Australia v England, 4th ODI, Adelaide January 25, 2011

England fight to keep series alive


Match Facts

January 26, Adelaide
Start time 13.50 (03.20 GMT)

The Big Picture

Australia Day would be the perfect occasion for the home side to wrap up the one-day series, but for the sake of the remaining contests an England victory is what's really needed. The visitors have played some poor cricket, especially in the last two matches, with the batting faring badly. A defeat here and the plane home won't be able to come soon enough.

That, though, won't be any concern of Australia's. They desperately needed to regain some belief following the Ashes and with coloured clothes back on they are beginning to hit their stride. England haven't forced them to play at their best, but even with injuries they are building up a head of steam. David Hussey was the star at the SCG as he showed his finishing skills, which will be valuable at the World Cup, but Brett Lee took the Man-of-the-Match award and he has led the attack superbly.

England's bowlers have actually performed a decent role, considering that it has been a second string attack, and the likes of Ajmal Shahzad, Chris Tremlett and Chris Woakes show the depth available. But somewhere in the transition from Tests to one-dayers key batsmen have lost the skill to convert starts into big innings.

It's a feeling of déjà vu as far as both sides are concerned. In the aftermath of the 2009 Ashes, also won by England, the one-day series was a horribly lop-sided affair as Australia cruised to a 6-1 drubbing. If the hosts continue their winning streak in Adelaide, it's very easy to see this series going the same way.

Form guide

(completed matches, most recent first)
Australia WWWWL
England LLLWL

Watch out for...

James Anderson was given a break after the Ashes but following 10 days at home with his new baby has returned to the tour in the nick of time. Although England's quicks have performed an admirable role, Anderson's experience of 133 matches will be a valuable addition. He's got fond memories of Adelaide after his impact during the Test match when he helped reduce Australia to 3 for 2 on the first morning and is a dangerous operator with the new white ball.

Cameron White has played a couple of valuable innings in this series; his 25 at Melbourne helped Shane Watson complete victory and his 45 at Hobart began the first recovery. He'll want to make his decent form count in the remainder of this series because, even though his place is secure, there will be strong competition for batting places if Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey both recover. With his immense power White shouldn't have a problem clearing the square boundaries at the Adelaide Oval and against the spinners even the straight hits aren't out of reach.

Team news

Michael Clarke said no risks will be taken with any player before the World Cup so Shaun Tait (thigh) and Mitchell Johnson (throat infection) remain doubtful. It means Australia could field the same attack that did an impressive job in Sydney.

Australia (probable) 1 Shane Watson, 2 Brad Haddin (wk), 3 Shaun Marsh, 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 Cameron White, 6 David Hussey, 7 Steve Smith, 8 John Hastings, 9 Brett Lee, 10 Xavier Doherty, 10 Doug Bollinger

Kevin Pietersen is fit again following his groin strain and James Anderson is available, while Andy Flower confirmed Matt Prior will continue to open the batting despite his two ducks since returning to the side. Paul Collingwood would be the likeliest batsman to make way, but could be considered at No. 7 with Michael Yardy struggling to have impact with bat or ball.

England (possible) 1 Andrew Strauss (capt), 2 Matt Prior (wk), 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Ian Bell, 6 Eoin Morgan, 7 Paul Collingwood, 8 James Tredwell, 9 Ajmal Shahzad, 10 Chris Tremlett, 11 James Anderson

Stats and trivia

  • Adelaide is the venue of England's highest one-day total in Australia when they reached 3 for 302 in the infamous match against Sri Lanka during 1998-99 where Muttiah Muralitharan was also called for throwing. England still lost.

  • James Anderson returns with a good one-day record in Australia. From 13 matches he has 21 wickets at 25.61, including a miserly 1 for 12 in 10 overs on this ground back in his debut series of 2002-03.

  • The teams have met five times at Adelaide, with Australia ahead 4-1. England's only win was the first encounter back in 1983.


"We've played some exciting, positive cricket and I've enjoyed having the opportunity to lead the boys. I'd like to lead from the front with the bat and make some more runs, I'm well aware of that, but everyone is in good spirits and we believe there is a lot of room for improvement."
Michael Clarke

"It's not ideal, the start of this one-day series, but there are still four games to go. We intend to finish strongly, we are here to win these games, it's not just preparation for the World Cup."
Andy Flower

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Martin on January 26, 2011, 11:55 GMT

    England win - good call @Marcio! Are you sure your crystal ball needs upgrading!? Do you play pokies? Lotto? But you're right - not much between these sides really - except now perhaps tiredness. Aus will get up in this series I'm sure.

  • Yasas on January 26, 2011, 3:21 GMT

    unfortunately for england, the series is out of reach...if they are to win the series, they need to win the next 4 games consecutively and there is no chance of them doing that in their current form, even with anderson coming back into the side...the whole team needs to be reconstructed with the exception of jonny trott who was been brilliant this tour. matt prior needs to be lower down the order, maybe give ian bell a chance to open with strauss, with trott at 3, KP at 4, eoin morgan 5, collingwood at 6 who really needs to find batting form. slot the out of form prior at 7, with luke wright at 8 for last resort batting which means the bowlers james tredwell, chris tremlett and jimmy anderson at 9,10, and 11. this offers a lineup that bats deep and offers a good bowling lineup. unfortunately with swann leaving, the premium spinner is gone along with some hitting power.

  • Adrian on January 26, 2011, 3:03 GMT

    According to bookmaker sites, the favourites for the World Cup, in order are: 1) India 2) England 3) South Africa 4) Sri Lanka 5) Australia 6) Pakistan 7) New Zealand 8) West Indies 9) Bangladesh 10) Zimbabwe 11) Ireland 12) Netherlands 13) Canada 14) Kenya. They have England fairly close to equal favourites.

  • Hector on January 26, 2011, 2:29 GMT

    Lets play Peter Siddle in place of Clarke or Smith today and strengthen our batting line up! .....the sad thing is this is no joke!

  • Dummy4 on January 26, 2011, 1:38 GMT

    I personally think Aussies are being lil selfish, they need one more game to win the series. Brett lee should rest after this game and make him self ready for world cup before hitting any injury. i want to see lee, tait and johnson to destroy Indian batting line up. So aus board give rest to your senior players so they should be free of injury.

  • Marcio on January 26, 2011, 0:38 GMT

    England are due for a win, and Mr Anderson will give them a boost, so I'm tipping them for this game. I think it will be a low scoring game, though, with both teams struggling with the bat. I'm tipping AUS for the 5th game, with Eng's revival short lived. That's as far as my crystal ball can see. I'm getting an upgrade a bit later, so will let you know who is going to win the world cup.

  • Andrew on January 25, 2011, 22:29 GMT

    Why don't the Poms open with Morgan & Bell? KP @ 3, Trott & Strauss 4 & 5, Prior & Colly next then the bowlers. My reasoning is that generally the first 15 overs is Power Play & the next 20 overs is nurdle. The re-con ball comes out in the 35th over where Strauss & Trott could be in & negotiate (ball tends to act like a new ball), then the rest for the final assault. I'd consider someone who goes in the air alot to open, that being said Strauss's strike rate has been pretty good of late. In regards Oz - Haddin is well utilised at the top of the order as he does like to hit in over the in field more than most Oz batsmen. When the field is up - I think Haddin cashes in more than others, unlikely to score as many 100s as Marsh or Watto though. I am not completely sold on Marsh as Game #3 is more my impression of Marsh rather than Game #2. He has done very well domestically this season but I would like to see him convert this "form" internationally more often.

  • Warrick on January 25, 2011, 21:33 GMT

    England were great in the Ashes & most Australians took their hat off to them & said 'fairplay', they were the better team etc etc. Now we've moved on to another format & Australia are winning 3-zip (without playing all that well) and the English fans are calling this series 'meaningless'. If England win this match & the next three, I wonder how meaningless the series will be to them? I reckon they would say it would be 'the perfect preparation' for a WC & they'll be shouting from the roof tops!

  • Cricinfouser on January 25, 2011, 18:08 GMT

    england will come back strongly. eoin morgan will become the man of the match

  • raj on January 25, 2011, 17:08 GMT


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