Alastair Cook desperate to turn things around for England in ODIs against Australia
Alastair Cook (above) will be without the services of Kevin Pietersen and James Anderson for the ODI series against Australia © Getty Images
Melbourne: Jan 10, 2014
England go into the opening One-Day International (ODI) in Melbourne on Sunday desperate to salvage some pride, but face a torrid task with a fired-up Australia vowing no let-up after dominating the Ashes.
The first of five matches, a day-nighter, is the first opportunity to see how the shell-shocked tourists progress from their nightmare Test series, with captain Alastair Cook demanding an improvement, and quickly.
“I am desperate to try and turn it around,” he said after the 5-0 Ashes whitewash.
“When you strip everything down, every single player has to go back and have a look at themselves, have a look at their techniques. Have a look at the way they’ve bowled and start rebuilding again.
“And that hunger has to come from within to do it.”
The series could see either team reclaim the number one limited-overs world ranking, depending on how India fare when they face New Zealand in a five-match series that begins in Napier on January 19.
India are currently the top-ranked one-day team in the world, followed by Australia and England, with all three building towards next year’s 50-over World Cup.
A rattled England head into the series without the experience of Kevin Pietersen and James Anderson, who have both been rested, with Cook leading a team that has much to prove.
He also needs to rebuild dressing room discipline with Test wicketkeeper Matt Prior on Thursday saying that during the Ashes, the players had shown a lack of respect for both the captain and coach Andy Flower — who is reportedly at odds with Pietersen.
Former left-arm spinner Ashley Giles has taken over from Flower as the one-day coach, assuming responsibility with Cook for repairing some of the damage inflicted by Australia.
Only all-rounder Ben Stokes and paceman Stuart Broad came out of the Ashes with a semblance of pride, leaving the door open for the likes of Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler, Chris Jordan, Ravi Bopara and Chris Woakes to stake their claims in the one-day format.