England Australia 2018 Craig Overton Sam Curran
Craig Overton (left) and Sam Curran © Getty Images

England have added pace bowlers Sam Curran and Craig Overton to their squad as they go in search of an unprecedented 5-0 ODI series whitewash of Australia, it was announced Wednesday. Eoin Morgan’s men took an unassailable 3-0 lead at Trent Bridge on Tuesday when they posted a new world record total at this level of 481 for 6. Spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali then shared 7 wickets between them at Trent Bridge as England won by the colossal margin of 242 runs. It was England’s heaviest ODI victory, in terms of runs, and world champions Australia’s largest defeat.

However, with pace-bowling all-rounders Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes missing the series through injury, England have decided to bolster their attack ahead of 2 ODIs in four days. “Surrey’s Sam Curran and Somerset’s Craig Overton have been called up from the Lions to join England’s squad for the final two Royal London ODIs against Australia,” said an ECB statement issued Wednesday.

“Both players will travel to Chester-le-Street today and will be available for selection on Thursday at Emirates Riverside and the final match of the series at Emirates Old Trafford on Sunday, providing additional fast-bowling options,” it added.

Uncapped Surrey left-armer seamer Curran will now join his brother Tom in an England squad for the first time — having been named alongside him on Tuesday in the 14-man party chosen for the upcoming T20 Internationals against Australia and India. Somerset’s Overton has also yet to make his ODI debut.

Michael Hussey has suggested England, the number one-ranked ODI side, could do with an extra fast bowler, telling Cricket Australia’s Unplayable Podcast: “The only question mark over England is just the attack. I just feel they are one world-class seamer short of being one of the great one-day teams of all time … that world-class fast bowler that can really just take the game away from the opposition. It’s just probably the one missing link. I don’t want to put down the quicks they’ve got, they are obviously doing a job as well.”

In the short term, England are concerned about the dangers of over-bowling their regular ODI pacemen Mark Wood, David Willey, and Liam Plunkett. Indeed, even in the afterglow of Tuesday’s extraordinary victory, Morgan warned: “I think with only a day (before) the next game, it makes it more difficult for us to put out our strongest team. We’ve always looked at series like this, and games with one day in between, as quite rigorous for the bowlers. Their risk of injury goes through the roof. So we’ll have to see how they pull up, and what they can do.”

Yet it took England a mere 37 overs to dismiss Australia at Trent Bridge, with the most bowled by any of their quicks the 7 apiece by Wood and Willey.