England will be aiming to complete a near perfect series against Australia on Tuesday when they go head to head with the old enemy in the fifth and final match of what has been an extremely one-sided ODI series.
Alastair Cook’s England lead 3-0 with one match to go with the weather the only thing that has stopped them so far. Had the match at Edgbaston gone ahead and England won, Tuesday’s match would see them in with a chance of becoming the No.1 ODI side in the world.
Despite this not being the case, England can still be proud of what has proved to be a comfortable series win over Australia. Gone are the days when the boys from down under come to England and dominate.
It is now the other way round. Australia are the team intimidated. Australia are the team being bullied and England are the team full of confidence. In every form, the England cricket team expect to win each time they walk onto the field.
Focusing on the ODI side specifically for now though – a team who can attribute some of their success to the momentum carried from the Test team – it has been a flawless series so far.
Cook has led the team superbly and as mentioned on here before, the batting and bowling line-up has been excellent. The latest victory at Chester le-street was the most comfortable of the lot too.
England’s bowlers, led by the excellent Steven Finn, restricted Australia to 200-9 before a calm and professional batting display saw the hosts win by eight wickets.
In the run chase, Cook and Ian Bell got England off to a good start, while Jonathan Trott’s 64 from 102 balls guided the team home with 2.1 overs to go. Ravi Bopara hit an unbeaten 33 too and there is no doubt he has enjoyed this series, relishing the promotion to No.4.
Now, it is all about finishing the series on a high. Australia will hate the prospect of losing every game and they would go back home with their tails between their legs if it does happen.
However, there just seems to be no beating England at the moment. They have an answer for everything Australia throw at them and with the bat and ball, there is always one or two players that raise their game.
It will be a closer contest than the last match, but it is England that will win at Old Trafford on Tuesday, taking the series 4-0 and preparing perfectly for the visit of South Africa in the process.