Alistair Cook and Ian Bell form a solid opening partnership. Source: Nigel French/AAP
England will be looking to wrap up their five game One Day International series against Australia when the sides meet at Edgbaston on Wednesday. After recording a fifteen run victory in the series opener, the hosts doubled their advantage with a comfortable six wicket win at the Oval on Sunday. In both of those matches Australia’s bowlers looked below par, with Ravi Bopara and Eoin Morgan particularly harsh on Australia’s attack. Mitchell Johnson struggled on his return to the national side and coach Mickey Arthur may be tempted to give his side more control by including Ben Hilfenhaus in the XI for this match.
Without Michael Hussey in the middle order, the tourists have also struggled with the bat. While Shane Watson and George Bailey posted half centuries in the past match, the batting unit hasn’t yet ‘clicked’ and David Hussey is still to prove himself at international level in the 50 over game. With both Bailey and Peter Forrest in the side, the batting has appeared to be a bit one-paced and over reliant on Watson and David Warner at the top. If they are to keep the series alive, everyone must play their part.
While Australia must win to avoid series defeat, England will be determined to secure a third successive win over the old enemy. Should they record a 5-0 series whitewash, Alistair Cook’s side would become the first team to be number one in all three forms of the game.
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