't seem to be in great balance after exit of their most prolific run maker of all times Ricky ponting. Here England have an edge that they are consistently putting up a good performance with the depth in their bowling department and they have depth in their batting too with the likes of Stuart broad, Swann as useful contributer down the order.. 3-2 in favour of England..

  • on June 27, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    I think England are doing just the right thing, put the best bowlers in action. It's simple if they can save you 30 runs overal and can put Aus batting line under pressurel, that itself covers the extra batsman they might be lacking.

    But this discussion is nothing new, Aussies are always fond of media games and that's just what they have triggered. Be ware england, just stick to your guns.

  • Munkeymomo on June 27, 2012, 17:42 GMT

    Fair comments from Watto, Australia's batting has a definite edge and Watto is the main reason for that, to have an allrounder like him is a great asset. With Australia's pace attack it is going to be a real challenge for the England top 6, especially when combined with their excellent captain.

  • on June 27, 2012, 17:34 GMT

    Too Much Watto? Will Wait and See

  • NaniIndCri on June 27, 2012, 17:31 GMT

    Without KP Eng's batting is a bit vulnerable. Bell is a good player but he's no KP. He cannot intimidate opposition like KP does. Eng will surely miss him in these ODI's and also T20 world cup. Don't understand why they cannot accommodate him like they did for Cook, Strauss and Trott; kind of double standard.

  • nathangonmad on June 27, 2012, 17:22 GMT

    Talk while you can Watson.

  • spence1324 on June 27, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    LOL someone should remind him that englands ' tail ' averages better then half of Australia's top order!

  • phendel on June 27, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    this is exactly the weakness i was thinking abt when WI were set to face them.....luckily for them the WI bowling attack did not bowl in the right areas.....something they can expect to be corrected with Cummins, Watson & Lee running in....I expect this series to be way more competitive with Australia......they are the #1 ODI side after all

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  • phendel on June 27, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    this is exactly the weakness i was thinking abt when WI were set to face them.....luckily for them the WI bowling attack did not bowl in the right areas.....something they can expect to be corrected with Cummins, Watson & Lee running in....I expect this series to be way more competitive with Australia......they are the #1 ODI side after all

  • spence1324 on June 27, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    LOL someone should remind him that englands ' tail ' averages better then half of Australia's top order!

  • nathangonmad on June 27, 2012, 17:22 GMT

    Talk while you can Watson.

  • NaniIndCri on June 27, 2012, 17:31 GMT

    Without KP Eng's batting is a bit vulnerable. Bell is a good player but he's no KP. He cannot intimidate opposition like KP does. Eng will surely miss him in these ODI's and also T20 world cup. Don't understand why they cannot accommodate him like they did for Cook, Strauss and Trott; kind of double standard.

  • on June 27, 2012, 17:34 GMT

    Too Much Watto? Will Wait and See

  • Munkeymomo on June 27, 2012, 17:42 GMT

    Fair comments from Watto, Australia's batting has a definite edge and Watto is the main reason for that, to have an allrounder like him is a great asset. With Australia's pace attack it is going to be a real challenge for the England top 6, especially when combined with their excellent captain.

  • on June 27, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    I think England are doing just the right thing, put the best bowlers in action. It's simple if they can save you 30 runs overal and can put Aus batting line under pressurel, that itself covers the extra batsman they might be lacking.

    But this discussion is nothing new, Aussies are always fond of media games and that's just what they have triggered. Be ware england, just stick to your guns.

  • on June 27, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    Watson is right here in putting this view.. but Aussies too don't seem to be in great balance after exit of their most prolific run maker of all times Ricky ponting. Here England have an edge that they are consistently putting up a good performance with the depth in their bowling department and they have depth in their batting too with the likes of Stuart broad, Swann as useful contributer down the order.. 3-2 in favour of England..

  • on June 27, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    Hilarious from Watson. It's not like Wade has an amazing record that puts Bresnan to shame. Bresnan's got a superior Test batting average and averages just 3 less in ODIs despite the fact that Wade has had far more opportunity, batting in the top 3 for the majority of his matches (both are averaging in the twenties so hardly anything to shout about).

  • TestsaretheBest on June 27, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    I am sure Watson intended to ramp up the pressure on England with his comments, but he inadvertently makes a very good point about the England batting. The Andocracy make very few mistakes but leaving Matt Prior out of the ODI side is one of them. Wade is well behind Prior as both a wicket keeper and a batsman (but so are Paine and Haddin). Kieswetter should not be in the side in my view. If we can only choose from the announced party, I'd give Jonny Bairstow the gloves and see what happens. It should be a cracking game on Friday and I look forward to seeing how Cummins gets going and how Whack 'em Warner manages the England attack.