Australia v England, 2nd ODI, Brisbane January 16, 2014

England renew Johnson battle


Ehantharajah: Challenges galore for Ashley Giles

Match Facts

January 17, 2014, Brisbane
Start time 1.20pm (0320GMT)

The Big Picture

A few late wickets made the final result appear a little more respectable, but the first ODI at the MCG was only one thing: another thrashing for England. In the intervening days they have at least managed a victory - their first since mid-November - but apart from avoiding further embarrassment (and the resilience of the middle order) it would be foolish to read too much into the win over the Prime Minister's XI.

Five-match series at least give a team the chance to fight back, but England can't afford to leave it any longer to start giving Australia a run for their money. A chase of 270 in Melbourne was a decent ask but the home side made it look like a cakewalk. Aaron Finch and David Warner, albeit given a life each, cantered along at a merry rate against a thin-looking England attack and Stuart Broad will again be missing for this match.

The contrast between how Australia begin their innings and how England, generally, go about their efforts at the crease in the first 10 to 20 overs is stark. Alastair Cook and Ashley Giles appear steadfast in their belief that there is still room for the building-blocks of a total to be steadily put in place over the first half of the innings, arguing, with some evidence, that the middle order is where the strength lies. Still, with a World Cup staged partly here in little over a year's time they are going to have to force themselves out of their comfort zone sooner or later.

Australia just want to keep the bandwagon rolling. Cricket is not quite dominating the back pages like it was a few weeks ago (now it's the turn of the tennis) but the team are determined to keep England down. Glenn Maxwell has spoken of wiping them out in all formats while Mitchell Johnson and George Bailey scoffed at suggestions of any sympathy. It won't be getting any easier for them.

Form guide

(Completed matches, most recent first)


Watch out for

Chris Jordan has made as many headlines for the friendship with Rhianna as his exploits on the field, but on a desperate tour for England his 10 overs in Melbourne were a rare bright spot. On another day he would have bagged three or four wickets. Swing, at a lively pace, is an enticing combination and in Brisbane, with the greater humidity and what should be a pitch with more bounce, he could prove a handful.

Mitchell Johnson is back. But the moustache has gone. Will the powers remain? After a post-Ashes break to chill out after his urn-winning exploits it's time to renew acquaintances with the English batsmen on the ground where it all began at the end of November. Some are new to the one-day squad, but others such as Cook, Bell and possibly Carberry will have vivid memories of what unfolded on that second day. This time Johnson only has 10 overs, although that's still enough for some significant damage.

Team news

Shane Watson has now been given the next three matches off which means Shaun Marsh should get a chance at No. 3. Johnson's return is likely to be at the expense of Nathan Coulter-Nile although the absence of Watson may make the selectors consider if they need another pace option.

Australia (possible) 1 David Warner, 2 Aaron Finch, 3 Shaun Marsh, 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 George Bailey, 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 James Faulkner, 9 Mitchell Johnson, 10 Nathan Coulter-Nile, 11 Clint McKay

England may freshen up their top order with the likeliest change being Michael Carberry, who made 47 against the PM's XI, replacing the struggling Joe Root. The absence of Root, though, would remove an extra bowling option.

England (possible) 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Ian Bell, 3 Michael Carberry, 4 Gary Ballance, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Ravi Bopara, 7 Jos Buttler (wk), 8 Ben Stokes, 9 Tim Bresnan, 10 Chris Jordan, 11 Boyd Rankin

Pitch and conditions

Expect good pace and carry and some swing - so pretty much as normal for the Gabba. The forecast is set fair without a significant chance of the game being disrupted by large hailstone as it was during the Test.

Stats and trivia

  • The last two one-day internationals on this ground (both involving Australia and Sri Lanka) could barely have been more contrasting: in 2012 Australia made 321 for 6 and won, although Sri Lanka reached 306, then in 2013 Australia were shattered for 74 although the visitors lost six in reaching the target.

  • Before that loss against Sri Lanka, Australia had won six consecutive ODIs at the Gabba

  • Since his second-innings half-century in the Boxing Day Test, Alastair Cook has made 7, 7, 4 and 1


"I feel good. I've spent a bit of time in the middle, got a decent score in the first game then to get another fifty was good. I've got a bit of confidence."
Gary Ballance is starting to feel at home at international level

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Graham on January 17, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    Meety ; I agreed with everything up to the last comment, however I would love to see Qld give Cutting a go to bat long periods and he may turn out to be. But he tends to only bat 5-10 overs and as such I would prefer Christian to him.

  • Dummy4 on January 17, 2014, 2:44 GMT

    Luke Wright and Alex Hales in. Rankin and Carberry out.

  • Andrew on January 17, 2014, 1:51 GMT

    I know the "We love S Marsh Brigade" will be annoyed by the comments I will make but who cares. I am sick to death of S Marsh getting picked in the National team when there are PLENTY of other candidates that deserve attention. Khawaja, White & Klinger all performed better than Marsh in the Ryobi this season. Marsh has had repeated question marks raised over his commitment to bettering himself as a cricketer, & to bring him into an environment where work ethic is paramount could be like placing a rotten apple in the bunch. Voges has an ODI ave of 46 with a S/R of 85+, he has some injury issues - but surely no more than Marsh? Ferguson averages 41.4 in ODIs - Marsh average is 38. Watson (a very good ODI allrounder), needs to be replaced by an allrounder, otherwise we need to get 10 overs out of Maxwell - (despite me having a lot of time for him), is a high risk strategy. The reality is neither Christian or Marsh should be playing, it should be Cutting, better bat than either!

  • Dummy4 on January 17, 2014, 0:46 GMT

    Umm why has no one suggested that Woakes come in for Rankin? He cant bowl any worse and he bats and fields a whole lot better. Why cant your bowlers all be all rounders? PS I support New Zealand and anyone playing England!!!

  • Hamish on January 17, 2014, 0:28 GMT

    I'm a bit bemused at the concept of Root being rested. I know the England innings don't last particularly long, but doesn't he get enough rest between failing and fielding. Let's be honest; he's been dropped.......... again.

  • Dummy4 on January 17, 2014, 0:03 GMT

    no Broad or Anderson or Dernbach?? not discrediting current bowling but England need some experience in their side to win against Aussies. good luck to both teams for tonights match. should be a cracker

  • joey on January 16, 2014, 23:56 GMT

    Can somebody please explain to me what I don't seem to understand about Australia's obsession with Shaun Marsh? I must need educating, help?

  • Shwetank on January 16, 2014, 23:41 GMT

    England needs some bigger hitters - guys who can break the game open. Cook and Root should be rested. Both are quality players, but both are slow accumulators, and also hopelessly out of form. England have some exciting players currently competing in the Big Bash such as Woakes and Wright - think it wouldn't be a bad idea giving them a go. After all, things can't really get much worse - why not try some new players (who have been performing in the BBL) and be aggressive.

  • rob on January 16, 2014, 23:07 GMT

    I'm a firm believer that bowlers win you 50 over matches. I think the days of squeezing a team to death with an array of economical bowlers are over. .. Grounds aren't big enough to contain many of these modern day batsmen. .. The best way to win a game is destroy their batting, not contain it.

    The Eng. team has only 2 bowlers that look destructive enough. I think Jordan could take wickets and, believe it or not, Rankin as well. ..The rest of them look to be the 'good solid pro' type who can hold an end steady but not really rip through a side. AND, there's no spinner. .. You've got to play a spinner in Brissy haven't you?

    @ SLslider: You're the funny one. One solitary song on your playlist and you bring it out on every article involving Aus. .. Boring as hell mate.

  • Bren on January 16, 2014, 22:45 GMT

    With Stokes at 8 you would feel England might be batsmen heavy. May be short a genuine bowler or 2 in the side. Could cost them against an aggressive Australia.

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