Australia tour of Ireland and England 2012
Australia look to salvage pride in the final game
The England team is in the form of their life; finding perfect balance in all the departments. Can they deny Australia a win and get closer to the top ODI spot?
The final battle between England and Australia is all set to start at 13:00 GMT (18.30 IST) tomorrow July 10th 2012 in Old Trafford, Manchester.
Pitch and Weather forecast
Old Trafford pitch is known for its bouncy track and hence favouring the bowlers. The average first innings total in this ground is 219 and second innings total is 213. Weather report suggests little showers with cool breeze.
England: The team is in the form of their life finding perfect balance in all the departments despite losing Kevin Pietersen. Leading from the front, Alastair Cook plays his natural stroke play as always, and that was well supported by his fellow opening batsman Ian Bell who is very determined and solid in every stroke. Jonathan Trott, with his consistent performance, adds value to the most famous first down position that had stalwarts like Rahul Dravid, Ricky Ponting, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Kumara Sangakkara.
The middle order batsmen Bopara, Morgan and Kieswetter finding some form in this series were very useful at the end. Medium pacers Anderson, Bresnan and Finn were very good with their attack to restrict the opponents, giving the lead spinner little chance to prove himself on this flat wicket. Overall team England is on the verge of becoming the best side in the world; by sticking to their basics with good all-round ability.
Australia: Once the masters of cricket; Australia lost three matches in a row in this series after a long time. Openers Shane Watson and David Warner have an ability to demolish the opponent's bowling attack and skipper Clarke plays sensibly rotating strikes even at tough situation. David Hussey, who was excellent with his bat in CB series, has found some momentum in the last ODI. Middle order batsmen Smith and Wade are still finding their form to match up with team's expectation.
All of them started well in this series but didn't find that momentum to convert it into a big individual score and that is troubling them. As far as bowling is concerned, Lee and McKay did well, bowling their hearts out. Other bowlers were inconsistent with their line and length. Captain Clarke can introduce himself along with part-timer David Hussey during tight situations. He has 'golden arm' to surprise the opponents.
Australians are very good at field, as everyone is fit and athletic. The team is able to start well; be it bowling or batting, but for some reason, they are not able to finish off things in a proper fashion. Hence, they need to concentrate more on that and if they come up with a solution, definitely they will come back strongly.
Players to watch out for
Ian Bell: A solid player with text book technique depends very much on his foot work. He is the player to watch out for. He can stay at crease for long time, rotate strikes, and can even play big shots.
Michael Clarke: He is a thinking player who can settle his team at right place and can also do a bit with his bowling. More than ever his captaincy is going to play a big part in the final ODI - if Australia wants to salvage some pride.
Possible Line up
England: A Cook (Captain), I Bell, J Trott, R Bopara, E Morgan, C Kieswetter (wk), S Patel, T Bresnan, S Broad, S Finn, J Anderson.
Australia: G Bailey, D Warner, P Forrest, M Clarke (Captain), D Hussey, M Wade (wk), X Doherty, J Pattinson, C McKay, M Starc, B Hilfenhaus.
"How far apart, are we? I don't know; you do everything you can to try to win every game, taking the field for Australia. Unfortunately, sometimes you lose; on this tour, we haven't seen the other side. But we've got one game to go, and I'd be very disappointed to go home without a win." - Captain Michael Clarke on the team performance and chances in final ODI.
"Hats off to England, they're outstanding, but they're only doing the basics well." - Australian Coach Mike Arthur about team England.