Cricket 2 years ago

Preview: England Vs Australia - 1st ODI at Southampton

  • Preview: England Vs Australia - 1st ODI at Southampton

It finally is the outro time in what has been a summer of riches for English Cricket as Australia's tour of England heads into its final stage with the Royal London One-Day Series set to begin tomorrow at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton, the home to quite a few thrillers in the past.

Remember the last time these two sides met in an ODI? How contrasting were the two in terms of their approach, selection, form and fortunes? A few months later, things have changed quite a bit, so much so that not many are tipping Australia, the World Champions, to win the last of their three scheduled series in England, having seen them made to look ordinary in English conditions. 

Regardless of how Australia have gone about since their arrival in England, this One-Day series still promises to be a test of England's consistency levels. Having performed better than any other English side ever has in that one ODI series against New Zealand earlier this summer, Eoin Morgan's England showed the potential they have and the mental strength to go with it. However, for this team to be a part of Cricket's folklore, they must repeat that again, and keep doing it for the years to come - that's how you become a great side. 

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Australia are now into their new era as well with Steven Smith the man at the heart of all of their plans which undoubtedly ensures there is no lack of confidence and character within the side, not at all when their Captain is on a rampage with the willow himself. Tough test for England? Surely.

Line-up

Where to play Moeen Ali is indeed the most bemusing question among all the other line-up talks, that is sure to cause Trevor Bayliss some trouble, more so after the Worcestershire Cricketer's man of the match performance in England's T20I win over Australia wherein he played at the top of the order and nailed it. At a time when James Taylor - another no.3 - is knocking the door with his heavy scoring in the Royal London Cup, ignoring either of the two becomes difficult.  

One way would be dropping Jason Roy - who hasn't scored enough runs to be able to convince Bayliss - and making Moeen Ali open the batting with Taylor at the no.3 position; or simply, either one of Ali or Taylor could be a straight swap for the rested Joe Root. However, it'd be in the home side's best interests to play Moeen Ali as an opener (which means Taylor plays too), to have a better idea of how he goes about an opener, so a call can be made on who partners Alastair Cook in the upcoming tour to the UAE. Again, Moeen Ali coming in means Adil Rashid being dropped (you don't play two spinners in a limited overs game at Southampton), and a seamer being brought in instead. 

Predicted XI: Alex Hales, Moeen Ali, James Taylor, Eoin Morgan (C), Jos Buttler (WK, VC), Sam Billings, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood, Steven Finn. 

Quotes

"It's a great opportunity to see our younger guys get tested again against one of the best sides in the world." said Eoin Morgan talking to the ecb.co.uk. 

"We're at a completely different phase in our development with our team and our squad compared to Australia so it's certainly going to be a good test.

"I think the performances from the team are getting better with each game and my development as a captain is coming along. I'm learning along the way and my thoughts and ideas are being implemented."

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