England v Australia, 1st ODI, Lord's

Don't mention the Ashes

The Preview by George Dobell

June 28, 2012

Comments: 33 | Text size: A | A

Alastair Cook and Michael Clarke with the NatWest series trophy, Lord's, June 28, 2012
Alastair Cook and Michael Clarke will meet for the first time as opposing captains © Getty Images

Match Facts

Friday, June 29, 2012
Start time 1045 (0945 GMT)

The Big Picture

The fact that this series is taking place at all speaks volumes for England's new priorities. Having won the World Twenty20 and moved to the top of the Test rankings, they are now targeting a global ODI trophy as one of their top priorities. While there is no diminution in their Test ambitions in particular, so deep is their desire to win the 2015 World Cup (or, to a slightly lesser extent, the 2013 Champions Trophy) that the ECB scheduled this five-match ODI series ahead of adding another Test to the much-anticipated series between England and South Africa. In return, the ECB secured a five-match ODI series in Australia right before the 2015 World Cup, to be staged in Australia and New Zealand.

England are an improving ODI team. Despite the humbling 5-0 reverse in India, England have won their last six ODI series at home and, despite the recent retirement of Kevin Pietersen, are building a solid side that, while lacking in explosive batsmen, possesses good quality players well capable of dealing with the introduction of two new balls. They also have an outstanding bowling attack and good depth in both batting and bowling.

Australia, too, are in something of a transition in ODI cricket. Still ranked No. 1 in the world, they are introducing young players into the side - the likes of Matthew Wade and Pat Cummins - as they look to the future and 2015 in particular. This tour will provide several of their players with the opportunity of familiarising themselves with English conditions ahead of next year's Ashes tour, while Australia A will also arrive in the UK shortly on a tour of their own.

Despite some expressing a concern that this series and an over-familiarity between the sides could dilute the special atmosphere of an Ashes series, Lord's is anticipating a full house. While there is no great prize for victory, it will provide some indication of the strengths and weaknesses of each side.

Form guide

England WWWWW (Most recent first, abandonments excluded)
Australia WLTLW

Players to watch

Prospects are looking up for Ian Bell. Dropped from the ODI side over the winter, Bell won a reprieve when Kevin Pietersen retired and enjoyed an excellent start in his new role as opening batsman against West Indies. This series provides tougher opposition but, if Bell bats with the class and positivity he displayed against West Indies, he will have cemented his position alongside Alastair Cook at the top of the order.

For most in England, this game will offer a first opportunity to see Pat Cummins in action. Just 19 years old, Cummins may be short of experience, but he has immense promise. Blessed with natural pace and an ability to swing the ball away from right-handers, he also appears to have remarkable control and maturity for one so young. Both captains have been at pains to insist that this series has no relevance to next year's Ashes encounters, but it does seem safe to assume that Cummins will be making his first of many appearances at Lord's. He has a bright future.

Team news

England (probable) 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Ian Bell, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Ravi Bopara, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Craig Kieswetter, 7 Tim Bresnan, 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 James Anderson, 11 Steve Finn.

Australia (probable) 1 Shane Watson, 2 David Warner, 3 George Bailey, 4 Michael Clarke, 5 David Hussey, 6 Steven Smith, 7 Matthew Wade, 8 Brett Lee, 9 Clint McKay, 10 Pat Cummins, 11 Xavier Doherty.

Pitch and conditions

The forecast is not wonderful, with a 60% chance of rain and a noticeable drop in temperature anticipated. But Lord's is remarkably fast draining and looks as immaculate as ever. The pitch is expected to be good, though totals of 300 or more have been achieved only four times in 52 ODIs on the ground. One of those came when Australia defeated Zimbabwe in 1999, another came in 1975, when England scored 334 in 60 overs against India and the two other occasions both occurred in the same match, when the batsmen of India and England enjoyed a fine pitch in 2002.

Stats and trivia

  • If England win the series 5-0, they will move to the top of the ODI rankings. That would make them the first team to top the rankings in all three formats of the game.

  • England have won their last six ODIs and their last six home ODI series. The last two sides to tour England - India and West Indies - failed to win an international match on the trip.

  • The last time these two sides played an ODI series, however, following the 2010-11 Ashes, Australia won 6-1.

  • This is the last men's game at Lord's (there is a women's T20I between England and India at the ground on Sunday) before the MCC hand over control of the ground to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) on Monday. They will not officially reclaim control of the ground until July 18, the day before the first Test against South Africa.


"Our goal as an Australian cricket team is to be number one in the world in all three formats of the game."
Michael Clarke, Australia's captain, on their plan to dominate

"If someone said do you want to be number one in the world or win the World Cup, I would take the World Cup."
Alastair Cook, England's captain, has other priorities

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: George Dobell

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (June 29, 2012, 18:51 GMT)

@Partyman on (June 28 2012, 17:53 PM GMT) Re the articles/folk saying how the Aussies are going to stuff us - No I've not seen it. I've seen a few of the usual suspects blabbering the usual jargon (and some of our fans too) but by and large I think the Aus fans have been quite respectful. Yes I noticed loads of posters on here saying what WI were going to do in the ODIs/T20s although I'm not sure how many of those were even from WI.If you look at the user names of those posters and the ones who are going on about how Eng can never do anything in ODIs/T20s (esp without KP) they are not very WI/Oz sounding names. I never use twitter or facebook so could not comment on that

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 9:03 GMT)

Middle order is not strong wiith out Michael Hussy...

Posted by 5wombats on (June 29, 2012, 8:59 GMT)

@Elvin Zammit on (June 29 2012, 07:12 AM GMT) Look again my friend. We think you will find that England beat South Africa 2-1 in their last ODI tour to South Africa. England beat SA in the World Cup. England also beat SL, india and WI recently. England beat Pakistan 4-0 in the UAE. England beat Aus 3-2 in the last ODI series here in England. Not bad for a "terrible side".

Posted by JG2704 on (June 29, 2012, 8:44 GMT)

@wiseshah on (June 28 2012, 17:43 PM GMT) Maybe Broad is injured or rested - not sure.

Posted by JG2704 on (June 29, 2012, 8:44 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster - why post so much on our threads if it is of no interest?

Posted by 5wombats on (June 29, 2012, 8:36 GMT)

We like England to win this series. It's alright for Australia to wrack up 300 against Essex on on a (rare) sunny English day - it's quite another to be facing Anderson, Broad, et al at Lords on a grey windy (more typical this year) day. England definitely have the edge. Competitive though. We're going 3-2 England.

Posted by Bruisers on (June 29, 2012, 8:05 GMT)

Exciting series on cards. Aussies start firm favorites.

Posted by   on (June 29, 2012, 7:12 GMT)

Australia will destory them. Simply put England has beaten mediocre sides or sides with terrible form such as india outside of India and WI. Now they come up against a number one ODI Aussie team who have won against the likes of South Africa, india and Sri lanka in the past 6 months and a drawn series with WI and haven't lost a series for a while. The aussies will have the batters and bowlers to defeat England. England's side is terrible IMO.watch tonight. and wheres andrew strauss ? 4-1 prediction for me Aussies way.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (June 29, 2012, 6:17 GMT)

Anyone know why the WI ODIs and also 3 of the 5 in this series are being played in the day time? It's actually better for me as I'm in Australia so I can actually get to bed at 3.30 AM instead of 6.30 but, in this day and age, it seems to be a bit unusual. I'm off work for the next two weeks though, so bed time means nothing to me! Mwahaha!

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (June 29, 2012, 4:48 GMT)


Posted by Slemo on (June 29, 2012, 3:33 GMT)

I am a West Indies supporter but I want to see the English LOSE. So Australia....The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Beat them to the DIRT. Thank You.

Posted by the_flying_squad on (June 29, 2012, 3:14 GMT)

I highly doubt Bailey will be at 3. It batted there in the warm up to get some time in the middle.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (June 29, 2012, 2:56 GMT)

The statistic of England possibly becoming the first team to hold the #1 ranking in all three forms is a little spurious, given what a short time there have been official T20 rankings. Still, it would be an achievement. I don't see it happening yet though. Even if England prove to be better than Australia, I doubt that they're that much better. If England do manage to make it to #1 in ODIs at some point, there's the possibility that they will have lost one or both of the other two #1 rankings by then. As for Clarke's and Cook's differing priorities where ODI cricket are concerned, I guess that stems partly from the fact that Australia have already won WCs. I'm sure England would like to do both, particularly given that good rankings indicate some consistency, but the #1 ranking is somewhat more transient. Once you've lost it people soon forget who was #1 but WC winners are remembered for a long time.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (June 29, 2012, 2:40 GMT)

@A..B.. on (June 28 2012, 23:18 PM GMT), wouldn't you be hoping for 5 washouts? The way the seasons been going, the odds might not be too long on that bet. :-)

Posted by jmcilhinney on (June 29, 2012, 2:12 GMT)

Once again there seem a reasonable number of people determined to go to the effort to tell us how much they don't care about this series. I think that more likely they are actually like myself, i.e. they think that this series shouldn't really be being played but, as it is, they're going to watch and weight the results accordingly. I predict a close series. Australia are still a good ODI side but I do think that they are still riding a little on the results of past teams that got them to #1 in the first place. England are improving and are now taking ODIs more seriously but it's unlikely that anyone outside England will rate them too highly until they show some consistency. They've had some good results but some poor ones also. Given that they're on their home soil, anything worse than a 2-3 defeat will be a genuine failure and I would expect at least a 3-2 victory to be able to say that they've made headway.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (June 29, 2012, 2:07 GMT)

@Partyman on (June 28 2012, 22:08 PM GMT), in all fairness, you are grossly over-stating the "boast" factor in most of the articles you mention. In the case of Warner and Watson it would most likely have been just answering questions when asked by a journalist, just as it has been in the past with England players like Swann when Aussies and Indians jump down their throats as though they're campaigning for ICC president. As for Pat Cummins, I don't recall any mention of anyone quaking in their boots and he does seem a good prospect so Australian fans have a right to be excited. Some take things too far but I don't really see that in the articles you mention, any more than I do in the recent one about Alastair Cook's recent ODI record.

Posted by gpm86 on (June 29, 2012, 1:16 GMT)

@Partyman- thats all media hype. I would bet largely that cummins himself isnt talking himself up, its the media.

As for Warner and Watson, they are always like that so ill have to agree. It should be a good sewries, im looking forward to it.

Posted by Marcio on (June 29, 2012, 0:34 GMT)

@Partyman, talk about one eyed cherry-picking! Watson's observations were respectful, genial and intelligent responses to a reporter's question. There was nothing remotely negative about them. Lastly, Aussies being excited about Pat Cummins? Well bah humgug! How dare they! And if you can't read the hype in your own press then you really aren't trying very hard.

Posted by A..B.. on (June 28, 2012, 23:18 GMT)

Being a supporter of a side that was recently absolutely thrashed by both these teams, I am not sure whom to support. I'm gunning for 2-2 with one match tied.

Posted by Partyman on (June 28, 2012, 22:08 GMT)

Winsome - there were plenty, starting with Warner claiming that his reverse sweeps will be good enough to tackle Swann. Then Watson coming up with some non sense about England not being a balanced side. Warne then came up with a piece where he said Aussies are a much better side and he expects them to win (OK, his words carry some weight given that he usually knows what he is talking about). Then one of Aussie journalists claimed in a full article that England should be quacking in their boots at the prospect of playing Cummins. All this with nothing coming from England. I like how England go about things. Let cricket do the talking. Brilliant.

Posted by Patchmaster on (June 28, 2012, 21:55 GMT)

Why is there no Stuart Broad ?

Posted by   on (June 28, 2012, 21:23 GMT)

Why isn't Broad playing? Ridiculous. Who is Patel? Where are the genuine quicks?

Posted by applethief on (June 28, 2012, 21:09 GMT)

It seems as if Australia still haven't solved their spinner problems, they don't trust one guy to play the 3 formats, and for a spinner, that's a bad sign. Doherty's astoundingly average, I have a feeling that we won't be seeing him for a while after this series.

Posted by JG2704 on (June 28, 2012, 20:25 GMT)

Can't believe Eng would top the ODI rankings with a 5-0 win. I'm guessing that may be part of the reason for having a 5 match series although it is straw clutching and it could all go horribly wrong whereby Eng drop in rankings. An interesting series - if the weather improves

Posted by Winsome on (June 28, 2012, 20:23 GMT)

Partyman what articles have you been reading?? I haven't read any boasting about the Aussies. Got to agree about them on twitter, no personalities at all.

Posted by JG2704 on (June 28, 2012, 20:21 GMT)

@voma on (June 28 2012, 17:26 PM GMT) Me too. Surely 3 ODIs and 3 T20s is also a better bet , both from an interest point of view and prep for the T20WC

Posted by landl47 on (June 28, 2012, 20:03 GMT)

Either George Dobell has had a brain cramp, or Stuart Broad must be carrying an injury which isn't mentioned here. There's no way Patel plays instead of Broad in the conditions likely to prevail tomorrow. Even if Patel were being considered, Broad wouldn't be the bowler to be dropped to make room for him. I think George has jotted down the names of the players as they occurred to him and forgotten Broad. I've said many times that this is a pointless series and 2 more tests against SA would be much more meaningful, but games against Australia are always hard-fought and worth watching. LOL @Cpt.Meanster- meaningful T20 cricket? That's the oxymoron of the day.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (June 28, 2012, 18:34 GMT)

No Australian fan in their right mind would mention the Ashes. With England being head and shoulders above Australia at test cricket, it must be a recurring nightmare. Anderson cleaning them up, Cook battering them with a stick that has '766' printed on it. ODI cricket is all Australian cricket has got left.

Posted by Partyman on (June 28, 2012, 17:53 GMT)

Has anyone noticed how the media is full of articles and news items trumpeting how mighty, talented and balanced the Aussies are and how they are going to knock the stuffing out of England. That's not mentioning the legions of Cricinfo reader pundits here who are predicting the drubbing as they did when England played the WIndies. I like the way England players have kept quiet so far, as they did against WIndies and finished them off in style! I would prefer England the way they are, keeping quiet and do their talking on the field unlike the Aussies who are shouting at the top of their voices how brilliant they are - Warner, Watson and Cummins! Btw, why are the Aussie players and journalists so boring in Twitter? Crikey, the likes Clarke, M Arthur, B Corvodale, M Conn and Warner are dreadful.

Posted by wiseshah on (June 28, 2012, 17:43 GMT)

is it typo or is stuart broad injured? why he is not in main XI?

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (June 28, 2012, 17:38 GMT)

Who cares ?! this is a largely meaningless series played out of no where. I would have at least cared about the Ashes IF that series wasn't scheduled to be played every other day. England vs Australia used to mean something.. even for me. I am not a huge test cricket fan but that 2005 series was something. This ODI series is a way to milk money from the British public. For God sakes at least play some meaningful and highly entertaining T20 cricket because the world championship is in a few months time.

Posted by voma on (June 28, 2012, 17:26 GMT)

Personally i would rather have another test match against South Africa , i think that would be more exciting to watch . Besides its getting boring beating Australia all the time .

Posted by wiseshah on (June 28, 2012, 17:21 GMT)

is stuart broad replaced by samit patel? dont make any sense. broad is best in all 3 format plus his batting.

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