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February 5, 2011
The Big Picture
It's a hundred days since England landed in Perth ahead of a long tour that would result in them smashing Australia by an innings in three Tests and winning the Ashes away for the first time in 24 years. They're back in Western Australia now, to end the trip with the seventh one-day international. It's a dead rubber, as Australia lead the series 5-1, but England fans will be thrilled with what has been achieved regardless of these limited-overs results. For Andrew Strauss, though, it has been a disappointing end to the trip, if only because the World Cup is rapidly approaching and one-day form would be valuable.
So, here is one last opportunity for the England players (those who haven't already been crocked by injury) to enjoy success before a fleeting visit home ahead of the World Cup. No doubt bodies and minds are exhausted - eight members of the side that will take the field in Perth were also part of the Test squad. But they should fancy their chances against an Australian side whose batting line-up has been severely diluted. Shane Watson and Michael Clarke are resting, and the hosts were already without Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey and Shaun Marsh due to injuries.
But whatever happens on Sunday, Strauss and his men will fly out of the country as champions, and the silverware Australia will lift won't mean a thing compared to the Ashes and the upcoming World Cup.
Form guide(most recent first)
Watch out for...
Cricket is rarely boring when Jason Krejza is involved. From 12 wickets on his Test debut in India, to being hammered by South Africa in his only other Test during a near-record chase at the WACA, to opening the bowling for Tasmania in one-day games, Krejza is always worth watching. His call-up for this game was unexpected and came only through injuries to Nathan Hauritz, Xavier Doherty and Steven Smith, but if he does well, it might not be the last we see of him at the international level. He has learnt how to tie up an end since being dropped from the Test side, but expect him to also toss the ball up and give it a good rip at times in search of wickets.
Jonathan Trott is not the kind of player most people would expect to dominate a one-day series, but with scores of 6, 32, 84 not out, 102, 0 and 137, he's clearly the form batsman across both sides. It's not bad for a bloke who had played only 11 one-day internationals before this trip. Remarkably, he's on track to become the fastest player ever to 1000 ODI runs - he needs another 156 in his next four innings to equal the all-time record of 21 innings held jointly by Viv Richards and Kevin Pietersen.
Australia have taken the opportunity of another dead rubber to rest a couple of key players ahead of the World Cup, with Watson and Clarke not making the trip to Perth. That means Cameron White will captain Australia in an ODI for the first time and Tim Paine will play as a specialist batsman, joining his wicketkeeping colleague Brad Haddin at the top of the order. Adam Voges will play his first one-day international since last March, and the offspinner Krejza is set to debut due to a hip muscle injury to Smith. It means a long tail for Australia, with Mitchell Johnson at No. 7.
Australia (possible) 1 Brad Haddin (wk), 2 Tim Paine, 3 Callum Ferguson, 4 Cameron White (capt), 5 David Hussey, 6 Adam Voges, 7 Mitchell Johnson, 8 John Hastings, 9 Jason Krejza, 10 Brett Lee, 11 Shaun Tait.
More injuries for England, this time Paul Collingwood's back problem and Eoin Morgan's fractured finger, means the side will change yet again, with Liam Plunkett likely to come in after a whistle-stop trip from St Kitts to Miami to London to Singapore and finally to Perth. Luke Wright is also likely to get a chance in a weakened batting line up.
England (possible) 1 Andrew Strauss (capt), 2 Matt Prior (wk), 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Ian Bell, 6 Michael Yardy, 7 Luke Wright, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Liam Plunkett, 10 James Anderson, 11 Steven Finn.
Pitch and conditionsThe return to some of the quick and bouncy characteristics for which the WACA is famous helped Australia win their only Test of the summer, and again men like Shaun Tait and Brett Lee will enjoy the conditions. The forecast for Sunday in Perth is sunny and windy with a maximum temperature of 29C.
Stats and trivia
"I think we've got still a very, very well-balanced one-day side coming into this last game and we're taking a lot of confidence into this last game and obviously then into the World Cup."
"I'm here and hopefully I will play. I've got fresh legs. I feel strong and confident in my bowling so hopefully it goes well and we'll see what happens from there."
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Brydon Coverdale
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