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The Preview by Alex Winter
June 30, 2012
Features : Morgan revival key to England's ODI hopes
Report : Morgan stars for all-round England
Features : Resourceful Clarke comes up short
Matches: England v Australia at The Oval
Series/Tournaments: Australia tour of England and Ireland
The Big Picture
The win in the first ODI was against top class opposition - Australia are the World's No. 1 ODI team - who were fresh, prepared and motivated for the series. More wins against these type of teams will make people look more favourably on England's chances for the 2015 World Cup - which is what this series in particular is geared towards. Another England victory would also have them dreaming of claiming the No. 1 spot from Australia, which a 5-0 whitewash would achieve.
The only issue for the hosts is whether James Anderson is fit to play. Surrey's fast man Stuart Meaker has been called up as cover. Anderson was rested when fit for the Edgbaston Test so any sign of injury will surely see him whisked out of the side.
For the tourists, they didn't do too much wrong at Lord's but where their problems could lie is in the middle order. David Hussey looked troubled by the pace of Steve Finn - pace which will be accelerated by a hard Oval pitch - Steve Smith is yet to convince at No. 6 and Matthew Wade is perhaps batting too low for his talent and could often be coming in under pressure with the two players above him struggling to contribute.
Players to watch
A harder, flatter pitch might help the quicker bowlers but it will also provide a perfect platform for David Warner. He hits the ball so hard and has a marvellous ability to hit cleanly through the line and use the pace of the ball to cut, again with immense power. He will enjoy The Oval.
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
"We weren't outplayed at all yesterday, I just think that we lost our wickets in clumps, the Powerplay cost us and that little back part of the innings where they got 40-50 runs from the last few overs, they're the crucial moments that win it or lose it for you. We've got to fix those things up and then I reckon we're in good stead for the next four games."
David Warner identifies where Australia must improve at the Oval.
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