England hope to maintain form in ODIs - Pakistan Today

England hope to maintain form in ODIs

MELBOURNE – Fresh from humiliating Australia’s Test side in the recent Ashes series, a buoyant England have the chance to do similar damage to the struggling limited overs team ahead of next month’s World Cup. The seven-match Commonwealth Bank one-day series, which starts at the MCG on Sunday, will give both nations an opportunity to prepare for the World Cup, which starts in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh on February 20.
Australia might have slipped to fifth in the Test rankings, but they are still the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) top-rated one-day side despite just three wins in their last nine matches. The Australians will be looking to extend their record streak of three successive World Cup wins, stretching back to 1999 in England, and they have not dropped a match in the last two editions of the tournament. Their current World Cup winning streak stands at 23 matches.
The Commonwealth Bank series offers England the chance to expose some more of the frailties that derailed Australia’s Ashes campaign and the tourists could take heart from the squad named by the host side for the opening match. To continue the theme of confusion that has taken hold in Australian cricket this summer, the selectors picked a 14-man squad just for Sunday’s game. After the disastrous 3-1 Ashes loss, Australian selectors reacted by recalling veteran paceman Brett Lee, who is now 34 and missed the last World Cup due to injury, for Sunday’s game.
Lee hasn’t played a one-day international since October 2009. Also recalled was tearaway quick Shaun Tait, who played in the 2007 World Cup final, but these days rarely plays anything other than Twenty20 cricket. Rather than looking to young blood to inject fresh life into an ailing national team, the Australians also named 33-year-old Victorian batsman David Hussey, who hasn’t played an ODI for almost two years, and have recalled spinner Nathan Hauritz after ignoring him for the entire Ashes series.

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