England v Australia, 3rd NatWest ODI, Edgbaston September 10, 2013

England experiment continues


Match Facts

September 11, Edgbaston
Start time 2pm (1300 GMT)

The Big Picture

They say you learn more from your mistakes than your successes and, if so, there should be a fair amount of wisdom to be gleaned from the scribbles in Ashley Giles' notebook after the weekend. Eoin Morgan, England's stand-in captain, won the toss and Steven Finn bowled a wicket maiden but little went right from then on, as Australia took a 1-0 lead in the series and Michael Clarke collected twin laurels, with his first ODI hundred against England and his first victory on tour.

England have rolled out a half-and-half squad for these fixtures, so it should not be a surprise if the product is a little half-baked. The likes of Michael Carberry and Ben Stokes deserve a few goes in the kitchen to properly evaluate whether they can handle the heat and, while there were obvious deficiencies in the performance at Old Trafford, a couple of the ingredients came off well - Boyd Rankin has seamlessly transferred the promise of his Ireland career to England colours and Jos Buttler was able to showcase his exotic skills over a longer innings.

While England fiddle, Australia have capitalised, the confidence that slowly coalesced around the second half of their Ashes campaign becoming firmer by the game. Despite a disappointing Champions Trophy, one-day cricket is probably Australia's strongest suit and they are focused on fine-tuning their best XI. That the explosive opening partnership of Shaun Marsh and Aaron Finch was quickly defused, and Fawad Ahmed struggled to influence the game, only suggests that they can perform better still.

Form guide

(Most recent first)
England LWLWW
Australia WWLLW

Watch out for...

Mitchell Johnson has described how alien it felt to watch the summer's Ashes skirmishes from his couch in Australia and knows that a fire-breathing performance in the one-day series can help get him back into Test contention. With Mitchell Starc the latest of Australia's cadre of young pacemen to pull up lame, the chances of a return to Mitch 1.0 during the return series have increased. Johnson may not have some of the natty upgrades of the new generation but, despite the clanking action and occasional processing glitches, operating speeds of 90mph never go out of fashion.

Morgan and Giles have argued against suggestions that the selection was wrong at Old Trafford but the make-up of England's attack will be under extra scrutiny. Their strategy in the 18 months leading up to the Champions Trophy was to play five genuine bowlers, with the possibility of a Ravi Bopara or Joe Root providing a few overs, but an experimental squad for this series has led to them tinkering with the formula, playing Durham allrounder Stokes as the third seamer and No. 8 batsman. On the evidence of the bowling displays against Ireland and Australia, it hasn't worked.

Team news

England seem firm in their convictions about the balance of the side but they do have other options. Jamie Overton is the bolter that most England watchers want to see but that would lengthen the tail; perhaps the most appealing compromise would be to give Root a rest and bring in the Sussex quick Chris Jordan, who is also a capable batsman, for a first senior cap.

England (possible) 1 Michael Carberry, 2 Kevin Pietersen, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Ravi Bopara, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Ben Stokes, 8 Chris Jordan, 9 James Tredwell, 10 Boyd Rankin, 11 Steven Finn

After a tumultuous couple of months, we are now beginning to see Darren Lehmann's Australia masterplan come together. This is the first squad Lehmann has picked himself and George Bailey has praised the atmosphere in the group. Winning helps and a settled side could stay unchanged for a third outing.

Australia (possible) 1 Aaron Finch, 2 Shaun Marsh, 3 Shane Watson, 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 George Bailey, 6 Adam Voges, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 James Faulkner, 9 Mitchell Johnson, 10 Clint McKay, 11 Fawad Ahmed

Pitch and conditions

It was at Edgbaston during the Champions Trophy that England's summer of turners began. India's spinners found the pitches to be a home from home during their triumphant campaign and despite the arrival of some autumnal weather, a slow, dry surface conducive to spin seems likely. A forecast for rain in the evening won't be to anyone's liking, however.

Stats and trivia

  • As well as a wet no result against New Zealand during the Champions Trophy, Australia suffered a washout and an abandonment on their previous two visits to Birmingham in 2012 and 2005.
  • England's win over Australia at Edgbaston at the 2004 Champions Trophy ended a run of 14 consecutive ODI defeats dating back to 1999.
  • Australia's one-day record of nine wins and four defeats in 2013 (win percentage of 69.23%) is second only to India's.
  • George Bailey is 30 runs short of 1000 in ODIs.


"When you've got inexperience, you're going to have to suffer some pain occasionally to get some gain."
Ashley Giles defends England's selection policy

"We've played some good cricket for the last couple of months, and it's our time now to really put our foot on the throat and win these last few games."
James Faulkner is keen that Australia ram home their advantage in the series

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on September 11, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    @ Biggus on (September 11, 2013, 9:44 GMT) Was Keppler like an Ed Joyce in that after he played for his adopted country , he went back to play for his country of birth? Or have I got that wrong?

    @ trav29 on (September 11, 2013, 13:28 GMT) Ed Joyce seemed to hop from Eng to Ireland and back again quite quickly. I wonder if Boyd and whoever else could do similar if he/they felt like switching back?

  • John on September 11, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    @Int.Curator on (September 11, 2013, 7:22 GMT) Curious that you omit the fact that England actually won the test series 3-0 and while they were thrashed in the 1st T20 they won the 2nd comfortably enough. So the scoreline reads that Eng won the test series 3-0 , the T20 series was drawn 1-1 and Australia are 1-0 up in the ODI series with 2 to play. Not quite as bad as you make it sound

  • Shane on September 11, 2013, 14:32 GMT

    @trav29 - very true, there is absolutely no logic or equality in that situation, in fact that is truly bizarre. I suppose that would alleviate the problem to an extent, although it wouldn't solve the initial problem of players leaving at all.

    Again, no issue with players playing for adopted nations. But I think the unique relationship between England and Ireland that you have described creates a situation which, long term, is untenable.

  • Peter on September 11, 2013, 13:49 GMT

    I'm not impressed at all by the selection of Carberry, he looks out of his depth, 3 games and 3 poor performances. It's not like he is even young and has the time to come good, the guy is 33 at the end of the month. I thought it was a bad selection given his age and nothing I have seen has changed my mind.

  • Peter on September 11, 2013, 13:34 GMT

    Stokes is a good bowler, he can bowl between 85-90 mph. There's nothing wrong with the ballance of the side, they just need to play better

  • Martin on September 11, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    @shane-oh for me it has to be made easier for guys like rankin to go back to Ireland should he fail within the England setup. it makes no sense that as long as he has satisfied the qualifying conditions, and can do that whilst still playing for Ireland, that he can switch to England with no mandatory gap following his last Ireland appearance but if he was to go back to Ireland, as ed joyce did, he then has to wait 4 years

    a lot of the usual suspects on here who criticise the situation don't really understand the dynamics involved between Ireland and England and that the majority of the Ireland players play in county cricket and without county cricket Ireland would be nowhere near having players of the required standard for test cricket in the first place

    in addition the nationality issues become a bit muddy with situations like rankin not even being irish but qualifying to play for Ireland due to the same eligibility rules that allow him to now play for england

  • Peter on September 11, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    Carberry should have been on his toes, get moving when someone shouts yes, he just stood there watching Pietersen run down the pitch, the bowler had time to run pick it up and take the ball to the stumps

  • Shane on September 11, 2013, 12:45 GMT

    @trav29 - that's a fair point, but I feel it's a necessary evil. It's a vicious cycle really - it seems likely Ireland will be the next test team, but this will only be delayed by the departure of players who want to play test cricket. I believe an 'in between' tier would help as it would send a message that this team were in the ICC plan to take the step up. You're right though, perhaps this would only work if the ICC intervened by way of arranging more games for these teams and perhaps propping them up financially to some extent so that these players could also earn a decent amount without abandoning the country of their birth. Not an easy question, but I do feel something has to change.

  • sam on September 11, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    With Mitch Johnson in this form and watching him doing all sorts at 95 mph in game 1 ,it won't be a surprise if we have an early finish today - that's if Aus don't have a chance to bat 1st . It will be another emphatic win for this young 2nd string Aus side and put them 1/2 way to their desired scoreline, 4-0

  • Dean on September 11, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    @Marcus Clarke, Although Overton is an exciting prospect do you really think he is going to come in to this team & provide anymore control than Finn?