Australia v England, 6th ODI, Sydney February 1, 2011

Australia look to continue dominance


Match Facts

February 2, Sydney
Start time 14.20 (0320 GMT)

The Big Picture

The series has been decided with two matches to spare but both teams have the World Cup to prepare for so they remain valuable outings. Australia are desperate to convert their advantage into a 6-1 drubbing, while England have two aims in the final week of a three-month tour: get their batsmen back into form and avoid any more injuries.

Apart from Jonathan Trott the visiting batsmen have been disappointing in this series and with a major tournament around the corner it's not a good time to have a serious slump. Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and Eoin Morgan should form a strong middle order but all have found ways to throw their wickets away. Then there's Paul Collingwood, who is in the side for his bowling rather than his batting.

Australia are ticking over nicely as they prepare their attempt at a fourth consecutive World Cup title. Brett Lee has led the attack impressively, while the batsmen have managed to put enough runs on the board without ever being entirely convincing. Australia's ideal scenario would be to produce an all-round display where the batting and bowling fires together.

Michael Clarke made a welcome half-century at the Gabba, having been welcomed by boos from the home support, but Shaun Marsh is out with a hamstring injury, which could make him a doubtful replacement if Mike Hussey doesn't recover in time for the World Cup.

Form guide

(most recent first)

Australia WLWWW
England LWLLL

Watch out for...

Cameron White has threatened a couple of significant innings in this series without converting so has plenty of motivation remaining. "I'm a bit disappointed with the way it's gone so far," he said. "I've had a couple of starts and feel as though I'm batting well, I just haven't got the big score." With Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey aiming to returning it will be a tight fit to play all the batsmen so it's important for White to make his mark.

To be a healthy England quick at the moment is quite a feat and if Chris Woakes avoids the current injury curse he could yet find himself at the World Cup. His 6 for 45 in Brisbane, England's second-best figures in ODIs, enhanced his growing reputation after he earned his initial selection due to Stuart Broad's lay-off. The seriousness of Ajmal Shahzad's hamstring problem isn't yet known, but time is tight before the team leaves for the subcontinent and Woakes has staked his claim.

Team news

Callum Ferguson has been drafted in as cover for Shaun Marsh, but with the series decided it could be a good chance to give Tim Paine a game before the World Cup. Another spin option is always useful in Sydney so Xavier Doherty may return, while Shaun Tait needs some cricket before heading to India, so another quick could be rested.

Australia (probable) 1 Shane Watson, 2 Brad Haddin (wk), 3 Tim Paine, 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 Cameron White, 6 David Hussey, 7 Steve Smith, 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Xavier Doherty, 10 Brett Lee, 11 Shaun Tait.

Shahzad has a hamstring injury and Chris Tremlett a side strain so, with Liam Plunkett still zig-zagging his way from West Indies, it would seem wise to give James Tredwell a match. Another option is for one of the struggling batsmen to miss out and Luke Wright to get a turn.

England (probable) 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 Chris Woakes, 10 James Anderson, 11 Steven Finn.

Stats and trivia

  • Chris Woakes' 6 for 45 were also his best figures in all List A cricket

  • Brett Lee has dismissed Matt Prior in three of his four innings this series and four times in his career, the most by any bowler


"We probably haven't played our best. We've done well in different aspects but never really combined the bat and ball together. That's why they are two important games because leading into the World Cup you have to be at your best."
Cameron White

"We've played outstandingly well in one-day cricket for two years now so we're disappointed to lose the series but have a lot to look forward to with these two games and the World Cup."
Luke Wright

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Meety on February 2, 2011, 5:31 GMT

    At the 30 over mark in the Pommie innings, I think 340 runs is par for where they are at!!!! This could be a real ugly result, surprisingly MJ & Tait have been economical so far, the spinners haven't provided the choke.

  • dummy4fb on February 2, 2011, 2:47 GMT

    get rid of prior at the top get bell to open. prior should bat at 5 or 6

  • Meety on February 2, 2011, 1:20 GMT

    @vivgilchrest re: resting players, agreed given Lee & Watto have a history of breaking down prior to a W/C. Ferguson would of been my preferred choice ahead of Marsh any day of the week - I admit I almost ate humble pie after he smoted that century, but his shortcomings came to the fore in the following games. I'm very big on his brother Mitchell for the T20 squad. I personally would of used these 2 matches as a head to head battle between O'Keefe & Doherty for the chance to replace Hauritz, (throw in O'Brien from Sth Oz too). I'd also be looking at drafting in a possible replacement for Tait (as much as I want him to succeed in the W/Cup). @whitesXI - I think the selectors are much closer to the money with their ODI selections, however as mentioned above I think they are missing a last minute opportunity to look at cover for their injured players. Whilst Punter is almost 100% certain to go he is still one of 4 players with injury concerns in the WC squad.

  • grug76 on February 1, 2011, 19:41 GMT

    can't believe i'm agreeing with RAVI_BOPARA! these guys a professional athletes... why on earth do they need a rest? surely all teams want their best 11 on the field whenever possible to make sure they are in form and forming good combinations with bat and ball before the WC?

  • whitesXI on February 1, 2011, 14:29 GMT

    For quite possibly the first time this summer i would have to agree with the side picked for this game (if this remains the final team list).I mentioned earlier how White has had to adjust to being moved up and down the order all series, the move to have Paine at 3 means the team formation stays the same as what will be expected for the WC. Clarke is looking much more comfortable back in his usual position at 4 and that is really needed to settle his nerves and pull out of this from slump.I am a little confused over the removal of Hastings from the squad, he has easily out played johnson over the last few weeks

  • landl47 on February 1, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    Calling up Ferguson and not playing him would be crazy, especially as both Marsh and Hussey are now doubtful for the World Cup. However, in the weird selectors' moves department, why on earth are the England team flying Plunkett halfway around the world to play in ther last, dead rubber game of the series? In case they don't have 11 fit players by Sunday? That move totally baffles me. It would make more sense to call up Adil Rashid. Yes, I know he's playing in the final of the Big Bash, but so was Ferguson. If the Australian selectors can do it, why not England?

  • whitesXI on February 1, 2011, 14:12 GMT

    In regard to White not quite firing through this series, he has had to come in at 4, 5 or six changing almost every game, has had instances where he has been asked to finish the last few overs, consolidate after early wickets and then has had to intimidate the opposition bowlers. Fair's fair guys, he can't do everything. Must say very disappointed with the soft dismissal after the 100 partnership with Marsh, though the Woakes delivery was phenomenal at the Gabba.

  • Something_Witty on February 1, 2011, 14:08 GMT

    I've just realised something. If the "probable" side listed is fielded by England, their tail now resembles that of a rather large comet. I'm sure they're missing the likes of Swann and Broad at the moment.

  • PlayingItStraight on February 1, 2011, 12:01 GMT

    Face reality - Brad Hodge is now 36 and will never play for Australia again, at least while Andrew Hilditch is chairman of selectors, so PLEASE stop asking for him to be picked (we all know he's good enough, well all of us except the four that count!). As for Callum Ferguson - why pick him if he's not going to play, particularly given he was due to play in the Big Bash Final on Saturday? Good point Mr McGlashan about Paine needing a game, but surely it would be Haddin to rest? Don't be surprised if they give Tait a bit longer and play him next Sunday in Perth instead of Wednesday in Sydney - the pitch at the WACA would better suit an extra pace bowler anyway. Shane Watson is Australia's best player, in form, and he doesn't look like he needs a rest, so I say play him every game. And as for the English team, it would be better preparation for the WC if Australia was playing against their best side, not the reserve team.....

  • Something_Witty on February 1, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    Carn 'Straya! Ferguson should have been in the WC squad, as should Dan Christian. Binga is playing like the absolute champion that he is.

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