England v Australia, NatWest Series, Edgbaston July 3, 2012

England on verge of record run

47

Match Facts

July 4, Edgbaston
Start time 2.00pm (1300 GMT)

The Big Picture

England are a win away from securing their seventh consecutive one-day series title at home and, if they achieve that at Edgbaston, it will also give them a new record of nine ODI victories on the bounce. Whatever problems exist overseas, they are tough to beat at home.

Their wins against Australia at Lord's and The Oval were impressive all-round displays and showed how England are becoming more confident, whether they bat or bowl first. They have gambled somewhat with five frontline bowlers, leaving Tim Bresnan at No. 7, but so far neither West Indies nor Australia have knocked over the top order to test the strength of what follows.

There is no great secret to England's success with at least one top-order batsman in every match making a sizable contribution. It was an area both Michael Clarke and Mickey Arthur indentified as why Australia are struggling. Four of their batsmen have passed fifty so far in the series, but none have gone beyond Shane Watson's 66.

Australia are also in a muddle about their bowling attack. Mitchell Johnson's poor comeback has added to the headaches, while Xavier Doherty is not close to matching Graeme Swann's effectiveness. In this corresponding series two years ago, Australia left their revival too late to save the series and they will have to improve in all areas to keep this one alive into the weekend.

Form guide

(Completed matches, most recent first)

England WWWWW
Australia LLWLT

Watch out for...

Craig Kieswetter has taken a couple of superb catches in this series to remove David Warner and Peter Forrest but there remain question marks around his place in the team. He struggled to time the ball at Lord's - although Eoin Morgan's onslaught meant it was not costly - and did not face a ball at The Oval so, for the longer-term benefit of the team, it would be useful if he was needed to play a substantial innings. Although, if he is not needed, it means England's top order is still doing the business.

In the absence of his brother, Michael, David Hussey is crucial to Australia's middle order. He was worked over by the short ball at Lord's, but was just starting to motor at The Oval when a brilliant piece of fielding by Steven Finn sent him packing. However, it would benefit him if he was not left needing to improve a flagging run-rate when he came into bat.

Team news

England will not risk James Anderson if any doubts remain over his groin strain so Chris Woakes, who has been repeatedly drafted into the squad this season, is set to play his first ODI since facing Ireland last August. Jade Dernbach has been ruled out of the series with a side strain, although both he and Stuart Meaker were always going to miss this match because of Tom Maynard's funeral.

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

Australia may consider an all-pace attack - leaving the spin to David Hussey and Michael Clarke - and Mitchell Johnson could make way for either James Pattinson or Ben Hilfenhaus. There is not much they can do with the batting.

Australia (probable) 1 Shane Watson, 2 David Warner, 3 Peter Forrest, 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 George Bailey, 6 David Hussey, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Brett Lee, 9 James Pattinson, 10 Clint McKay, 11 Xavier Doherty.

Pitch and conditions

It rained on Tuesday and showers are forecast for match day as well, although it does not look like washout potential, which will be relief for Edgbaston after three abandoned days during the West Indies Test. After so much poor weather, the pitch could be on the slow side, while the day/night element may influence what happens at the toss.

Stats and trivia

  • The teams have met eight times at Edgbaston, with England ahead 4-3 and one no result.

  • That no-result was the most recent meeting, in 2005, when Simon Jones and Matthew Hayden went chest-to-chest ahead of the Ashes series.

  • Jonathan Trott needs eight runs for 2000 in ODIs. Alastair Cook needs 49 for the same landmark.

  • Brett Lee needs one wicket to become Australia's leading wicket-taker in ODIs with 381, level with Glenn McGrath's overall tally but one of McGrath's came for the World XI in the 2004 tsunami fundraiser.

Quotes

"I'm sure they'll fight back They're the No. 1 team, so I'm sure they're obviously going to come back strong - and we're ready for that."
Chris Woakes expects a resurgent Australia

"The exciting thing is we feel we haven't played very good cricket yet, or as good cricket as we can. So that's the opportunity we have for the next three games. The risk is you get on the bus and it's a really quiet group and it's down thinking 'what do we do now', but it's really upbeat. There's joking, there's talking, there's banter about what we can do differently, what we're going to try, and that suggests to me there's a team that certainly believes they can still come back and win this series."
George Bailey puts a positive spin on things

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JG2704 on July 4, 2012, 20:22 GMT

    @Jatin. on (July 03 2012, 18:41 PM GMT) Are what are we talking about here ODIs or tests. If we're talking ODIs then the UAE tests are not relevant as we did well in the ODI series there. If we're just talking tests then KP is irrelevant as he's still a test player for England. If we're talking all 3 formats then I admit it'll be a huge ask to achieve nr 1 status let alone maintain the status but we'll try our best. With such a load of ordinary players and such an ordinary side I'm sure you'd agree we've done well to achieve what we've achieved. Guess all the other sides must be less than ordinary.

  • AK_25 on July 4, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    "Whatever problems exist overseas, they are tough to beat at home"......

    nowadays everyone is tough to beat at their home.

  • Meety on July 4, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    @TheHoneymonster - Pup opening is not left field as he has previously opened 20 times before. He averages about 43 as an opener with a S/R in the low 80s. I personally am not keen to see him move up, as 1) I feel Wattos is one of the best ODI openers in the world (ave of around 46 & S/R of 90+), 2) Warner is improving & really is not a batsmen to play down the order, 3) Clarke's best successes have come at #4,5 & 6 in ODIs averaging 49,61, & 48.

  • Meety on July 4, 2012, 13:07 GMT

    @Truemans_Ghost - just on Bresnan specifically - I forever blame he for the home Ashes loss (for Oz). At the start of the Ashes I swore blind that Anderson/Broad/Finn & Swann couldn't win the Ashes for England, but Bresnan & Tremlett were better than Finn (at the time) & Broad. He was brilliant in the 4th & 5th test.

  • whatawicket on July 4, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    looks wet but forecast is for sunny conditions after 18.00 so when/if its started win the toss and bowl england not been lucky with the toss the last few odis v WI and Aus. so maybe we are due one

  • on July 4, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    Bailey says there's plenty of laughs and banter on the team bus... Well clearly Steve Smith must be on board for today's match!

  • SDHM on July 4, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    This maybe from the left-field, but how about Australia drop Watson down the order and open with Clarke instead? Watson's inability to consistently play a long innings often leads to Australia losing momentum as the innings goes on, so why not bring him in down the order, where he can create carnage in the final ten overs? It would put less strain on him too, freeing up his bowling a bit more. Clarke is technically sound and is flexible enough to play both an anchor role or an aggressive knock, whereas with Watson and Warner at the top of the order you kind of feel they only know one way to play. Just a thought.

  • on July 4, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    my australia lineup is DA Warner,SR Watson,MS Wade,PJ Forrest,MJ Clarke,DJ Hussey,SPD Smith,BW Hilfenhaus,B Lee,JL Pattinson,CJ McKay it is the perfect team to do against england..........

  • i_witnessed_2011 on July 4, 2012, 11:13 GMT

    @jmcilhinney : As I know DRS is still mandatory for all ICC events. So if ruless do not change by then, we wil still see DRS... If rules are changed and teams are called for voting, then Teams will opt out of voting and hence DRS. ( We have witnessed it couple of weeks before in ICC meeting where no nation came forward and asked for voting)

  • jmcilhinney on July 4, 2012, 9:05 GMT

    @James Anderson on (July 04 2012, 04:13 AM GMT), that raises a point that I hadn't considered previously. If the ICC don't change the rules on DRS between now and then, will every team have to do without DRS during the 2015 WC just because India don't want it? Australia and SL had to live without it in the recent CB Series. Maybe both sides have to agree in a bilateral series but it seems to me that it should be a majority decision if three or more teams are involved.

  • JG2704 on July 4, 2012, 20:22 GMT

    @Jatin. on (July 03 2012, 18:41 PM GMT) Are what are we talking about here ODIs or tests. If we're talking ODIs then the UAE tests are not relevant as we did well in the ODI series there. If we're just talking tests then KP is irrelevant as he's still a test player for England. If we're talking all 3 formats then I admit it'll be a huge ask to achieve nr 1 status let alone maintain the status but we'll try our best. With such a load of ordinary players and such an ordinary side I'm sure you'd agree we've done well to achieve what we've achieved. Guess all the other sides must be less than ordinary.

  • AK_25 on July 4, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    "Whatever problems exist overseas, they are tough to beat at home"......

    nowadays everyone is tough to beat at their home.

  • Meety on July 4, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    @TheHoneymonster - Pup opening is not left field as he has previously opened 20 times before. He averages about 43 as an opener with a S/R in the low 80s. I personally am not keen to see him move up, as 1) I feel Wattos is one of the best ODI openers in the world (ave of around 46 & S/R of 90+), 2) Warner is improving & really is not a batsmen to play down the order, 3) Clarke's best successes have come at #4,5 & 6 in ODIs averaging 49,61, & 48.

  • Meety on July 4, 2012, 13:07 GMT

    @Truemans_Ghost - just on Bresnan specifically - I forever blame he for the home Ashes loss (for Oz). At the start of the Ashes I swore blind that Anderson/Broad/Finn & Swann couldn't win the Ashes for England, but Bresnan & Tremlett were better than Finn (at the time) & Broad. He was brilliant in the 4th & 5th test.

  • whatawicket on July 4, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    looks wet but forecast is for sunny conditions after 18.00 so when/if its started win the toss and bowl england not been lucky with the toss the last few odis v WI and Aus. so maybe we are due one

  • on July 4, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    Bailey says there's plenty of laughs and banter on the team bus... Well clearly Steve Smith must be on board for today's match!

  • SDHM on July 4, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    This maybe from the left-field, but how about Australia drop Watson down the order and open with Clarke instead? Watson's inability to consistently play a long innings often leads to Australia losing momentum as the innings goes on, so why not bring him in down the order, where he can create carnage in the final ten overs? It would put less strain on him too, freeing up his bowling a bit more. Clarke is technically sound and is flexible enough to play both an anchor role or an aggressive knock, whereas with Watson and Warner at the top of the order you kind of feel they only know one way to play. Just a thought.

  • on July 4, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    my australia lineup is DA Warner,SR Watson,MS Wade,PJ Forrest,MJ Clarke,DJ Hussey,SPD Smith,BW Hilfenhaus,B Lee,JL Pattinson,CJ McKay it is the perfect team to do against england..........

  • i_witnessed_2011 on July 4, 2012, 11:13 GMT

    @jmcilhinney : As I know DRS is still mandatory for all ICC events. So if ruless do not change by then, we wil still see DRS... If rules are changed and teams are called for voting, then Teams will opt out of voting and hence DRS. ( We have witnessed it couple of weeks before in ICC meeting where no nation came forward and asked for voting)

  • jmcilhinney on July 4, 2012, 9:05 GMT

    @James Anderson on (July 04 2012, 04:13 AM GMT), that raises a point that I hadn't considered previously. If the ICC don't change the rules on DRS between now and then, will every team have to do without DRS during the 2015 WC just because India don't want it? Australia and SL had to live without it in the recent CB Series. Maybe both sides have to agree in a bilateral series but it seems to me that it should be a majority decision if three or more teams are involved.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 4, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    I think Australia should drop Doherty for Ben Hilfenhaus. Michael Crakes can use his golden arm for 3 - 4 overs of spin; David Hussey has had his moments in the past bowling; even David Warner's probably a better bowler than Doherty. Dare Australia open with Wade, and move Watto down the order? Further stat to add: Swann needs just 4 more wickets for his 100 ODI wickets...

  • Hammond on July 4, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    @Chandan Lund- so in other words you just brought Pattinson in? Won't be enough.

  • kitten on July 4, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    'Si Baker, a middle-order led by Eoin Morgan who'll deposit your anodyne spinners over the ramparts at Bombay, Calcutta & Madras, & a five-man attack unrivalled in ODI history for its penetration as well as its laser-like accuracy. Six months from now, the final vestiges of India's cricketing dignity will have been swept away like a herd of donkeys in a raging monsoon.' With due respect to this writer, please remember that Eoin Morgan was not even given a game in the recently concluded IPL series!! Enough said. Just because Morgan is faring well against Australia, in conditions suited to England, does not mean he is a world beater. Let us all wait and see how he performs in the WC coming up, and then make comments. Time will tell, and I as a neutral observer can't wait to see what happens.

  • Smithy49 on July 4, 2012, 5:59 GMT

    Put Steve Smith back in! They dropped him and put Forrest in and Forest just hogged the strike and got barely any runs. Also you put Steve Smith in you have another spinner so you can leave Doherty out. Also you get a great fielder(properbly the best in the AUS side) and a great batsman. My team would be Warner, Watson, Bailey, Clarke, D Hussey, Smith, Wade, Lee, Johnson, Pattinson, Mckay.

  • Heisenburg on July 4, 2012, 5:01 GMT

    @Chandan Lund, perfect team.

  • on July 4, 2012, 4:13 GMT

    Guys Please do not forget that the next WORLD CUP will be played in AUSTRALIA. You will not get many flat tracks and swing over there. We saw how India played over there recently even without the aid of DRS?

  • on July 4, 2012, 4:07 GMT

    forrest n doherty drop smith n pittintio in....smith,hussey n clarke job in spiner role...... aus squad are.... 1.watson 2.warner 3.clarke 4.baily 5.smith 6.hussey 7.wade 8.johntion 9.lee 10.pittintion 11.macky.......... .......

  • on July 4, 2012, 3:44 GMT

    My 11 for this match:-1 Shane Watson, 2 David Warner, 3 Peter Forrest, 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 George Bailey, 6 David Hussey, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Brett Lee, 9 James Pattinson, 10 Clint McKay, 11 Ben Hilfenhaus

  • on July 4, 2012, 3:21 GMT

    @Abhinav Sachdeva: bleating inconsequentially about England's *past* ODI record in India won't do you any good when a revamped England team hit your shores this autumn. You won't see anything like the same team you saw last year: instead, you'll see a top order no bowling side in the world has a cat's chance in hell of blowing away, a middle-order led by Eoin Morgan who'll deposit your anodyne spinners over the ramparts at Bombay, Calcutta & Madras, & a five-man attack unrivalled in ODI history for its penetration as well as its laser-like accuracy. Six months from now, the final vestiges of India's cricketing dignity will have been swept away like a herd of donkeys in a raging monsoon.

  • Harry_Kool on July 4, 2012, 3:04 GMT

    Can I ask people to post only on England or Australia PLEASE? Does India have to be mentioned in every article published when it doesn't concern them? Talk about overkill of a subject. Surely there are lives to be lived out there?

  • Marcio on July 4, 2012, 2:41 GMT

    @Snick_To_Backward_Point, ENG lost 6-1 the last series just 18 months ago in AUS. I wouldn't exactly call that "done well".

  • Hammond on July 4, 2012, 1:37 GMT

    @RandyOZ you seem to bang on about the UAE- what were your feelings on the ODI series?

  • igorolman on July 4, 2012, 0:43 GMT

    Not that I should comment on I***a on an ENGLAND V AUSTRALIA post, but since the more insecure gentlemen of that charming country have started, I will finish. Yes, India probably will beat England in the ODIs there, but not as badly as before (2 new balls neuters defensive spin and helps attacking pace). What definitely won't happen is England capitulating to spin in the Tests, as India haven't had a Test quality spinner since Kumble retired. Harbajhan and co can fire it in flat at leg stump and contain, but take 20 wickets? Not in a week. Now let's concentrate on the REAL issue - England v South Africa! Two best Test teams in the world - can't wait!

  • Sinhaya on July 4, 2012, 0:31 GMT

    Looks like the weather forecast today is wet to the maximum. Both BBC and Met office confirm it so I have given up hope on any play.

  • Meety on July 3, 2012, 23:39 GMT

    First up - that file photo! That does NOT look like a chap who is enjoying his cricket!

  • Lmaotsetung on July 3, 2012, 23:29 GMT

    Yes I too am waiting for Eng to reach Indian shores in October. In fact I'm less excited than other Eng fans about the SA series. And by Jan 29, 2013, I hope Eng will shut up all the Indian fans once and for all.

  • RandyOZ on July 3, 2012, 23:25 GMT

    @5wombats - what would you know about what went on in the UAE? You were completely absent that entire series.

  • Hammond on July 3, 2012, 23:03 GMT

    Funny thing is, England have not been playing to their potential either. I have a feeling that Australia is about to get the mother of all wallopings.

  • on July 3, 2012, 22:17 GMT

    As long they are playing in UK,England won't lose anything. Waiting for them to arrive in India,that's when they'll experience HARD CRICKET. They are so used to swinging and damp conditions. Slow and low wickets will test them. The 4 fast bowlers thing will suddenly stop and you'll see SPIN in action. If England can conquer that,then I'll respect for this English ODI side. In ODI Cricket,I still feel India is the best.

  • 5wombats on July 3, 2012, 21:50 GMT

    @Jatin. Experience shows that people who used the phrase "mark my words" - are invariably wrong. Why have you forgotten England sweeping Pakistan 4-0 in ODI in UAE? Why have you forgotten England winning their last away ODI series in South Africa 2-1? Why have you forgotten England winning their last away ODI series in West Indies? All these series wins are AWAY series wins, and yet according to you this is the record of a "poor traveller". To be honest, we can think of a country whose away record is much worse in all formats not just ODI. And by the way - no need to talk about 3-0 in the Tests V Pakistan because we are in the middle of an ODI series, not Tests. please publish.

  • 5wombats on July 3, 2012, 21:36 GMT

    Unfortunately the forecast for tomorrow is..... canoeing...

  • on July 3, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    need hilfi and pattinson in together for every match

  • landl47 on July 3, 2012, 21:28 GMT

    A shortened game always becomes more of a lottery. If the game starts on time and there's rain about, winning the toss and batting second is the way to go. However, let's be honest, this series never meant anything and still doesn't. England's two wins don't mean the Aussies are a bad team and if Australia won the last 3 games it wouldn't mean England are a bad team. I'm always hoping England win, but 50+ years of watching have led me to be cautious about ever predicting it!

  • Snick_To_Backward_Point on July 3, 2012, 21:27 GMT

    Jatin think you're pushing it a bit to say Eng are 'very ordinary' outside England. They've done well in SA, Aus and NZL it's their inability to play spin in the sub continent that's been ordinary. Also, don't think you can look too far back when it comes to past performances because international sides and their relative strengths seem to change quickly these days. I don't think Eng would come close to being white washed in UAE again if they were to play Pak away right now tbh.

  • Divinetouch on July 3, 2012, 19:33 GMT

    Home grown thus unlikely to win the world cup.

  • SDHM on July 3, 2012, 19:12 GMT

    Just to clarify - I meant in the batting line-up, not selection of the team.

  • Jatin. on July 3, 2012, 18:41 GMT

    @Blacknwhite...dont count your chicken before they hatch, England has long way to go before you can call themselves champions in all forms of the game. They were battered by Pakistan 3-0 & are travelling to India this winter. England is going to win this series hands down but the real test of character would be to win outside home consistently which West Indies & Australia achieved for a fairly large period. I would consider last Ashes series as Australia's selection failure rather than England heroics. England Team has been a poor traveler for a while now & yet to be called a great team...they are still very ordinary outside England & after Pietersen's exit, they'll struggle big time outside England.....mark my words, the day is not far when people would ask for Pietersen's inclusion

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 3, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    Looking at the forecast, looks like Australia may yet again be saved by the rain. The rain has been England's most threatening opponent for years now. The reason we couldn't whitewash WI recently was of course because only 1 1/2 days out of 5 were playable, so the match and the way it was played by all players concerned was irrelevant. This is sad to see a great team like England have to contend with the weather, but they'll take it and will keep winning when the sun is shining. :)

  • Blacknwhite on July 3, 2012, 17:55 GMT

    England will whitewash Aussies. It is for sure, i bet. The team has done everything to deserve number one in all formats of the game. They are the defending champions of 20/20 and the pathway to 2015 WC has been already started.

  • SDHM on July 3, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    I get the feeling Woakes will come in ahead of Bresnan and Broad - he should at least, he's a much better bat than either of them. If he plays of course!

  • JG2704 on July 3, 2012, 17:16 GMT

    @Taij Chand on (July 03 2012, 16:49 PM GMT) Would Clarke not have a huge say in selections? I'm not saying the right selections have been made but I can't see Clarke going along with selections he wholeheartedly did not agree with.Re the bowling situation , well in the 1st match Morgan was on fire and the difference between the 2 sides and I honestly think any bowler would struggle with Morgan in that form. I know the ICC rankings don't always take evry factor in re players rankings but of the bowlers that Aus have available (in this order) Johnson,Watson,Lee,Mckay,Doherty are all in the top 30 and only Bollinger (don't know why he's not there,rated between Watson and Lee) is rated above those playing. It maybe because guys like Starc aren't getting an opportunity but on paper that's as good a ODI bowling line up there is. I'd say it's the middle order batting where the Aus are lacking at the moment and even then Aus aren't losing heavily

  • whatawicket on July 3, 2012, 17:05 GMT

    day night in the uk were the elements have been and are about. win the toss win the match.

  • jmcilhinney on July 3, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    Bailey is quite right that Australia haven't played especially well and there is definitely significant potential for improvement. I don't think that England have played their best yet either though. If Australia do lift their game then I'd like to think that England can rise to the challenge. That said, I predicted 3-2 one way or the other before the series and, while 4-1 is looking more likely than before the series, I'd say that you'd still get rather long odds on 5-0. Australia are not what they were but it's still hard to imagine that they're bad enough to lose 5-0. It's not Test cricket but it might shut a few mouths if they were the third #1 team to be whitewashed in the last year.

  • on July 3, 2012, 16:49 GMT

    Australia will be beaten to a pulp, not that "pup" have anything to do with it, its the self centred selectors who have the selections but refused to put them into play. They should know better after this team struggled against a second eleven West Indies not too long ago. England is a much superior team to West Indies and Australia, in all departments. You just can't rebuilt a team by dropping the good young players after a couple of failures. White,Ferguson,S.Marsh, and Payne remains out of the picture, while Forrrest,Wade and Bailey is favourites. Nonesense !!!

  • Hasheem on July 3, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    Australia have to sack Lee for good ,give Mitch another chance.Play Hellfenhaus.

    Xavier Doherty has obvious limitations,may be they were better off playing Michel Beer. The selection policy is flawed,Watson is playing for himself,Warner is reckless and Clarke is a shadow of his old self. Australia will lose the series for sure.They deserve to.

  • on July 3, 2012, 16:28 GMT

    if AUS only managed to tie with WI in the Caribbean, how do they plan to beat ENG in England?

  • Sinhaya on July 3, 2012, 16:25 GMT

    Welcome to fortress England. It was this time last year at Lords when England were last beaten in an ODI at home thanks to Dinesh Chandimal's ton. Seems rain could well reduce the number of overs played tomorrow from what I see in the weather forecast.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Sinhaya on July 3, 2012, 16:25 GMT

    Welcome to fortress England. It was this time last year at Lords when England were last beaten in an ODI at home thanks to Dinesh Chandimal's ton. Seems rain could well reduce the number of overs played tomorrow from what I see in the weather forecast.

  • on July 3, 2012, 16:28 GMT

    if AUS only managed to tie with WI in the Caribbean, how do they plan to beat ENG in England?

  • Hasheem on July 3, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    Australia have to sack Lee for good ,give Mitch another chance.Play Hellfenhaus.

    Xavier Doherty has obvious limitations,may be they were better off playing Michel Beer. The selection policy is flawed,Watson is playing for himself,Warner is reckless and Clarke is a shadow of his old self. Australia will lose the series for sure.They deserve to.

  • on July 3, 2012, 16:49 GMT

    Australia will be beaten to a pulp, not that "pup" have anything to do with it, its the self centred selectors who have the selections but refused to put them into play. They should know better after this team struggled against a second eleven West Indies not too long ago. England is a much superior team to West Indies and Australia, in all departments. You just can't rebuilt a team by dropping the good young players after a couple of failures. White,Ferguson,S.Marsh, and Payne remains out of the picture, while Forrrest,Wade and Bailey is favourites. Nonesense !!!

  • jmcilhinney on July 3, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    Bailey is quite right that Australia haven't played especially well and there is definitely significant potential for improvement. I don't think that England have played their best yet either though. If Australia do lift their game then I'd like to think that England can rise to the challenge. That said, I predicted 3-2 one way or the other before the series and, while 4-1 is looking more likely than before the series, I'd say that you'd still get rather long odds on 5-0. Australia are not what they were but it's still hard to imagine that they're bad enough to lose 5-0. It's not Test cricket but it might shut a few mouths if they were the third #1 team to be whitewashed in the last year.

  • whatawicket on July 3, 2012, 17:05 GMT

    day night in the uk were the elements have been and are about. win the toss win the match.

  • JG2704 on July 3, 2012, 17:16 GMT

    @Taij Chand on (July 03 2012, 16:49 PM GMT) Would Clarke not have a huge say in selections? I'm not saying the right selections have been made but I can't see Clarke going along with selections he wholeheartedly did not agree with.Re the bowling situation , well in the 1st match Morgan was on fire and the difference between the 2 sides and I honestly think any bowler would struggle with Morgan in that form. I know the ICC rankings don't always take evry factor in re players rankings but of the bowlers that Aus have available (in this order) Johnson,Watson,Lee,Mckay,Doherty are all in the top 30 and only Bollinger (don't know why he's not there,rated between Watson and Lee) is rated above those playing. It maybe because guys like Starc aren't getting an opportunity but on paper that's as good a ODI bowling line up there is. I'd say it's the middle order batting where the Aus are lacking at the moment and even then Aus aren't losing heavily

  • SDHM on July 3, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    I get the feeling Woakes will come in ahead of Bresnan and Broad - he should at least, he's a much better bat than either of them. If he plays of course!

  • Blacknwhite on July 3, 2012, 17:55 GMT

    England will whitewash Aussies. It is for sure, i bet. The team has done everything to deserve number one in all formats of the game. They are the defending champions of 20/20 and the pathway to 2015 WC has been already started.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 3, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    Looking at the forecast, looks like Australia may yet again be saved by the rain. The rain has been England's most threatening opponent for years now. The reason we couldn't whitewash WI recently was of course because only 1 1/2 days out of 5 were playable, so the match and the way it was played by all players concerned was irrelevant. This is sad to see a great team like England have to contend with the weather, but they'll take it and will keep winning when the sun is shining. :)