Clarke must stop the ODI rot tonight
Will Michael Clarke's back hold up for the India tour?
The Australian ODI tour of England is a planning and performance disaster. As a result Michael Clarke has suffered his first series defeat as Australian captain, but it could get worse tonight at Old Trafford if the Australians lose again.
It will be the first time in ODI history Australia has been whitewashed in a series of 5-games or more. Not becoming of the world’s number one ranked nation.
Had the third game at Edgbaston not been washed out and England won all five, Alastair Cook’s team would have jumped from fourth ranked in the world to number one, and for the first time been top-ranked in all three formats – Tests, ODIs, and Twenty20.
Former Australian skipper Mark Taylor has been reasoning on Channel Nine the Australians are out-of-season, and look rusty. Too kind.
Australian coach Micky Arthur is closer to the truth – he’s spitting chips.
“I want to see some mongrel out there Tuesday (tonight), I really do. I think we have been a bit submissive this whole series.
“We’ve been allowed to be bullied, and we are better than that. I’m talking mental toughness, I’m talking presence”.
Arthur could have added pride, which has been severely lacking as well as most of the Australians don’t look particularly interested, and are playing like it.
If the Australians are rusty why weren’t they better prepared? That’s Arthur’s job.
In essence, this poorly conceived tour is just another greedy money-grabbing exercise with every game played before comfortably filled grounds.
A financial bonanza for English cricket, and a big morale boost for next year’s Ashes series in England. The majority of both ODI teams on duty are Test players.
The ODI results make stark reading:
* At Lords – England won by 15 runs.
* At The Oval – England won by six wickets, with 26 deliveries in hand.
* At Edgbaston – abandoned.
* At Chester-le-Street – England won by eight wickets, with 13 deliveries left.
Comprehensive, making it seven successive ODI home series victories for England. They are playing tremendously positive cricket.
The current series proves just that:
England has scored 11-725, averaging 65.91 per wicket – Australia 25-708, averaging 28.32.
That translates to the success of the four-prong England pace attack of Jimmy Anderson, Steve Finn, Tim Bresnan, and Stuart Broad claiming 19 of the 25 Australian wickets to fall.
With Eoin Morgan, Jonathan Trott, Ravi Bopara, Ian Bell, and Alastair Cook scoring 669 of England’s 725 runs.
It has been a nightmare for Australia, but England can’t stop smiling, with Andrew Strauss, Kevin Pietersen, and keeper Matt Prior to be added when the Ashes get underway in July-August next year at Trent Bridge, Lords, Old Trafford, Chester-le-Street, and The Oval.
So stop the rot tonight Michael Clarke, so you can come home having salvaged something out of the wreckage.
Watch Glenn Mitchell's wrap of the second Test, where Australia were victorious early on the final day, winning by 218 runs and taking a 2-0 series lead into the third Test in Perth.
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