Posts Tagged ‘cook’
The England cricket team begin a five-match One-Day International series against Australia at Lord’s on Friday and they will be expecting a bigger challenge than that laid down by the West Indies.
The bookmakers agree, having made both sides 10/11 to win the series – and that is despite an England player scoring a century in their last six completed ODIs.
Australia, as outlined by Peter Such below, are indeed a team in transition but can never be underestimated and with David Warner and Brett Lee looking in ominous form, it could be a fascinating series.
England are essentially unchanged. Although they made changes for the final ODI against the West Indies, resting three of their frontline bowlers, the game was washed out, so it is as you were.
There was a small possibility that Australia would go on strike and not take part in this tour. Fortunately the only strikes we will be talking about will be those registered by players’ bats and the balls onto the stumps.
There has been some adverse reaction to the series taking place at all, with a series of ODIs seen as unnecessary by some, particularly with the much-anticipated England-South Africa Test series also looming on the horizon. Neither side will be worried about that and will be firmly concentrating on the here and now.
We will be offering our thoughts during a Mr Predictor later this week but what do you think will be the outcome? Such thinks it will be a tough series for England, although they beat Australia when they were over here in 2010. Is a repeat performance on the cards?
England’s one-day cricket performances in the last week have provided a refreshing change for fans who were dismayed by the 3-0 Test series defeat to Pakistan.
Alastair Cook has led from the front and by becoming the first England captain to score back-to-back ODI centuries has firmly delivered another riposte – if one was needed – to lingering critics of his suitability for the limited overs side.
Steven Finn has taken consistency to a new level by twice returning figures of four for 34, Ravi Bopara has batted with a new-found maturity to score two important half-centuries and Samit Patel has been a match-changer with the ball and in the field.
Two wins do not, however, make a world-beating team, but could this series be a new dawn for England’s one-day side? Or are you still unconvinced that this team has all the options covered?
Consider that England have not beaten India, Sri Lanka or Pakistan away from home since 2007 and contrast with the way that they have outplayed Pakistan so far in the UAE. Consider that even with misfiring batsmen (Kevin Pietersen, Eoin Morgan) they have been able to set defendable totals. Consider that Tim Bresnan cannot even get into the team at the moment such is the way that Finn has grabbed his opportunity.
But how long can it last? Over the years, we have time and again proclaimed series performances as ‘new dawns’ for English cricket only for the reality to be anything but. Wins in Sri Lanka in 2007 and then over Australia in 2010 at home didn’t see the team kick on and produce the performances they needed to at the World Cup in 2011.
Perhaps we would be better served by looking at the longer term. England are building towards the next Champions Trophy (2013) and then the World Cup (2015) so the goal is to have a settled, winning team by then. A few hiccups along the way can probably be expected. But one thing is for sure – under captain Cook in the UAE – so far, so good.
What do you think – another false dawn for England’s ODI team or are England on track? Or is it simply too early to say?