Cricket 2 years ago

Preview: England Vs Australia - 3rd ODI at Manchester

  • Preview: England Vs Australia - 3rd ODI at Manchester

If Eoin Morgan and his "guys" were cotching on the sofa, singing "We are the Champions (or Ashes winners)", they have been handed over the perfect reason to finally hit the training ground, having got drubbed at the hands of a side that knows the shorter version of the game better than anyone (arguably) and knows it inside out. 

The two one-day games thus far have been a bit of a shock - no doubt - given the way this young England side played against World Cup runners-up New Zealand earlier this summer. They didn't wilt under pressure when the Kiwis turned the heat, and got themselves over the line from as hard a situation as can be presented in the game. 

Coming into this series, nearly everyone expected Eoin Morgan and company to beat Australia, and that too with relative ease. However, as it has turned out, the Englishmen haven't come anyway near beating their rivals, the reason being that firstly they haven't shouldered the burden of the fans' ever-burgeoning expectations, and that they have had no clue whatsoever with the ball in the hand as to what must be their plans. Again, you can't forget how the English batsmen have thrown their wickets away. 

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As the home side now go into the third ODI to try and keep their hopes of a series win alive, they have got to find the answers to the questions the Aussies have asked. To have any chance of winning, the lower order has got to fire for the hosts. Ben Stokes has been awful to watch, Jos Buttler a disaster, and Moeen Ali's low scores are a result of him playing so low in the order.

Jonny Bairstow may well offer a whole lot of runs now that he has replaced Buttler, but that may not be enough when the ones around him aren't making any meaningful contributions. While the batting woes are concentrated only in the lower order, the problems with the bowling are far bigger and spread over the whole of the bowling line-up. 

It isn't that England haven't bowled well, it's just that they have lacked the edge that their opposite numbers have had throughout the series which has caused England all sorts of troubles. You may keep the run rate in check, but if you don't get wickets in this format, the opponent will take the game away in the mere blink of an eye in the later stages of the innings. Reece Topley and David Willey are the solutions henceforth, and come the 3rd ODI, they have got to be in for Liam Plunkett and Chris Woakes. 

It's all going Australia's way at present, and England practicing cunctations (in a certain description) has only helped the visitors. The big question now is can England rediscover the fire that set the whole of the nation on fire? They can, but time is running out. 

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