England v Australia, NatWest Series, Chester-le-Street

Bopara pushing for Test place

The Preview by Alex Winter

July 6, 2012

Comments: 47 | Text size: A | A

Ravi Bopara practises in the indoor nets, Chester-le-Street, July 6, 2012
A continued run of form could secure Ravi Bopara a Test return © Getty Images
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Match facts

Saturday, July 7
Start time 1045 (0945 GMT)

Big Picture

The whitewash and the No. 1 ODI ranking may have disappeared from England's immediate targets due to the rain at Edgbaston but they are still looking to earn the respect of the wider cricketing world with their unique brand of one-day cricket - a 4-0 result would go a long way to proving that their methods can bring them success.

This match is another opportunity for Ravi Bopara to cement his claims for a place in the Test XI against South Africa. He needed runs and got them in guiding England's chase at The Oval but again failed to close out the innings with a needless run-out. It is important Bopara shows consistency of form; he has two further chances to do so.

Australia have got problems because their batting has failed to cope with England's five-man attack - proving that specialists are most often the best men for the job. Australia's top order have to find a way of dealing with James Anderson's swing and Steve Finn's pace in particular. The middle order will at least have some respite with Graeme Swann not playing.

But the depth of England's bowling attack could work against them if Australia can find wickets with the new ball. England's recent excellent run has been built on runs at the top of the order. If they find themselves 30 for 3, suddenly Eoin Morgan and Craig Kieswetter have different games to play - it will probably need a Brett Lee burst for that to happen.

Form guide

England WWWWW (Most recent first)
Australia LLWLT

Watch out for

Graeme Swann is one of the best spin bowlers in the world and has had a profound effect on the two completed matches in this series, particularly at The Oval where Australia struggled to get him away. That he is missing from the final two games puts pressure on his replacement, James Tredwell. He is a very dependable bowler who has stepped in for England in the past, though a match-winning 4 for 48 in a must-win game against West Indies at the 2011 World Cup constitute his only ODI wickets in five appearances.

Australia's middle order has been incredibly fragile but of the players at Nos. 5, 6 and 7 David Hussey is the most experienced and needs to be able to contribute and guide the tail. Aside from George Bailey's 65 at The Oval, when England have got through the top four there has been very little resistance and it has been left to Lee at No. 8 to try and slug a few more.

Team news

England: (possible) 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 James Tredwell, 10 James Anderson, 11 Steven Finn

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

Stats and trivia

  • These teams have played twice before at Chester-le-Street, with England's win by four wickets to prevent a 7-0 whitewash in 2009 the last meeting.

  • Australia won the other meeting on the ground by 57 runs in 2005.

  • Of the Australia team that played in 2009, only three players could reappear this year. Four of England's XI that day are likely to play again.

  • Despite the scepticism about overkill, just 200 tickets remain for this match.

    Quotes

    "I was involved at Headingley as well, which was washed out, with a long drive. So I'm just hoping that doesn't happen again."
    After getting called up for England's washed-out ODI against West Indies James Tredwell has had enough of the poor weather

    "You always love to beat the Poms. We didn't have the ideal start to the one-day series and I think in the last two games of the series we're definitely going to show them what we are made of."
    Australia fast bowler Ben Hilfenhaus wants to start bashing Poms again

Alex Winter is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Alex Winter

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (July 9, 2012, 6:43 GMT)

Amazing that the game happened. The Head Groundsman had as good a claim as anyone to be man of the match! Hard to believe that a full game was played on a good surface.

Posted by   on (July 7, 2012, 10:27 GMT)

A little dissappointed wih Warner the lastcouple of run outs... he just has run out of patience and played poor shots. But he's a young bloke, Watto and Pup looking okay... salvage some pride, lads.

Posted by ozwriter on (July 7, 2012, 9:01 GMT)

@smithy49, what khawaja's centuries in ryobi cub on youtube. he should be in both ODI and test teams if he continues to score centuries like that. his centuries to game ratio is best of all these potential players including bailey, forrest and hussey. re steve smith, he is the biggest joke in cricket, even in the eyes of inverarity, chief selector, steve smith leaves a lot to be desired, 'a work in progress' for 3+ years with no results or improvement.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 7, 2012, 8:48 GMT)

Judging by what I just saw on Cricket AM , It looks like a good toss to win and put the opposition in.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 7, 2012, 8:46 GMT)

@Posted by RoJayao on (July 07 2012, 02:53 AM GMT) So who should be number 1 in the rankings on either format and why. You seem to indicate SA but in tests they've not beaten a top 4 side in over 3 years and in ODIs they lost the last series vs Australia - the same side you call a joke

Posted by JG2704 on (July 7, 2012, 8:42 GMT)

@Shyam Palakodety on (July 06 2012, 18:01 PM GMT) PS You're right about the chest pumping hype. The Indian fans were the model of humility after they beat Eng 5-0 for sure

Posted by JG2704 on (July 7, 2012, 8:35 GMT)

@Shyam Palakodety on (July 06 2012, 18:01 PM GMT) Pot Kettle Black for sure here. I believe if Eng win either of the next 2 matches they actually overtake India at 3 the ODI rankings - which would be kind of funny considering your guys whipped us in India late last year. Before the 3 match (2 played) series vs WI and this 5 match (3 or 4 played) series vs Aus , our previous 9 ODIs were away in UAE and India respectively with mixed results so that kind of quashes your home favouritism argument , besides if we only won this series by 1 match we'd not rise at all and had we lost the series we'd stand to lose ranking points

Posted by JG2704 on (July 7, 2012, 8:22 GMT)

@5wombats on (July 06 2012, 17:19 PM GMT) Personally , I still think Bres has been a bit wayward in this series and I'm not sure he is a more reliable bet than Woakes. I'm not saying Woakes is or isn't better than Bres as an ODI player , just think he might do better than Bres in the nest match.And yes the weather is still likely to play a part

Posted by Iamnotboredofcricket on (July 7, 2012, 8:01 GMT)

"Bopara pushing for Test place" - Please no. We all know he's not good enough at Test level against the top tier teams. Steyn, Morkel and Philander will utterly expose him. Play Prior at 6 and have the extra bowler, will be needed against SA batting line up. Between them Prior, Swann, Broad and maybe Bresnan should score enough runs to cover for the likes of Bopara. As to the extra bowler, we have plenty to choose and where it might spin can accomodate either Patel or Panesar alongside Swann.

Posted by Smithy49 on (July 7, 2012, 7:41 GMT)

@CricHorizon, Forrest should be shown the door but definetly not Smith or Bailey. You need smith for his bowling, batting and fielding because you need good fielders in limited overs matches. I agree with Cal Ferguson but definatly not Khawaja because he is a test player and even more do I think NO white because he just can't bat.

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