By CricketCountry Staff
Chester-Le-Street: Jul 7, 2012
Australia have been outplayed by the hosts England in the One-Day International series so far. The visitors might have harbored hopes of making a winning start, but the third ODI was rained off. The best they can do is to square the series, but it looks difficult against a compact England side.
Knowing Australia's hunger and ability to bounce back, the 4th ODI at should be an interesting one.
England have played excellent cricket right from the start of the season. They gave practically nothing away to the West Indies in the 2-0 series victory and they seem to be continuing in the same vein against Australia.
The bowlers have done a brilliant job, restricting the strong-on-paper Australian batting to par or below par scores in the first 2 ODIs. The batting has looked solid as well, with the top order trio of Alastair Cook, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott in good form.
The team management will be happy with Ravi Bopara after he scored a match-winning half century in the second ODI. Eoin Morgan displayed his finishing skills at Lords and announced his return to form. Although Graeme Swann has been ruled out of the last 2 ODIs, the team will not miss him that much as the fast bowlers seem to be doing a great job.
The pick among the bowlers have been Tim Bresnan and Stuart Broad. Expect nothing short of a strong showing once again in the 4th ODI as well.
Coming off a long break after the tour to West Indies, the Australians have looked rusty. Though the batting has clicked to an extent, the middle order clearly misses the towering and calming presence of a certain Michael Hussey.
David Warner, George Bailey and skipper Michael Clarke have shown glimpses of good strokeplay, but it has not been enough to make the England bowlers uncomfortable. David Hussey's failure to play the dasher's role in the batting powerplay and finishing overs has cost them a few runs which has ultimately led to a collapse in the later overs.
As far as the bowlers are concerned, they have lacked the penetration against a quality England batting line-up. It will be a true test of Clarke's captaincy to see how he can motivate this side to at least square the series.
England: Alastair Cook (c), Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott, Ravi Bopara, Eoin Morgan, Craig Kieswetter (wk), Samit Patel, , Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Steven Finn.
Australia: David Warner, Shane Watson, George Bailey, Michael Clarke (c), David Hussey, Peter Forrest, Matthew Wade (wk), Brett Lee, Clint McKay. Ben Hilfenhaus, James Pattinson