England v Australia, 2nd ODI, The Oval June 30, 2012

Anderson England's only worry


Match Facts

Sunday, July 1, 2012
Start time 1045 (0945 GMT)

The Big Picture

Victory at Lord's was extremely important for England. Many would have cast off their improved ODI fortunes as nothing much having beaten Pakistan at the end of a tour in which the opposition had already got the job done in the main series - Pakistan swept the Tests 3-0 - and then against West Indies, who were always going to struggle in bowler-friendly conditions.

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.

Form guide

England WWWWW
Australia LWLTL

Players to watch

Consistently above 90mph at Lord's Steve Finn will have a firmer deck to get through at The Oval which will help him even more. He has been England best bowler in the last few ODI series and is England's answer to the young quicks that Australia are bringing through. Finn has the firepower to take out Australia's big hitters and is key to providing a sharp edge to England's attack.

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.

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/Stuart Meaker, 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 weather at Lord's was nearly the Australian's 12th man, with the ball zipping around at the start of England's innings. No such advantages should be experienced at The Oval with the forecast fine with period of sunshine expected. The wicket looks brown and hard and should be quicker than Lord's.


"It's nice as a captain when you can keep pulling on bowlers of that quality, take one off and another one keeps following up, and keeps the pressure on. That's the idea anyway. We're being really harsh on ourselves, I don't think it was a perfect performance in the field or close to it, so that was encouraging."
Alastair Cook thinks England's bowlers can raise their games again after winning the series opener.

"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.

Alex Winter is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on July 2, 2012, 15:51 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 01 2012, 12:02 PM GMT) Hello again. I think you need a balance but I do wonder about Craig as a boundary or nothing sort of batsman. Still unsure about the balance , part of me would like to see a Buttler or Bairstow in there. While I like our top 4 my concern is if we have to chase a big total or have Bopara coming in when we may need 7+ per over.It's also a weird one re KP as we were all (and others) wondering what we'd do without him and although if KP made himself available again I'd try and shoe him in because I really believe he is THAT good , who would be dropped? Trott is still top 10 , Bell has come in and impressed , Cook is captain and has done little wrong and if Bopara continues his form... I like Morgan as he is one of those players who usually doesn't let the RR stagnate and keeps the scoreboard ticking with 1s and 2s til he is ready to fire

  • Nicholas on July 1, 2012, 12:02 GMT

    @JG2704 (Post on June 30 2012, 17:46 PM GMT): Yeah I know what you're saying. It is important to take into consideration the 'age and situation' of the innings. But I grew up watching guys like Graham Thorpe, Alec Stewart... These guys were hardly legendary in ODI's by today's standards - avergages of 37 and 31 respectively - but there was something aesthetically pleasing about them if they were brought in at the right time. Those 30 - 40 runs they almost always scored in all their games often turned out to be crucial! I just feel '4, 6 or out' batsmen alone are not enough to win ODI's... T20's you can maybe get away with it more.

  • John on July 1, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    @kevinpp24 on (July 01 2012, 08:55 AM GMT), I like the looks of that squad. I think England are still a bit wary and are in a consolidation phase. They have improved as an ODI side but are still yet to show a period of consistency. Until they do, I really can't see them dropping Trott and his average of 50. They'll settle for a lower strike rate for now to get such a solid performer. They'll also be loathe to move Bell for a while if he keeps up the good work as an opener, given how long it will have taken him to settle into ODIs. If Bell and Hales can both fulfil their apparent potential then that looks a really strong lineup.

  • Siroson on July 1, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    When KP was there and Craig was opening it dint looked much of problem but now the top 4 looks too slow for ODIs these days. They are doing this in flat pitches as well thats the big problem here. I personally like to see a playing XI somewhat like this in a couple of years hopefully. Cook(C), Hales, Bell, Morgan, Davies(W)/Bairstow(W), Butler, Stokes/Bresnan/Samit, Broad, Swann/Briggs, Finn, Andersen. We seriously need a good batsmen who can bowl couple of overs. I'm pretty sure Andy is going towards that kinda squad.

  • John on July 1, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    @Shan156 on (July 01 2012, 03:33 AM GMT) Mate - not sure why this happens. It comes across as obsessive to me but I guess we all have different levels of humility and dignity

  • Dummy4 on July 1, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    Recall inform Cameron White for Aus

  • John on July 1, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    Is Warner implying that if they had lost wickets at more regular intervals instead of in clumps that they would have done better? I'd say that they probably would have done worse in that case. This is cricket isn't it? England scored more runs than Australia and took more wickets. To me, that seems to be the very definition of being outplayed.

  • John on July 1, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    @subbass on (July 01 2012, 00:38 AM GMT), you may well be right about Finn being the best young fast bowler but don't let's forget that Cummins is barely 19. How good was Finn when he was 19? I honestly don't know the answer to that but there's no doubt that Cummins looks to be at least quite good right now and has great potential for the future. That potential doesn't help Australia right now of course and whether he will fulfils that potential to the degree predicted by some is still up for debate. Only time will tell but I'm sure that, barring injury, we'll be seeing Finn and Cummins up against each other for a long time to come and both will likely retire with excellent numbers.

  • Dummy4 on July 1, 2012, 6:42 GMT

    Why they continue playing Steven Smith in the ODI team is beyond me. When he bats, he looks like a tail-ender, and when he bowls he looks like a part-timer.

  • Jason on July 1, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    @TheHoneymonster, Meaker is most likely to replace Anderson, as Dernbach isnt in the squad. Add on that its his home gound it will be good to see what the lad can do, although Cricinfo have meaker down as a Fast-medium, which suprised me as hes a yard quicker than Finn.

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