England v Australia, Champions Trophy, Group A, Edgbaston

Defending champions seek several solutions

The Preview by David Hopps

June 7, 2013

Comments: 44 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

Saturday, June 8, Edgbaston
Start time 1030 (0930 GMT)

Jos Buttler produced some explosive hitting, England v New Zealand, 2nd ODI, Trent Bridge, June 5, 2013
Jos Buttler's 16-ball 47 against New Zealand was a further indication that England have unearthed potentially one of the most gifted T20 batsmen in the world © PA Photos

Big Picture

"Australia in crisis" was how one respected English newspaper saw it after their disintegration against India in their final Champions Trophy warm-up. An irredeemable batting display saw them bowled out for 65 by India and, to make matters worse, the chronic back complaint that ruled their captain, Michael Clarke out of this match, has yet to respond to treatment. Whether it is really a crisis will become more apparent at Edgbaston on Saturday, but Australia, winners of the past two Champions Trophies, could certainly be in better shape.

Clarke therefore misses the first of 13 England v Australia clashes that will dominate a summer also containing five Tests, five ODIs and two T20s. He has not played a game since mid-March - the third Test against India - because of a weakness that has troubled him intermittently since he was 17, but he aggravated the condition on the long-haul flight from Australia. Australia should surely be looking for the best first-class flat beds they can find, even if the rest of the squad are put into cattle class.

George Bailey will stand in for Clarke with his usual affability. He can take consolation from the fact that the practice match against India will not appear in the official records because of the licence to play more than 11 players, and from a record which has seen Australia win their last six matches, including a 5-0 whitewash of West Indies.

England will find it a welcome change to be playing somebody different from New Zealand. They beat them 2-1 in New Zealand then lost by the same scoreline in England. It is time for a new challenge. It is not to decry New Zealand to observe that for many England fans the summer is about to begin for real.

Form guide

(most recent first, last five completed games)

England: WLLWW
Australia: WWWWW

Watch out for...

Jos Buttler's explosive 16-ball 47 against New Zealand at Trent Bridge earlier this week was a further indication that England have unearthed potentially one of the most gifted T20 batsmen in the world. His strike-rate is already higher than any other England player - a couple of matches from Phil Mustard apart - and as George Dobell has revealed on these pages, his latest exploits came despite worrying personal circumstances.

Australian eyes will be on David Warner more than most. After becoming embroiled in a Twitterstorm with two Australian cricket writers over his involvement in IPL, he has made ducks in both warm-up matches. His latest tweets have been very non-controversial - he has even praised Birmingham in the sunshine.

Team news

England (probable): 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Ian Bell, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Joe Root, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Tim Bresnan/Ravi Bopara, 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 Steven Finn, 11 James Anderson

Australia (probable): 1 Shane Watson, 2 David Warner, 3 Phil Hughes, 4 George Bailey (capt), 5 Adam Voges, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 James Faulkner, 9 Mitchell Johnson, 10 Mitchell Starc, 11 Clint McKay

Pitch and conditions

England is enjoying one of its most settled spells of summer weather in recent years and it is set to continue over the weekend. That could negate the threat of two new balls as batting conditions are more comfortable than anticipated. The quicker bowlers will have to wait for more unsettled weather until the early part of next week, especially in Cardiff.

Stats and trivia

  • Michael Clarke's attempts to get his back into shape ahead of back-to-back Ashes series included long bushwalks near Berrima in the New South Wales southern highlands with his fitness guru Duncan Kerr.

  • Kerr's other clients include the Australian children entertainers The Wiggles and he even played drums on one of their albums.

  • Jos Buttler's innings against New Zealand had the second highest strike-rate in any ODI of 15 balls or more.

  • The only England batsman to have a higher strike-rate in T20 internationals than Buttler is Phil Mustard, the Durham wicketkeeper, and he only played twice.


"In the past, our best was certainly the best in the world. If Australia played their best, no one could match them. And if they had an off day it was only just an off day. That's going to be our challenge for this tournament. I think the perception is we don't have that calibre of player. So out of that comes the opportunity to prove people wrong."
George Bailey, Australia's captain

"You're not going to be remembered for what happened in the warm‑up games. You're going to be remembered for what happens in the actual tournament."
England captain Alastair Cook when asked about Australia's batting collapse against India.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: David Hopps

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by 5wombats on (June 8, 2013, 12:18 GMT)

@Martin Owen Jones (June 8, 2013, 8:21 GMT) Nice work my friend - I think you got him! The other thing that Mr Jagger may not have taken into account was the fact that England had just thrashed Australia 3-1 in the Ashes in Australia. After that - nobody cared about some pointless ODI series. OK the Aussies won that; but so what? Frankly - it was the Booby prize.

Posted by whofriggincares on (June 8, 2013, 10:33 GMT)

As usual if england win it will be the most impressive and important win in ages and if they lose (like they did to the kiwis in the latest home series) it will be "oh we dont give a monkeys about ODI's." Truth is the english fans will say whichever format they are losing at doesnt matter. I guess that means that they didnt care about any form of cricket for about 20 years , because wins sure were few and far between in the great aussie period of dominance. @FFL is fond of mentioning the series whitewash in england a few years ago but has seemingly forgotten about the 5-0 loss in the ashes a few series ago. Oh how you would love to have a ashes whitewash to crow about. And I will take any bet that is offered that this English side which should be at the top of its game (considering squad age and experience) will go nowhere near whitewashing the aussies in England let alone in australia. It is simply not in the English cricket sides makeup and never will be.

Posted by vsroc on (June 8, 2013, 10:20 GMT)

Posted by vsroc on (June 8,2013) Come on Australia to perform collectively well in their first match against England in Group A of CLT.

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (June 8, 2013, 10:02 GMT)

It is 50-50 game. Both teams had ups and downs in the recent past. At the moment India is a bit ahead of other teams. I like to see how young Black Cap fast bowlers play tomorrow. I think NZ is better than Eng, Aus or SA.

Posted by   on (June 8, 2013, 9:21 GMT)


Remind me, what was the score the last time the two countries played again?

I think Aus played 4 ODIs against England in the summer of 2012 and the score was?

You obviously dont remember so remember so let me remind you

Eng 4 - Aus 0

and Aus were lucky to get nil

Sort yourself out you pointless troll

Posted by dirick on (June 8, 2013, 9:13 GMT)

Havent seen an Aussie line up as fragile as this one. If shane watson doesnt fire and if it seams around a bit they will fold under 100. How on earth can u digest the fact that G. Bailey is the Skipper and M. Hussey isnt playing. Is it also possible to imagine that the DiblyDobly mitch Marsh is playing and his brother Shaun Marsh isnt a part of the side. One can replace shaun Marsh with everyone in the top 7 apart minus Watson. The current lot of Aussie selectors will quit after a beating in champions trophy and Ashes.

Posted by   on (June 8, 2013, 8:27 GMT)

Come on you Aussies pick your game up! If the top order gets it right and Johnson clicks we still have a very good team, if not, well.... Really looking forward to watching Starc bowl here, get into them mate!

Posted by Wealwayslosethecricket on (June 8, 2013, 8:25 GMT)

With such bowling talent in the squad, I'm hoping that Starc, Faulkner and Mckay finally fire collectively and perhaps take a bit of pressure of the batsmen. That said, it is paramount to Australia's tournament chances that the batsmen stand up against Jimmy Anderson and Graeme Swann in their home conditions. With Clarke out, I'm predicting Voges to be the dark horse who holds Australia's innings together- He's probably the least talked about member of the Aussie squad, but he's always there, and he has a good chance of being the difference between a collapse and a defendable score.

Posted by jackiethepen on (June 8, 2013, 8:22 GMT)

Note: Jamshed got 50 with his captain, not Hafeez. My mistake.

Posted by jackiethepen on (June 8, 2013, 8:16 GMT)

A lot of nonsense is being written about opening as if nothing has changed in ODIs with the new regs. The low scoring thriller between Pakistan and West Indies yesterday was a case in point. I didn't notice any fan saying that Gayle should have taken the Pakistan bowlers apart in the first few overs and get 170 runs all by himself? Gayle is the most destructive batsmen in t20 cricket and he was pinned down. Now let's move on. Jmcilhinney thinks Hales should open for England with Cook. Hales opens in t20. I think t20 cricket has addled a few brains when it comes to team selection for ODIs. You only have to have one good t20 innings and you are god's gift. There is a lot more cricket in 50 overs. A lot of early wickets fell yesterday by batsmen attacking the ball too early. Try to bear that in mind. Pakistan captain must have been groaning while he played with concentration and dedication needed. Other than his partner Hafeez (50) the next highest score was 6.

Posted by SachinIsAGoner on (June 8, 2013, 8:14 GMT)

Aussie Victory all the way..........................................

Posted by Tom_Bowler on (June 8, 2013, 8:01 GMT)

I'll watch the game, it's England-Australia after all, but why is this pointless tournament being dripped out at the rate of one game a day? This tosh should be shoe-horned into the shortest time possible to allow the main event to commence, I doubt many cricket fans from England or Australia will disagree with me.

While this game is in a completely meaningless event England must set out to give them a good shoeing to put down a marker for more important things.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (June 8, 2013, 6:50 GMT)

@cric_J on (June 8, 2013, 5:06 GMT), couldn't agree more re Bell. Given that he replaced KP at the top of the order, I thought that he was going to be the one to try to take the bull by the horns. He seems to be under instructions to play carefully though, which seems to me to be a waste of his talents. If that's what they want then I'd think that they'd be better off opening with Trott. If Bell is really playing that way by his own choice then I'd much rather see someone like Hales or Carberry opening.

Posted by riverlime on (June 8, 2013, 6:35 GMT)

Cook read it correctly when he said you shouldn't infer too much from warm up games. Australia are much better than that, at least in limited overs matches. I know it is a pale comparison, but see how the Aussies performed in the IPL. They all PACED their batting well , especially Hussey and Watson, and are all tigers in the field. I think England need to be wary of them, especially now that they have been stung by criticism of their performances lately. All in all though, I see England winning through their stronger middle order batting.

Posted by cric_J on (June 8, 2013, 6:16 GMT)

(cont. )Bres was England's best seamer in the NZ series and should NOT be left out.And I would never leave out Jimmy , Swanny and Broady. So that leaves the final toss up between Finny , Bopara and Tredwell.

I wouldn't go for Finny as the Aussies shouldn't have much problems facing pace and bounce,something which they should be accustomed to with their pace "battery" and both of which are Finny's strengths.

My gut feeling says we should go with Bopara but it would be a very good option for England to play Tredwell if the pitch shows some assistance for spin. These two would atleast keep the economy low.

Posted by Jagger on (June 8, 2013, 6:11 GMT)

The record shows England are very poor at ODI cricket. The last time the two countries played, Australia won 6-1. England have not won a major ODI tournament since it's inception. There is no evidence to suggest that will change.

Posted by cric_J on (June 8, 2013, 6:06 GMT)

This clash today will kick off a whole saga of Eng vs Aus clashes over the next 9 months or so. And a win today for either of the teams will be a huge psycological boost. More so for the Aussies.

Eventhough England would look stronger on paper , we all know that when it comes to majors , Australia always raise their game and England tend to play below their potential. Being an England supporter , I seriously hope the trend reverses.

For Aus , Warner and Watson will be the key with the bat even with the former's lack of form. MJ and Faulkner were good in IPL and Starc is not bad either.

Coming to Eng , I feel Bell should try to be more aggressive as he looks MUCH better playing that way and leave the "base building" to Cooky and Trott. Root has the ability to play as per the situation and Moragan and Buttler could do the slamming later. (cont.)

Posted by Ragav999 on (June 8, 2013, 6:02 GMT)

Well said Prakash! It has been a hit or miss by the Aussie batsmen in the last couple of years in many big games. They are dependent on handful of people to carry the side through instead of every man contributing to the team's cause.

Posted by dalboy12 on (June 8, 2013, 5:58 GMT)

Warner, Watson, Johnson --- three players that if they fire, then Aussie can beat anyone. The other worry is that Watson has shown that he can produce understanding periods of good form, inbetween drier spells. England, can't keep relying on Buttler to smash it at the end. Trott and Cook etc need to keep the runs coming at the start of the innings as well. Will be a great game - looking forward to it.

Posted by cjchanaka on (June 8, 2013, 5:48 GMT)

Bowlling attacks are pretty identically strong but batting line up of ENG is slightly ahead of AUS, key man will be swann, with the absence of form experienced clarck the victory will gradually drag into ENG's way.

Posted by krishy on (June 8, 2013, 5:43 GMT)

On paper. England has slight edge over Oz and they have home advantage as well. But, if Warner bak to form then it would be a big boost to Oz. My XI:

Aussies: Warner, Watson, Voges, Bailey, Wade, Maxwell, Marsh,Faulkner, Johnson, Starc and Mckay.

England: Cook,Bell,Trott,Morgan,Bopara,Bairstow,Butler,Swann,Anderson,Finn and Bresnan.

All the best to both the team and lets see good match :)

Posted by sweet2hrme on (June 8, 2013, 4:25 GMT)

I think Aus can win today. They always play good cricket in a big tournament. England u cant this Aus likely. I want to say Waner specially u play aggresive as u always did. There is no point of waisting 5-6 ovrs than out in slip coridoor.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (June 8, 2013, 3:56 GMT)

@yorkshirematt: Well.. it kind of became a hobby after Yorkshire's Champions League T20 appearance last year. I think 'following' is not the right word. I mean, I do hop onto their website and check out the scores from time to time during the county season, more so their 40 overs and T20 stuff. Some times I catch some videos on Youtube. Since I am from Canada, viewing any kind of cricket is bit of a lottery. But speaking of Yorkshire, it's their logo that has my interest even more. A white rose is something unique and special I think. Also, Headingley is one of the best grounds in England IMO. Finally, I guess I like Yorkshire cause I made a lot of friends who live in that part of England. :D

Posted by Mitty2 on (June 8, 2013, 2:55 GMT)

Hahaha @FFL, what was that about "the excuses are already coming out [for Australia]". You've said that Clarke's back will be used as an excuse for the inevitable 'back to back whitewashes' so c'mon man, you can't be having any excuses yourself, especially after "five long years of english domination".

Once again, have to agree with @landl47, who as usual, provides a balanced and impartial view of things (am implying a certain someone else). I don't usually like to provide a link between test performances and ODI performances as some English have to do with last years irrelevant and non-prepared for ODI series... But with all the innumerable setbacks and the lack of any team continuity and confidence, a win here is virtually a necessity. Any confidence individually/as a team before he Ashes will be imperative.

A lot will depend on both top 3's. Australia's just have to survive the first 10 overs whilst England's need to be able to score quickly against MJ and starc, which they should

Posted by pat_one_back on (June 8, 2013, 0:57 GMT)

India's recovery and ultimate thumping of Aust reminded me of the last WC in Eng, weather the first 35 overs and smash the last 10-15 to kingdom come, when the ball is straight and the bounce is true. If Aust top order can let go their ego's and home tactics of going hard at the new balls they'll stand a chance. Better to build a platform and launch pad than rely on recoveries.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (June 8, 2013, 0:02 GMT)

@cpt meanster you follow Yorkshire limited overs matches? I wouldn't wish that on anyone!

Posted by yorkshirematt on (June 8, 2013, 0:00 GMT)

@cpt meanster you follow Yorkshire limited overs matches.

Posted by   on (June 7, 2013, 22:56 GMT)

For England Tredwell will be very good option along with Swann then Bresnan,Broad Anderson For Aus their bowling is single diamensional they could think to include a spinner in place of Clinton Mackay

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (June 7, 2013, 22:47 GMT)

@5wombats: My dear, how many ICC ODI world cups have England ever won in their ENTIRE history ? We all know the answer but we would love to hear from the wombats. India have already won 2, Australia 4, WI 2, SL 1, PAK 1. Heck, even SA have won a Champions Trophy back in 2000. So go figure that out.

Posted by 5wombats on (June 7, 2013, 21:52 GMT)

I see the forgetful brigade are back in town.... "not worthy". LOL. England beat Asia Cup winners Pakistan 4-0 in the UAE (India lost 2-1 to Pakistan in India 5 months ago) and England beat South Africa in South Africa (India lost 3-2) AND England beat India 3-0, but inspite of these achievements; "England are "not worthy". If England are "not worthy" - what does that make India? I do wish some people wouldn't come here pretending that they know something about English cricket and trying to make themselves look clever and important. Knowing something about cricket at all would be a good place to start.

Posted by   on (June 7, 2013, 21:34 GMT)

Australia of today are a bit like India of the mid 90's. If one player (usually Watson) clicks they will able to put up a fighting match. In any case their bowlers will struggle control the match.

The Inverarity era is turning out to be worse than Hilditch. Up to CA to realize.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (June 7, 2013, 21:28 GMT)

If I am honest I would say the the danger is being too exultant before the game begins. so I am looking for hidden obstacles. Will the Aussie camp be motivated to fend for itself without Clarke? Will the Aussie seem attack be a lot better than expected? Have the Kiwis actually struck a body blow from which we cannot recover? In reality I think the Kiwi series was beneficial because it woke us up. We are now competitive for the tournament, and the Kiwis are better than Oz. Beyond Watson,who is not in great form Aus do not have any international batsmen. The bowlers are still the same lot we have taken apart in the past. Anyway I hope we slip into a 'take no prisoners' mode without further fuss.

Posted by JG2704 on (June 7, 2013, 21:06 GMT)

People have seen my team preferences already but I'd definitely strongly consider picking Tredwell and Bopara as (if memory serves me correct) Australia weren't too comfortable vs either the last time the 2 sides met. Maybe even just go with 2 pacers - my choice right now would be Bres and either Finn,Broad or Jimmy. They won't do it but I reckon Australia would prefer to face a 4 man pace attack than one which included 2 spinners and Bopara.

Posted by JG2704 on (June 7, 2013, 20:58 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster on (June 7, 2013, 18:11 GMT) "As a Neutral" - Seriously? Maybe one day you'll post something a bit more neutral on an England thread?

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (June 7, 2013, 20:27 GMT)

@MartinC: I think England have a good chance because the Australians haven't been the same ever since Ponting, Hussey, and Clarke have been away from the team. Their crop of young players aren't world class by any means. The same can be said about England with some of their youngsters. Sure, Morgan will do a fine job. The guy was indispensable to the KKR in the IPL and started every game. His street-smart cricket will come in handy for England. I am also looking forward to see what Joe Root does in this tournament. Since I am a fan of the White Rose, I have taken to liking this kid. I usually follow most of Yorkshire's limited overs games and Root has done well for them in the past. So my gut feeling is that England will beat Australia in what could be a tight game. Also, please keep Bopara, Bresnan, and Dernbach away from the team. They further weaken an already shaken team.

Posted by MartinC on (June 7, 2013, 19:30 GMT)

@Capt Meanster - so England are "only as good as the Australians if not better or worse". Well that's all the bases covered then :-)

As an Englishman I fancy England because our batting has more solidity and class than Australia's especially with Clarke out. However the Aussies could easily win - ODIs are not England's strength and too much rests on Morgan and Buttler in terms of pushing up the scoring rate and clearing the fences at the death. Morgan is still not at his best.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (June 7, 2013, 19:11 GMT)

England are not a worthy ODI side to begin with and in this format they are only as good as the Australians if not better or worse. So this is a 50-50 contest (excuse the pun) IMO. England will be slightly out of confidence having lost the series against NZ and Australia have the history and record of winning ICC tournaments. *Grabs the popcorn*. This will be interesting for me as a neutral. Let the banter begin !

Posted by   on (June 7, 2013, 18:41 GMT)

Mr. David Hopps, i can bet any thin . ur Aus XI wrong. michel marsh won't play. it's may be maxwel or Dhothy,

Posted by   on (June 7, 2013, 18:39 GMT)

Australia comes back very strongly... i think after the practice match against india australia would like to prove themselves...

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (June 7, 2013, 17:24 GMT)

50:50 for me. I agree with Cook: warm‑up games usually mean squat, because a lot of players either don't take them seriously enough and/or use them as an opportunity to try new things which may or may not work. Neither team looks an obvious favourite to me in this format, but it will be interesting to see how brave/inventive the teams play - e.g. will England stick with their usual stalwarts at the top of the order? Will both teams rotate their bowlers well? Will the field placements be attacking or conservative? Should be a good, close game I reckon...

Posted by landl47 on (June 7, 2013, 16:56 GMT)

The momentum Australia would get, not only for this tournament but for the rest of the Summer, if they beat England in this game is incalculable. Expect them to come out spitting nails. England will need to be at the top of their game to beat what will be a highly motivated Australian team.

With the anticipated good weather, what a set-up for the first clash between the old enemies!

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (June 7, 2013, 16:43 GMT)

In reality England don't a monkey's about ODI cricket, but seeing that they beat Australia just for fun these days, you'd expect the Oz top order to fold and the lack of players of any real skill to perform up to standard. A lot depends on who's available for England and whether they choose to pick their best XI anyway.

Posted by Narbavi on (June 7, 2013, 16:02 GMT)

Clarke's absence is a huge blow but still they should be able to cope up if Watson, Hughes and Bailey can fire with the bat and Starc with the ball, Faulkner looks like an exciting prospect, will be interesting to see how well he bowls!! I would play Voges for clarke, as his experience would be very much handy!!

Posted by itismenithin on (June 7, 2013, 15:18 GMT)

Tournament will become interesting if Australia beats England, can't write them off yet.

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David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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