Live scores
Live Commentary
South Africa
| South Africa 1st Inn 8/266

Forget the rain, last night showed Australia will steamroll England

Ronan O'Connell Columnist

111 Have your say

    Australia’s fearsome bowling attack last night sent a loud message to England ahead of the Ashes rivals’ blockbuster Champions Trophy match on Saturday.

    After washouts against New Zealand and Bangladesh, Australia must beat England to stay in the tournament. England’s destructive batting line-up has mauled many opponents over the past two years and poses a major threat to the Australian attack.

    But the Australian bowlers showed they were peaking at the right time as they skittled Bangladesh for 182 overnight. Quicks Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins milked every possible bit of assistance from the flat pitch at The Oval, while spinners Adam Zampa and Travis Head added fine balance to the attack with their accurate offerings.

    The English batsmen would have loved the limp, wayward display they saw from the Australian bowlers in last week’s match against New Zealand. The Australian attack was always likely to improve after producing what skipper Steve Smith described as “one of the worst bowling displays that we’ve put on for a very long time” against the Kiwis.

    The world’s best new-ball pair, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, were predictably brilliant. The biggest positive for Australia, however, came from the impressive efforts of Cummins, Zampa and Head.

    Pat Cummins Australia Cricket

    (AFP / Paul Ellis)

    Each of those three bowlers had question marks over their bowling, for varied reasons, leading into this game. Cummins was fresh from a shocker against the Kiwis, Zampa has been treated shabbily by the Australian selectors this year, and Head was still seeking to prove he was more than just a part-timer.

    Each of them should have cemented their spots for the do-or-die match against England. They also should have earned significant confidence.

    Express quick Cummins, who bullied the English batsmen the last time Australia toured England, was in ominous touch. He pushed the speed gun up to 152kmh, earned disconcerting bounce and, most importantly, operated with great precision after his scattergun display against the Kiwis.

    Cummins was, in my opinion, the player of the series when Australia beat England 3-2 away from home in their most recent ODI series. On lifeless pitches, he grabbed 12 wickets at 19 in that series. To underscore just how impressive that was, consider that England’s seven pacemen used in that series together averaged 44.

    Four of those seven quicks – Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood, Steven Finn and Ben Stokes – look likely to face Australia on Saturday. The widely-acknowledged gulf in quality between the the two ODI attacks was highlighted by the fact Australia rolled Bangladesh for 182 after the Tigers put up 305 against England.

    Bangladesh were fortunate to have even made that many runs against Australia. More than half their total came from the blade of Tamim Iqbal (95). But the opener’s knock was very streaky, punctuated by a series of lucky breaks, including a straightforward dropped catch at point by Glenn Maxwell and a slew of mishits which evaded fieldsmen.

    Eventually, Tamim was knocked over by Starc, who finished with a burst of four wickets in the space of nine deliveries. Having been sidelined for months after getting injured during the Test series in India back in March, Starc was trying to build some momentum.

    The superstar left armer seemed to find great rhythm as the innings wore on. Combined with Hazlewood’s wonderful form and the intimidating performance by Cummins last night, Australia’s pace unit suddenly looks ripe to tackle England.


    (AAP Image/David Mariuz)

    And their attack was far better balanced thanks to the presence of Zampa and Head. As I wrote in the lead up to the Bangladesh match, Australia’s obsession with pace was hurting the side.

    They look a far better unit with Zampa in their XI at the expense of a fourth frontline pacemen in John Hastings. The gifted leg-spinner was not employed until the 35th over last night, before finishing with figures of 2-13 from four overs. Captain Steve Smith decided to first use offie Head, which seemed to be a clear plan to combat the two lefties at the crease.

    Head was so effective in this role, conceding only 17 runs from his first seven overs, that he continued bowling longer than expected, delaying Zampa’s spell. When the leggie came on, he immediately showed why he should be an automatic fixture in the Australian line-up, taking two key wickets in his first two overs.

    Operating with his trademark accuracy, Zampa regularly pinned the Bangladeshi batsmen to the crease. The 25-year-old is adept at tying batsmen down during the middle overs of an ODI innings and will have a crucial role to do just this against England, who love to score swiftly through their full 50 overs.

    The best bowling attack in ODI cricket versus the format’s most aggressive batting line-up – Australia’s clash with England should be a fantastic spectacle.

    Ronan O
    Ronan O'Connell

    Ronan O'Connell has been a journalist for well over 13 years, including nine at daily newspapers in WA. He now traverses the world as a travel photojournalist, contributing words and photography to more than 30 magazines and newspapers including CNN, BBC, The Toronto Star, The Guardian, The South China Morning Post, The Irish Examiner and The Australian Financial Review. Check out his work and follow him on Twitter @ronanoco

    This video is trending right now! Submit your videos for the chance to win a share of $10,000!

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (111)

    • June 6th 2017 @ 11:55am
      John said | June 6th 2017 @ 11:55am | ! Report

      Another chest thumping prediction on the basis of a performance against a minnow team, wait till poms dish out a thrashing.
      It’s very easy to beat this australian side, get 2 wickets early and its all over

      • June 6th 2017 @ 12:04pm
        Nudge said | June 6th 2017 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

        Who’s making chest thumping predictions?

      • Columnist

        June 6th 2017 @ 12:07pm
        Ronan O'Connell said | June 6th 2017 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

        Where is this “chest-thumping prediction” you speak of John? Feel free to quote the lines from my article which amount to a “chest-thumping prediction”.

        My guess is you just read the headline.

        • Roar Guru

          June 6th 2017 @ 12:45pm
          Chris Kettlewell said | June 6th 2017 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

          Can certainly see where the “chest-thumping” reference comes from when reading the headline. Though, I’m guessing you probably didn’t write the headline yourself!

          • June 6th 2017 @ 1:04pm
            Jacko said | June 6th 2017 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

            Ronan the headline says it all…..And before you say you didnt pick the headline, how is it that ALL your articles seem to have the same “Chest thumping” BS headlines?

            • June 6th 2017 @ 1:30pm
              jameswm said | June 6th 2017 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

              were you born yesterday Jacko?

              Look up the term “click bait”.

              • June 7th 2017 @ 12:13pm
                James said | June 7th 2017 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

                The authors may not write the headlines but they must know that the headlines will be clickbait and so have to take responsibility for what the headlines are. Its generally a rubbish argument to take one sentence from an entire essay and attack the essay as a whole but so to is disavowing a headline that you at least implicitly agreed to have.

              • June 7th 2017 @ 1:14pm
                George said | June 7th 2017 @ 1:14pm | ! Report


                Would you honestly keep writing if you felt the editors misrepresented every piece you wrote?

      • June 6th 2017 @ 12:58pm
        JoM said | June 6th 2017 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

        That same minnow team scored over 300 against the England bowlers

      • June 7th 2017 @ 11:31am
        Bakkies said | June 7th 2017 @ 11:31am | ! Report

        England have a cat bowling line up so if they don’t score 350 plus they are screwed.

        • June 7th 2017 @ 2:43pm
          George said | June 7th 2017 @ 2:43pm | ! Report


    • June 6th 2017 @ 12:47pm
      BurgyGreen said | June 6th 2017 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

      The most shocking thing about that game was that Maxwell got an over. Unfortunately he went for 9 and won’t roll the arm over for another six months or so.

      I really think we need to drop Henriques for Lynn against England to cash in against their toothless attack.

      If we field first and restrict them to 320 I’d be confident of chasing it.

      • Columnist

        June 6th 2017 @ 12:53pm
        Ronan O'Connell said | June 6th 2017 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

        Burgy I agree that Australia would look better with Lynn instead of Henriques, the problem with that being the reluctance to bowl Maxwell.

        Against a batting lineup as strong as England’s it would be a big risk for Australia to look to get 10 overs out of Head. If Australia would bite the bullet and let Maxwell have responsibility with the ball again it would solve a lot of problems.

        • Roar Rookie

          June 6th 2017 @ 12:58pm
          josh said | June 6th 2017 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

          Remember Maxwell was given the responsibility to bowl the final over against Pakistan in a T20 and delivered a double wicket maiden to win, when they only needed 2 runs to win.

        • June 6th 2017 @ 3:17pm
          Nudge said | June 6th 2017 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

          Got a feeling that Lynn might come in for Finch next game

      • Roar Rookie

        June 6th 2017 @ 12:54pm
        josh said | June 6th 2017 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

        Why does Henriques get a gig at all, let alone batting at 4? That’s some NSW level bulls— going on there.

        • Columnist

          June 6th 2017 @ 1:13pm
          Ronan O'Connell said | June 6th 2017 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

          josh to be fair to Henriques he has been arguably the number one batsman in the domestic 50-over competition across the past 3 seasons combined – he has averaged 50+ in each of those three seasons.

          But he just doesn’t seem up to the grade at international level.

          • Roar Rookie

            June 6th 2017 @ 1:51pm
            josh said | June 6th 2017 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

            Meanwhile, where is Usman?

            Is it this weird we need 8 bowlers to get the full 50 these days. So Henriques, Head etc.. all get a gig.

            • June 6th 2017 @ 2:17pm
              Pedro the Maroon said | June 6th 2017 @ 2:17pm | ! Report

              Was it that long ago we could field 5 bowlers capable of bowling the full 50 – McGrath, Dizzy, Warne, Lee, Bichel.

              • Columnist

                June 6th 2017 @ 2:54pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | June 6th 2017 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

                Pedro Australia very rarely fielded 5 specialist bowlers like that, back in the day. They almost always had 1 or 2 all-rounders in the top 7 to act as the 5th/6th bowlers – the likes of Symonds, Watson etc.

                But there’s no doubt that having 3 all-rounders in the top six, as they do currently, is overkill especially when none of them are on the same level as a Symonds or Watson.

              • June 6th 2017 @ 7:26pm
                Sameen said | June 6th 2017 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

                Gilchrist can be called as all-rounder so effectively​ 3 all-rounders with Clarke/Lehmann also sharing bowling duties.
                But seriously due to presence of Gilchrist at top 6-7 spot was given to all-rounder.
                Checking earlier stats M Marsh is seriously required for limited overs. He is ideal at no 6.

              • Columnist

                June 6th 2017 @ 8:45pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | June 6th 2017 @ 8:45pm | ! Report

                Spot on Sameen.

                So many Aussie fans dump on Mitch Marsh relentlessly and give him zero credit for his fine ODI career.

                But right now we’re seeing just how valuable he is and what a gap he leaves in the ODI team. A good 5th bowler who also averages 35 with the bat at a very good strike rate …. that is gold right there.

          • Roar Guru

            June 6th 2017 @ 3:06pm
            Giri Subramanian said | June 6th 2017 @ 3:06pm | ! Report

            It will be great for Smith to show some faith on Zampa and allow him to bowl his full quota. Considering England’s spin troubles, it will be suicidal if Australia decide to go with the part time of Head and Maxwell. Can’t believe Smith did not bowl Zampa long enough even against BD. Zampa bowled his first over after 34 overs had completed. Don’t understand why he was picked if the captain had no faith on the spinner.

            • June 6th 2017 @ 5:38pm
              twodogs said | June 6th 2017 @ 5:38pm | ! Report

              Answer – Smith is a terrible captain.

              • June 6th 2017 @ 10:01pm
                Tapeshwer Singh said | June 6th 2017 @ 10:01pm | ! Report

                been saying that for a long time.

          • Roar Guru

            June 6th 2017 @ 3:09pm
            Ryan H said | June 6th 2017 @ 3:09pm | ! Report

            He sure has and yet by that thinking you would assume Usman has a place too but not to be..he is as deserving sadly

        • Roar Guru

          June 6th 2017 @ 1:59pm
          Chris Kettlewell said | June 6th 2017 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

          Have to agree with Ronan, nothing to do with the fantasy of NSW bias in selection. Henriques domestic white ball form with the bat has been imperious in recent years. He does appear to be one of those players who struggles to make the step up to international level though.

          But to be fair, he’s never had much of a chance. Without looking, I’d be surprised if he’s ever played more than 2 consecutive international matches for Australia, and usually with a decent gap to the next one. He’s constantly given one match here, two matches there, and now he’s thrown into the #4 position in a tournament like the Champions trophy which is so short and sharp that there’s no chance to work your way into it.

          If he got selected for the ODi’s of an entire home summer, and given a good run at that, and probably batting more like 5 or 6, then he might work his way into it and start doing well. Picking him for the England game could be a bit of a risk though.

          If they need to strengthen the batting and keep the extra bowler they might need to drop Finch, open with Head, bring in Lynn to bat at 4 and drop Henriques to 6.

          • Columnist

            June 6th 2017 @ 2:03pm
            Ronan O'Connell said | June 6th 2017 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

            That’s a good point Chris. It’s hard to give Henriques much slack because he really has been rank with the bat in ODIs.

            But his 10 ODIs have been spaced out across 8 years and he’s never played more than 2 matches in a row, which certainly makes it harder to find your feet.

          • Roar Guru

            June 6th 2017 @ 2:30pm
            Rellum said | June 6th 2017 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

            I can’t believe you guys are using BBQ cup form as an argument to pick a player. It is played over a few weeks light years away from any ODI fixtures, and they play against kids now. Doing well in that comp means very little now unfortunately.

            • Columnist

              June 6th 2017 @ 2:59pm
              Ronan O'Connell said | June 6th 2017 @ 2:59pm | ! Report

              You missed the point Rellum. I said Henriques shouldn’t be in the XI, I merely pointed out that his selection in the squad wasn’t as hare brained as some people suggest given he had been dominating in the Matador Cup.

              And I’m interested Rellum to know… if players can’t be picked for ODI squads based on domestic form, what form exactly can be used?

              You’ve said Matador Cup performances mean nothing and Australia often have to pick new players who’ve never played ODIs before, so how can they possibly be judged if not on domestic performances?

              • June 6th 2017 @ 3:35pm
                qwetzen said | June 6th 2017 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

                “… so how can they possibly be judged if not on domestic performances?”

                And isn’t it lucky for some that they only play domestic ODs on their home Grade pitches.

              • Roar Guru

                June 6th 2017 @ 7:57pm
                Rellum said | June 6th 2017 @ 7:57pm | ! Report

                I agree Henriques shouldn’t be in the squad.

                I would think the only time anyone’s BBQ cup form comes into a selection discussion is if they can’t split two players. It is not like Lynn is in the squad based on any sort of one day form.

                Players get picked because of their standing in the ranks of the Aus players in the opinion of the selectors. Potential, T20 form, even Shield form plays a role. It is more about what you have done recently, hence why Lynn is in because of his T20 hitting.

                These days we like to use the ODI team to judge whether players are ready for Test cricket, In a way it has replaced the Shield in that role. Heazlett is a primary example. Although for a comp like the current one we pick our strongest squad.

                The domestic cup is such a snap shot that is really says nothing about a players form. I give that if you do well year after year it says something but that is about it. If the comp went all season and overlapped the ODI’s then it would mean a whole lot more.

    • Roar Rookie

      June 6th 2017 @ 12:53pm
      josh said | June 6th 2017 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

      Australia will win cause we’re winners. England will lose cause they are losers.

      Why is any more detailed analysis required. Sporting narratives like this clash of traditional enemies write themselves.

      • June 7th 2017 @ 3:51am
        Andy Oakes said | June 7th 2017 @ 3:51am | ! Report

        Ah and people say the English are arrogant…

      • June 7th 2017 @ 8:30am
        Peter D said | June 7th 2017 @ 8:30am | ! Report

        I think England will beat Australia comfortably! Like some Aussies your mouth opens before your brain works! Great Britain are now as somebody put it ‘A Sporting Super Power’ after the last Olympics! Australia was a great sporting nation but that am afraid is fast fading into memory. If you don’t believe me just look at how many champions have come out of Great Britain in the last 20 years. Australia isn’t even close mate. Wake up and smell the coffee!

    • June 6th 2017 @ 1:00pm
      E-Meter said | June 6th 2017 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

      Such a mickey mouse tournament

      • June 6th 2017 @ 4:54pm
        davSA said | June 6th 2017 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

        Actually Mickey Mouse is the most iconic cartoon figure in the history of entertainment . High praise for the tournament indeed .

        • June 7th 2017 @ 12:16pm
          James said | June 7th 2017 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

          haha iv never thought of it that way.

    • June 6th 2017 @ 1:09pm
      Jacko said | June 6th 2017 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

      I dont think we should forget the rain at all. Kiwi’s win first game V Aus…..Aus zero points. Aus win second game against Bangladesh. Aus 2 points.

      So without the rain interuptions Aus would be on 2 points exactly like they are right now anyway

      • June 6th 2017 @ 1:32pm
        jameswm said | June 6th 2017 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

        I agree. Australia simply need to beat England to make it through.

        Can’t really complain about that.

      • Roar Guru

        June 7th 2017 @ 2:09pm
        JamesH said | June 7th 2017 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

        So in other words the rain has made no difference to Australia’s tally and we can just forget about it.

    • Roar Guru

      June 6th 2017 @ 1:18pm
      Anindya Dutta said | June 6th 2017 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

      Ronan – Why do you say Zampa treated shabbily? He really isn’t a great spinner. Maybe he is the best leggie Australia has at the moment though. I just don’t have a very high opinion of him although was pretty excited about his talent a couple of years or so ago. But that is just my personal view. Don’t you see better talent coming up the ranks somewhere?

      • June 6th 2017 @ 1:32pm
        jameswm said | June 6th 2017 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

        Look at his ODI record over the last 18 months. Pretty good.

      • Columnist

        June 6th 2017 @ 1:35pm
        Ronan O'Connell said | June 6th 2017 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

        Whatever your opinion of Zampa, the fact is that he averages 27 with the ball after 23 ODIs.

        He has a better ODI average than Ashwin, Jadeja, Shakib, Rashid, Santner or Moeen.

        Among the top 50 ranked ODI bowlers, only 3 spinners have a better ODI average than Zampa’s 27 …… Tahir (23), Narine (26) and Mishra (23).

        • June 6th 2017 @ 3:53pm
          qwetzen said | June 6th 2017 @ 3:53pm | ! Report

          Actually Zampa averages 28 according to CI after 23 matches.

          And there’s something of interest in that comparison group you’ve nominated.
          Here’s their ODI batting averages.

          Ashwin – 16.4
          Jadega – 37.5
          Moeen Ali – 27.9
          Shakib – 34.4
          Santner – 25.6

          Zampa – 6.4

          • June 6th 2017 @ 6:20pm
            Ben said | June 6th 2017 @ 6:20pm | ! Report

            qwetzen nobody takes you seriously you muppet.

            • June 7th 2017 @ 4:55pm
              davSA said | June 7th 2017 @ 4:55pm | ! Report

              Actually qwetzens stats are totally relevant . An average of 6 in batting is …well an average of 6 . If conditions require a more solid batting lineup it may influence selectors in either or selections.

        • Roar Guru

          June 6th 2017 @ 4:02pm
          Giri Subramanian said | June 6th 2017 @ 4:02pm | ! Report

          Zampa is a great talent wasted by Smith. Not sure how a part timer can bowl more overs than a regular spinner.

          • June 6th 2017 @ 5:44pm
            twodogs said | June 6th 2017 @ 5:44pm | ! Report

            Poor, unimaginative captain.

        • Roar Guru

          June 6th 2017 @ 4:11pm
          Anindya Dutta said | June 6th 2017 @ 4:11pm | ! Report

          Thanks. I clearly don’t know my stats in this case 🙂 Doesn’t change my opinion about his bowling, but based on those stats, he should certainly be one of the first picked.

      • June 6th 2017 @ 4:46pm
        davSA said | June 6th 2017 @ 4:46pm | ! Report

        Generally Anindya spinners tend to peak later in their careers . There are very few exceptions of those coming through at a young age and making a lasting impact. Shane Warne comes to mind but not too many others . It is a craft and skill that is acquired over time. Tahir n his late thirties is one such example . Zampa I believe is only about 22 years old . He will get better with time but right now I see him based on stats in ODI cricket to be the best available . I know he cant bat or field but neither can Tahir . Would still be my first choice though for his primary role as bowler , not all rounder.

        • Roar Guru

          June 6th 2017 @ 6:15pm
          Anindya Dutta said | June 6th 2017 @ 6:15pm | ! Report

          Fair points Dav and very true indeed. I have been hasty. Starting to feel like a Millenial now 🙂

          • June 6th 2017 @ 6:38pm
            davSA said | June 6th 2017 @ 6:38pm | ! Report

            believe me when I say I have been in that position here …often

    , , , ,