England v Australia, NatWest Series, Edgbaston

England on verge of record run

The Preview by Andrew McGlashan

July 3, 2012

Comments: 47 | Text size: A | A

Match Facts

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


Xavier Doherty is under pressure to tie down England's batsmen, Edgbaston, July 3, 2012
Xavier Doherty is under pressure to provide control for Australia's attack © Getty Images
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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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 4, 2012, 21:22 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.

Posted by AK_25 on (July 4, 2012, 18:17 GMT)

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

nowadays everyone is tough to beat at their home.

Posted by Meety on (July 4, 2012, 14:46 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.

Posted by Meety on (July 4, 2012, 14:07 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.

Posted by whatawicket on (July 4, 2012, 14:05 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

Posted by   on (July 4, 2012, 13:29 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!

Posted by SDHM on (July 4, 2012, 12:29 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.

Posted by   on (July 4, 2012, 12:16 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..........

Posted by i_witnessed_2011 on (July 4, 2012, 12:13 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)

Posted by jmcilhinney on (July 4, 2012, 10:05 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.

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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