Injuries hurt winning Australia
January 23, Sydney
Start time 14.20 (03.20 GMT)
The Big Picture
Australia should feel like an international heavyweight again after starting the one-day series against England with two wins to follow their success in the second Twenty20. But despite the sudden reversal in form after the Ashes, they remain in a bruised state. Nathan Hauritz went to hospital for x-rays on the shoulder he hurt while fielding in Hobart, and will have further scans today. Shaun Tait picked up a thigh strain, his second injury in a week, while Michael Hussey (hamstring) and Ricky Ponting (finger) are recovering from serious problems.
Hauritz is unlikely to play in the final five games of the series but is hoping to be ready for the World Cup starting next month. Tait had better news on Saturday when scans showed no new injury, but his health is a huge worry and the latest setback came only a couple of days after he boasted he was "probably the fittest I've been". This was despite him picking up a back strain which ruled him out of the win in Melbourne.
England's problems are more to do with form and, almost certainly, a let-down following their dominant, drought-breaking Ashes win. It was two weeks ago in Sydney that Andrew Strauss and his team-mates got their hands on the urn and celebrated long and hard. They will be back at the SCG on Sunday aiming to regain some much-needed momentum.
Form guide(completed matches, most recent first)
Watch out for...
Brad Haddin is a man starting to feel significant pressure, but he can breathe freely again with a big score on his home ground. Tim Paine was named in Australia's World Cup squad a few days after he had been appointed vice-captain of the Twenty20 team, a decision which led to Haddin being dropped. Haddin then missed three stumpings in the first ODI against England, and gained scores of 39 and 5 as an opener.
Ian Bell has made two starts in the opening games, but England need him to push on to a big score. While his opportunities were limited in the Test campaign, Bell has received chances for long stays in both 50-over contests. He was 23 in Melbourne when he chipped Steven Smith to cover, and last night in Hobart he fell to the second ball of Brett Lee's spell when he tried to drive through the offside on 32. England require more steel from their side's most attractive run-maker.
Xavier Doherty comes in for Hauritz, while a replacement needs to be found for Tait. Doherty played in the opening ODI before being dropped when he wasn't in the World Cup squad. "Xavier has an excellent domestic one-day record and we are sure he will seize this opportunity to again play for Australia," Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said. Mitchell Johnson isn't available having not had enough time to prepare after his throat infection so Peter Siddle has been added to the squad.
Australia (possible) 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 Xavier Doherty, 10 Peter Siddle, 11 Doug Bollinger.
Andrew Strauss felt he was a fast bowler short in Hobart, which makes the offspinner James Tredwell vulnerable. Chris Woakes or Luke Wright could both come in, with Tim Bresnan hurting his calf in Hobart. What England really want is the return of James Anderson, who isn't available until Adelaide after taking time off back home.
England (possible) 1 Andrew Strauss (capt), 2 Matt Prior (wk), 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Ian Bell, 6 Eoin Morgan, 7 Michael Yardy, 8 Luke Wright, 9 Chris Woakes, 10 Chris Tremlett, 11 Ajmal Shahzad.
Stats and trivia
- The SCG is a treasured ground in Australia's history, but it isn't a pleasant place to play England. In 18 games there, Australia have won seven and lost 10. Four of those defeats came in the 1980s when the locals won only once.
- Michael Clarke sits in 10th spot on the ground's one-day run list with 754. Allan Lamb's 373 are the most by an Englishman.
- Geoff Boycott has the second-highest batting average at the ground, with his 127.00 in four matches only slightly worse than Ian Chappell's 131.00 in three games.
- Darren Gough is the only Englishman to have taken five wickets at the SCG, with his haul coming against Zimbabwe in 1994-95.
Pitch and conditionsThe SCG pitch usually has something for the spinners, but it has also supported the fast bowlers at times this year. Sydney's forecast for Sunday is sunny and a top of 27C.
"What's most pleasing for me is when you see someone come in like Shaun Marsh and get hold of his opportunity. That continues to show the depth in first-class cricket in Australia."
"We aren't in the business of handing out huge recriminations to our batsmen."
Andrew Strauss after the Hobart defeat
Peter English is the Australasia editor of ESPNcricinfo