Australia v England, 3rd ODI, Sydney January 18, 2014

Australia seek another series win


Match Facts

January 19, 2014, Sydney
Start time 2.20pm (0320GMT)

The Big Picture

What more can England do? Well, perhaps not bowl half-volleys in the dying stages of a run chase, but apart from that they played as well in the Brisbane ODI as they have on this whole tour of Australia. Still, they lost. They were effectively 'Faulknered'. It will be difficult for England not to slump after getting their hopes up only to have them dashed, but they should take confidence from the Gabba match. They scored 300, Eoin Morgan became their first century-maker since Ben Stokes in the Perth Test, Ian Bell looked in good touch until he was run out, their fielding was good - a lot went right for England. They can enter the third match in Sydney with belief, if they can convince themselves to do so. They must avoid telling themselves that the Gabba heist proves Australia are unbeatable.

For Australia, this is a chance to secure the five-match series after three games. It would be the first time in five campaigns that a team followed an Ashes win with an accompanying victory in the one-dayers. The road to No.1 in the world would become that little bit shorter. Their challenge is to avoid complacency. Faulkner got them out of jail - Michael Clarke's disbelieving smile after the match showed that he knew it. The rest of the players must not take the win for granted. England can beat them. Much of Australia's pace bowling was off the mark in Brisbane; they need to find their line once again. And if they can extend England's pain one more match, they will celebrate another series win in Sydney.

Form guide

(Completed matches, most recent first)

Australia WWLLW
England LLLWL

Watch out for

James Faulkner was the story in Friday's game, but it was Glenn Maxwell who kept Australia in the hunt during the middle overs. Maxwell's improvised reverse-sweeping, pulling and glancing made it almost impossible for Alastair Cook to stem the run flow until he tried to do too much and was caught pulling to midwicket. Maxwell's hitting will not always come off but he is a dangerous man in Australia's middle order.

Jos Buttler has been overshadowed by team-mates in the first two ODIs but his contributions of 34 not out from 21 balls and 49 off 36 have highlighted how valuable his striking can be down the order. England's top scorer in the win over the Prime Minister's XI with 61, Buttler could just be building up to an innings of significance in this series, especially if he gets the chance to come in earlier in the innings at some point.

Team news

Shane Watson remains in resting mode, which may mean no changes are made to the batting group for this match, unless George Bailey's groin niggle rules him out. Steve Smith has also been called up to the squad as additional cover. The move to Sydney could bring a recall for the spinner Xavier Doherty, perhaps at the expense of Nathan Coulter-Nile, although the selectors may also be interested in seeing James Pattinson return.

Australia (possible) 1 David Warner, 2 Aaron Finch, 3 Shaun Marsh, 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 George Bailey / Steve Smith, 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 James Faulkner, 9 Mitchell Johnson, 10 Clint McKay, 11 Xavier Doherty / James Pattinson.

Joe Root is the primary worry in England's batting order but he bowled well in Brisbane and picked up two wickets in the absence of a specialist spinner. His place may be determined by whether England want to bring James Tredwell in at the expense of one of the fast bowlers. If so, they could also consider a Root-Michael Carberry switch at No.3. Stuart Broad is available again after being rested.

England (possible) 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Ian Bell, 3 Michael Carberry / Joe Root, 4 Gary Ballance, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Ravi Bopara, 7 Jos Buttler (wk), 8 Ben Stokes, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Chris Jordan, 11 Tim Bresnan / James Tredwell.

Pitch and conditions

The two ODIs in Sydney last summer provided first-innings totals around the 220 mark. In both of those games spin took a back seat to pace. The forecast for Sunday is partly cloudy and 27C.

Stats and trivia

  • James Faulkner has played only 14 ODI innings but already has three fifties and one century and averages 53 with the bat

  • Since his 87 in the second innings of the Adelaide Test, Joe Root has (in all formats, including tour games) scored 4, 19, 24, 15, 3, 1 and 2

  • Tim Bresnan needs three wickets to reach 100 in one-day internationals


"We obviously had a tough time in England. We know the pain they are feeling at the moment. We don't feel sorry for them at all."
James Faulkner hopes Australia can keep on top of England

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Android on January 19, 2014, 5:08 GMT

    This Eng selection policy is like amateur cricket in the park, Firstly 4 lefties in the first 5, then no 3 & 4 filled with two inexperienced lefties who have struggled to rotate the strike and keep the score board ticking. Dropping Root was inevitable but to fill up the top with inexperience was a crazy decision. They should have swapped Bopara with Stokes in the line up. Bopara is a experienced enough to play at no 3. They are not using him wisely and he might end up a basket case like Finn and Root. Although my ideal team would have Hales or Wright at the top with Cook, Bell 3, and no Gary Balance.

  • Dummy4 on January 19, 2014, 3:18 GMT

    i think england's no.3 will be BEN STOKES.MISSING SMITH

  • Dummy4 on January 19, 2014, 2:40 GMT

    Bradman forever has a simplistic and illogical idea that because we won this series it must be due to a weak sports attitude because we have a lower population.

    Does this mean our rugby players unlike our cricketers have a weak attitude because we are constantly drubbed by those ann0ying low population kiwis

    Have you ever stopped to consider why England outshines us in most winter sports

    It is a complex equation of many factors but our fantastic climate ( for cricket) and first class faciities aided by the abundant space will have a part in it. The British bulldog is still there and I am sure, that like us, they will regroup and and put us on the canvas again in some future Ashes series

  • Matthew on January 19, 2014, 2:27 GMT

    @ on (January 18, 2014, 16:18 GMT) I agree the 3-0 Ashes defeat in England wasn't the big picture, as you put it. Amid the series loss the Aussies made a lot of progress in finding its best team. By the end of the series the momentum had changed and the Aussies were playing pretty well, even though they didn't win a test.

    It's a very different story for Eng going down 5-0 in Aus. Each loss was by a significant margin. The team has been decimated and I don't think anyone really knows what the best team is. There could be instability for a while yet.

    But things can change quickly - Johnson was not a certain starter in the 1st Test in Brisbane until injuries ruled out Starc, Pattinson, etc, but he played and the rest is history. The Aussies still have issues, especially consistency in their batting, but they have found team spirit, a precious but elusive commodity. England could really do with some of that at the moment, but it's hard to find when you keep losing.

  • Dummy on January 19, 2014, 2:27 GMT

    Kevin Pieterson the best batsman in the world?? Wouldnt even be the best in an ordinary england side.....!

  • sam on January 19, 2014, 0:24 GMT

    @Bradman best- A massacre in 3 rem. ODIs-and the t20s- will be a nice little climax to this wonderful summer. A hatrick of W/W. Doesn't get better!

  • Dummy4 on January 19, 2014, 0:21 GMT

    I disagree that England as a team played well. Morgan was superb, Butler was very good in support, and Bell helped consolidate. Both teams lost wickets regularly, but Australia stayed ahead of the England run rate for the same period for virtually the entire match. So balance up the batsmen England had 5 batsmen with scores above 20, as did Australia. Root an balance scored 11 between them, Clarke & Finch 17; Not a lot in the bowling, although Bopara was the most economical and England could bowl him more. So it comes down to strike rate, where most of the Australians were ahead of their counterpart, hence the win with 3 runs to spare. I think England need someone dynamic at the wicket at all times, and Australia will do better with Cook, Bell and Root in and accumulating slowly!

  • John on January 19, 2014, 0:00 GMT

    Root just has to go and prove he deserves selection.

    My team: 1, Cook 2. Carberry 3. Bell 4. Morgan.5. Ballance 6. Butler 7.Bopara. 8. Stokes 9.Broad 10. Jordan 11. Tredwell

  • Dale on January 18, 2014, 23:37 GMT

    I'm an Aussie and a huge fan of Australia cricket. I thoroughly disagree with this notion that England are mentally weak. Their confidence might be a bit shot at the moment, but this is the same team that went to India got absolutely demolished in the first test then came back tow in the series. This is the same team that Faff'ed NZ in NZ.

    The reason for Australia's dominance in the ashes was primarily the annointment of Boof Lehman. He got the best out of each and every player and he got them to stick to their plans. Arthur couldn't do this, he was a decent tactician but not a leader, not an inspirer. The Australian team pushed England in England a lot more than the 3-0 scoreline suggests and in home conditions they were always going to do better. (Despite Australia's poor form over the last 5-6 years still very hard to beat at home). England were complacent and paid for it. Their were obvious holes from the previous series that they did nothing to address. Plus the Johnson factor

  • Hamish on January 18, 2014, 23:30 GMT

    @BradmanBestEver: As a mathematician I'm intrigued that you have attempted to define a hypothesis that draws a linear relationship between the population size of a country and its sporting prowess. Don't give up the day-job. Let's face it, England were less good at playing the Australian form of the game in Australia. In 2009 the Barmy Army made it clear at Edgbaston that there was "Only One Mitchell Johnston." In Australia in 2013/14 he proved that to be the case. Enjoy it while it lasts; we did!

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