England hunts down Australia in NatWest ODI series




In what was dubbed as pre-ashes series, England comprehensively outplayed their counterparts Australia in the five match NatWest ODI series.

England rejoicing their success after thrashing Australia 4-0

The NatWest ODI series which ended recently saw the former world champions and current ODI No.1 team, Australia recording their worst ever bilateral series defeat. England who had lots to prove on their limited over capability even though they had been crowned as No.1 test team last year, ticked most if not all boxes required to be one of the best current ODI teams. It was not the just score line of 4-0 that reflects Australia’s doggy performance, rather the manner in which England achieved their each win especially after 1st ODI at Lord’s is a demonstration of their world cricket dominance and near perfect team (players) formations.

Throughout the series, it was not a single or few players powering England to win each match. It was cumulative effect of all the players that launched England to new heights at the world cricket now. If it was Morgan brisk 89* took England to 272 runs at 1st ODI, then it was Trott who manipulated the innings with 54 runs, and the solid opening partnership of Cook & Bell 74 runs that laid the strong foundations. Same goes to their ferocious bowling attack where Broad, Anderson, Finn and Bresnan each took two wickets at crucial junctions in the first ODI. To top it all, England ground fielding has set new bar in the current series where they effect 4 run-outs and saved as much runs as possible. Their team confidence and structure is such, that didn’t even got affected after Peterson retirement last month and Swann injury in the middle of series. Both players make the core of England ODI team actually.

Australia need to sit together again and revisit their limited over strategy

If England had found answers for all their questions, then Australia was given lots to ponder and re-think about their limited over strategies. It was a dismissal performance to say the least from a team that set the limited over cricket stage at fire not long ago. Although you can say that Australian team is re-grouping and most of their players are just setting their foot on international cricket, the inconsistency of established players such as Warner, Watson, David Hussey and captain Clarke is what hurt them most. Their batsmen had no answers to consistent nailing of England bowling attack as neither match-winning knock is played nor can survive longer (Australia average a lose of 8 wkts/match).

Australia’s bowling was at sea actually as they found very hard to dismantle the rock hard batting order of England which was not even once lost more than 5 wickets in a match. In fact, throughout the series only the regular batsmens (wicket-keeper included) was required to bat for England.

Positives for England:

Plenty for Alastair Cook and Andy Flower to look down and be proud of the ground results. Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara revival is an important outcome as they make the middle order stronger. Ian Bell continued his red hot with a tag of tournament top scorer (189 runs at an avg of 47.25). Their bowling is probably reason for their success that even made Bopara (4wkts @ 14.25 avg and 3.00 econ from 20 overs) look like a front-line bowler.

Positives for Australia:

It is very hard to find a positive in a series where they lost all the matches played. But Bailey performances will be a boost to their quest of finding 6 stable batsmen for limited over cricket. Apart from that everything is negative from inability to wickets by their bowlers, batting failures, to injuries for Watson, Lee and young sensation Cummins. Australia must re-look at their bowling options serious since they just can’t able to take wickets or trouble the batsmen.

image courtesy@espncricinfo

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