Desperate Australia seek winning finish to forgettable series
Having conceded the series 3-0 to England, Australia will be hoping to sign off from their tour to UK with at least a win under their belt, otherwise it will dent their morale badly. Manchester will play host to the fifth and last one-day and once again weather could be an issue, with rain predicted throughout the game.
After the heartbreak of not getting the chance to win the series 5-0 and gain the number one ODI Rankings, the home side didn’t allow it to demotivate them. In fact, they came out with even more dominance in the last match and were ruthless in their performance. Under the overhead conditions at Chester-le-Street, Steven Finn unleashed on the opposition and impressed one and all with his whippy pace and seam bowling. Their fast bowling quartet was pretty hot to handle and the surprise package was Ravi Bopara, whose dibbly dobbly bowling was perfect under the overcast conditions.
The English batting has been of top notch in the recent past and even the retirement of Kevin Pietersen has not effected their team composition. Ian Bell has grabbed the opportunity with both hands in the opening slot and is just growing in confidence with each and every game. At the moment, they look invincible and the Kangaroos have to play out of their skins to outplay them.
Flavourless batting, inconsistent bowling and now injuries to key players! Nothing seems to be going right for Australia. They have been extremely poor on this tour and have been completely outclassed by their arch-rivals.
The top order is failing badly with the likes of David Warner and Peter Forrest not contributing and it is putting immense pressure on the middle order, which has crumbled in the past few games. Without Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey, it is a fragile middle order as the young guns have not lived up to the expectations. The experience of Michael Clarke and David Hussey is available, but they’ve shown variable form.
With Shane Watson and Brett Lee picking up injuries, it is almost certain that Steven Smith will get a chance, while it could be a toss-up between Mitchell Starc and Xavier Doherty for the last spot and this decision will rely on the conditions. Matthew Wade will be the obvious choice to partner Warner and it might be a blessing in disguise for the Aussies. Will Smith get a chance to roll his arm over? Only time will tell as the Aussie skipper Michael Clarke has been reluctant to throw the ball to him.
Though this match will be an innocuous one for the Britishers, they would love to take the series 4-0 and send back the Australians win-less. The tourists, on the other hand, would wish to taste some success before flying back home. Enough reasons for both sides to be on the mark with their performance!