5th ODI, Australia v England, Brisbane, January 30 D/N
Australia† 249 in 49.3 ov (MJ Clarke 54; CR Woakes 6-45); England 198 in 45.3 ov (KP Pietersen 40).
Australia win by 51 runs
England bowl well, with Chris Woakes walking off with England’s second-best one-day figures of all time in only his second ODI. The batting is then dreadful. They forget how to build partnerships and look exhausted. They want to go home.
When a side is mentally done, it’s the batting that begins to get embarrassing.
Meanwhile on BBC1, Andy Murray struggles. Not the glorious Sunday morning of British sport the nation hoped for.
Michael Clarke scratches around for 54 from 74 balls. His captaincy is under threat despite this convincing team performance. It’s more because the Australian public don’t like him – and his form is pretty dreadful – than anything else.
Eoin Morgan is the biggest difference to England’s form. He made runs against Pakistan last summer – England won. He’s not made runs down under – England have lost. Strauss and Flower are now into it’ll-be-alright-on-the-world-cup-night territory. In other words, they hope Morgan can win them a few games.
England need Pietersen to be brilliant. Actually, the world could do with KP firing, he’s one of not many true box-office players still around.
KP last scored a one-day hundred on November 26, 2008 – 111* v India when he was captain, at Cuttack. It was the match before the Mumbai attacks. Since then, he’s played 20 one-day innings, made 415 runs at 20.75 with one fifty, lost the captaincy and been dropped. So, can England afford to keep living off his former glories?
England won the Ashes. No one in England seems to care who wins the one-day series. Would that be the case if England were 4-1 up?
There are shades of the 2006-07 Test series – especially the way Strauss and Trott were out – everything going Australia’s way, then some brain-dead batting. This is the problem with these two teams: they are both ordinary, so once one gets ahead, neither side has the ability to fight back. Whoever lands the first punch wins, which leads to one-sided matches.
It also exaggerates quality: England aren’t three-innings victories better than Australia at Test cricket and Australia aren’t 4-1 better than England at ODIs.
Collingwood 1 for 36 in 10 overs. England seem to like this four-man attack with Trott and Collingwood filling in. It is a Sehwag-style accident waiting to happen. This could be a record-breaking tactic in the World Cup …
Jimmy and Finn should always bat the powerplays – send them out as specialists
Even Mitchell Johnson bowled a maiden – ouch.
Edward Craig is the deputy/digital editor of The Wisden Cricketer