Aussies search for answers after Oval loss
Michael Clarke hinted at shaking up the battling Australian cricket team for Wednesday’s one-day clash with England at Edgbaston following tame showings in London.
The national side’s tour of the United Kingdom is in danger of unravelling after being outplayed at Lord’s and the Oval.
Young speedster Pat Cummins (side strain) is heading home and the prospect of a 5-0 humiliation and surrendering of the No.1 ranking seems far from fanciful before game three.
Even by English standards, it has been a miserable summer and Australia must bank on their fortunes being as changeable as the weather.
Two changes, one injury enforced, were made by the tourists for Sunday’s clash in south London and they are unlikely to be the last.
“I am never happy when we lose,” Clarke said.
“We work out what our best eleven is and we select that.”
Seamers James Pattinson and Ben Hilfenhaus must come into consideration following Mitchell Johnson’s erratic return and Brett Lee might be due for a rest; even if Lee is one wicket away from becoming the highest one-day international wicket-taker for Australia.
There is not really much room to move on the batting side of things and Peter Forrest deserves another crack at England’s formidable bowling attack.
Particularly with Steve Smith the only other batting option on tour.
Australia have really missed Mike Hussey’s influence in the middle order, not for only his runs and steady head but his presence also allows the enterprising Matthew Wade to play up the order.
Australia have had massive problems scoring in the middle of the innings against England’s imposing four-pronged pace attack and spinner Graeme Swann.
They scored a sleep-inducing 40 runs between the 20th and 35th overs on Sunday at the Oval.
“Rotation of strike is an area of our game we continue to work on and what we need to improve is facing spin bowling,” Clarke said.
“That has always been talked about my whole career that we need to improve facing spin bowling and today was another example of that.”
Clarke spread the blame evenly between batsmen and bowlers.
“We have got the talent, it is about turning the talent into performance,” he said.
England have built up an imposing record on home soil – they have won their past six one-day series and not been defeated in a Test series in four years.
But despite the convincing nature of their wins in the opening two one-day matches against Australia, Cook is showing true English restraint in respect to talk of a clean sweep.
Has it popped into their heads?
“No it doesn’t,” he said.
“I am sure you guys are going to start writing about it.”
Such a result would mean England become the first nation to top the rankings in all three formats at the same time.© AAP 2013
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