Australia v England, 2nd ODI, Hobart January 20, 2011

Watson aside, room for both teams to lift


Match Facts

January 21, Hobart
Start time 14.20 (03.20 GMT)

The Big Picture

The first game at the MCG was the last chance for both teams to answer any selection queries before finalising their World Cup squads. And not everyone who played has made the cut - Steven Davies, Chris Tremlett and Xavier Doherty, for example. Now both teams can really begin their World Cup preparations in earnest.

Shane Watson's brilliant unbeaten 161 on Sunday gave Australia a 1-0 series lead, but the reality is that apart from Watson's innings, the rest of Australia's performance was no more than middling. Michael Clarke took up 57 balls and got out without hitting a boundary, and in the field his team allowed England to post nearly 300, with a few too many missed run-outs and stumpings and dropped catches. Australia's World Cup defence begins in just over a month, and they need to be working better as a unit instead of being carried by one magnificent individual effort.

Not that England can be very pleased with their display at the MCG, either. After 30 overs they'd posted 3 for 174, a position from which they should have reached well over 300. And their attack, without James Anderson, didn't look terribly threatening. They too need to hone their form ahead of the World Cup, and they'll do so in Hobart without Graeme Swann, who has a knee problem.

Both teams have been hit by fitness concerns, with Michael Hussey now at home in Perth after undergoing surgery on a serious hamstring injury he picked up while running a sharp two during the win at the MCG. The Australians are also without Mitchell Johnson, who has a throat infection and didn't fly to Hobart with the team. "He has improved in the last 24 hours and is expected to meet the team in Sydney on Saturday," the physio Alex Kountouris said.

Form guide

(completed matches, most recent first)
Australia WWLLL
England LWLLW

Watch out for...

Remember Nathan Hauritz? He's that spinner Australia had been grooming for two years only to discard him on the eve of the Ashes in favour of a one-day specialist who failed to hold his place after two Tests. And now that one-day specialist, Xavier Doherty, has been cut from the limited-overs team, leaving Hauritz as the main man for the World Cup. He hasn't played for his country since November 5, and rest assured he wants to stick it to the selectors who didn't stick with him.

Like Hauritz, Matt Prior didn't play the opening ODI in Melbourne. Davies was the preferred gloveman, which was an odd choice given Prior's powerful striking and impressive form during the Ashes. But come World Cup selection time, England went with the experience of Prior, and as a result he's finished his Twenty20 stint with Victoria and flown to Hobart to join the one-day squad. He'll open the batting with Andrew Strauss, and the Australians know that if they don't get rid of Prior early, he could be a matchwinner.

Team news

Things have changed since the first match. Australia's World Cup squad has been settled, so Doherty has made way for Hauritz, but there are also a couple of other issues for Australia. Hussey's place in the middle order is likely to be filled by Shaun Marsh, who didn't make the World Cup squad but is a possible replacement if Hussey is ruled out of that tournament. And Johnson's throat infection should mean a place for Shaun Tait, who had back stiffness in Melbourne and was rested as a precaution.

Australia (probable) 1 Shane Watson, 2 Brad Haddin (wk), 3 Michael Clarke (capt), 4 Cameron White, 5 David Hussey, 6 Shaun Marsh, 7 Steven Smith, 8 Brett Lee, 9 Nathan Hauritz, 10 Doug Bollinger, 11 Shaun Tait.

Prior has come in to take the place of Davies, and it will be a straight swap at the top of the order. Swann will also miss out due to a knee injury, and his spot should be taken by James Tredwell, who is set to play his third one-day international. Paul Collingwood will have to wait for his chance to break back in to the side.

England (probable) 1 Andrew Strauss (capt), 2 Matt Prior (wk), 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Ian Bell, 6 Eoin Morgan, 7 Michael Yardy, 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 James Tredwell, 10 Chris Tremlett, 11 Ajmal Shahzad.

Stats and trivia

  • The teams have only met once before in an ODI at Bellerive Oval, back in 2002-03, when Australia won by seven runs

  • With no Anderson, England's attack is so inexperienced that Tim Bresnan is the leading wicket-taker amongst the bowlers, with 38 ODI victims

  • Australia's win-loss ratio at Bellerive is better than at any other venue in the country - they have won 10 of the 14 ODIs they've played in Hobart


"We've got a lot of improvement to do, definitely, with the ball and in the field at the start of our innings especially."
Michael Clarke

"You look at Shane Watson in the last game getting 161 - it's a match-winning total. Those are the types of innings that all batsmen are looking to get and realising that their 40s, 50s and 60s don't win games."
Matt Prior

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Martin on January 21, 2011, 14:29 GMT

    @landl47; looks like you are going to collect on that Tait body parts franchise! You'll make a million - and it's easy money.....!

  • Dummy4 on January 21, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    I've got to be fair . Australia gave the Poms a good going over , but all the hype about England being supreme players of ODI , prior to coming to Australia , failed to be exhibited . They are making the Aussies look real good . We are NOT good , we are below average , and if we are beating England , then neither of these two teams will fare very well against the top four Nations in the World Cup . Still , it makes it interesting cricket , and entertains both the crowd and the TV and ABC Radio fans. Shaun Marsh has to replace one of the Hussey brothers , not sure which one yet ! Another front line spinner will be required , cannot risk Hauritz with injury . Tait.....yes injured again...what's new . Failed to notch a wicket too . M.Clarke still disappoints , even his ardent followers must have doubts how much longer he will last .To be fair I must say Lady Luck has leaned a bit towards the Green and Gold .

  • Andrew on January 21, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    Well @ 4/33 I was quite depressed, - 230 is sort of alright, but brilliant from where the innings was heading. I am now thinking that Bollinger should be promoted to #7 as a "bowling allrounder"! Marsh's knock was a beauty, I haven't been a fan of his - the 4,4,6 to bring up his century was gold. Nothing else to be stoked about..... yet! I think the 2nd spinner for the Poms is a bit clearer now - Tredwell was way better than Yardy. My opinion of Shahzad improves everytime I see him bowl. Reminds me of a faster version of Praveen Kumar, (not based on looks but style - LOL). I think Tremlett should of been in the WC squad instead of Bresnan. I think he is way better than Broad.

  • Marcio on January 21, 2011, 3:04 GMT

    @PlayingItStraight, not only will Shane Watson not play well again, neither will Brad Haddin and the fielders play that badly again. You can twist facts any way you want. I'm picking Australia for this game. I think England will go walkabout for a few games here.

  • David on January 21, 2011, 2:53 GMT

    Shaun Marsh at 6?! Would be better opening in place of Haddin - or at least first or second drop. He can build a big innings scoring at high rate. Wasted down the order. Option F for me. Tait will pull a heart muscle when asked to bowl a third consecutive over and will be carried from the ground.

  • John on January 21, 2011, 2:52 GMT

    @5wombats. Pity you didn't choose D. I've got the Shaun Tait body parts concession for the mid-western United States.

  • Nick on January 21, 2011, 2:30 GMT

    To those saying that if England had Swann, Broad and Anderson playing it would be no contest.. Let's add Johnson, Harris, Starc, McKay and Hussey to the Australian team and see how it would go..

  • Dummy4 on January 21, 2011, 1:31 GMT

    Interesting match for us Aussies ! Will Watson continue his good form , Will Shaun Marsh be a suitable opener , and be M.Hussey's replacement , Will M.Clarke still scratch around and fail , Will Smith show some inkling of being and all round batsman AND bowler , Will D.Hussey show he is capable of BATTING , Will Hadden show that he is over the sulks , Will White show why he was selected as a batsman , Will Bollinger bowl some Champagne overs , Will Brett Lee find his youthfulness again , Will Hauritz give us ALL a surprise and cause the opposition to be mesmerised with his tripe , and the big ask is , WILL Tait not be replaced after bowling his first ball ????????

  • Warrick on January 21, 2011, 0:17 GMT

    Landl47...interesting question, there a few things we can be certain of; 1)Selectors will choose our best one day spinner for tests & our best test spinner for an ODI, especially when their policy is horses for courses, obviously you would drop Doherty for a game on his home ground. 2) Our obsession for 'variety' in our attack means we will pick a left arm seamer, regardless of how poor their form is just to give opposition off spinners a fair go (the same variety doesn't apply for oz spinners, ref point 1. 3) Clarke will slash in test matches & block on ODI's. 4)We will pick players for a WC tournament that won't make it due to fitness, then pick a young player for these games to get' them into form & not take them to the WC. 4) We will take a wicket on a no ball. 5) We will miss many opportunities in the field. 6) Our selectors will 'do a good job'. 7) We will be inconsistent (refer all previous points). Not all bad though, Bell is in the form of his life...drop him to 5?

  • Bobby on January 21, 2011, 0:01 GMT

    WORLD CUP PREPARATION: 1. Shane Watson should be rested from the remaining games. There are two warm-up games in India before the tournament begins. Can't afford to lose him now! 2. Need to determine the best opening partner for Watson - Haddin, Paine or Marsh? Marsh provides left/right combination and has a great record in India. Haddin has not really done well as an opener and could be better suited at 6/7 and to face the spinners in the middle overs. Paine has done well opening. 3. Who will replace Ponting IF his finger does not recover? Maybe give Khwaja a few games at three. 4. What if Michael Clarke does not score many runs in the next six games? Surely he cannot then be guaranteed a spot for the WC with his poor 12 months. 5. Who's the Finisher if M. Hussey is not fit? Maybe Haddin/Hopes should be given some games at seven. 6. Is Smith the second spinner in the team? If so, he should be bowling more overs in the next six games to gain confidence. 7. Hastings role at the WC?

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