England and Australia will clash in the second one-dayer of the five-match series at Lord’s on Saturday. Australia eased to a 59-run win in the first match thanks to a good all-round batting and bowling effort. Joe Burns and David Warner gave them an excellent start before Matthew Wade and Mitchell Marsh put the finishing touches. Their bowling also was competent as everyone chipped in to keep England on bay. The hosts, on the other hand, failed to build on the great positions they found themselves in both during their batting and bowling stints.
Australia will be pleased with their fight back following the Ashes loss, and the T20 as well. But, the world champions proved why they remain a dangerous one-day side. As mentioned earlier, Warner and Burns gave them a great start. They would ideally have liked one of them to carry on though. The same can be said of skipper Steven Smith, who also fell in his 40s. However, the Aussies will be extremely pleased with the return of Wade, who played a match-winning knock of 71. The performance of Marsh was also important. He was in need of a good batting outing.
The bowling performance of Australia was most impressive. As many as four bowlers chipped in with two wickets each – Mitchell Starc, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins and Watson. In fact all, the bowlers used chipped in with wickets, Marsh and Glenn Maxwell claiming the other two. The one aspect in which Australia will need to improve is their middle order batting. Apart from the openers and Smith, former skipper George Bailey also failed to convert a start. The same was the case with Maxwell. The batting form of Watson is also a big worry even though his low score at the Rose Bowl was not entirely his fault.
England would be disappointed with the loss because they were in with a good chance to win, both while batting and bowling. In spite of the Aussies getting off to a very impressive start, England managed to reduce them to 193 for 6 before Wade and Marsh led the fight back, which put England on the back foot. Mark Wood was extremely expensive conceding 72 runs in his 10 overs. Chris Woakes was also unimpressive going at over six in his nine overs, and not picking up any wicket as well. In fact, apart from Adil Rashid who claimed four wickets, none of the English bowlers were impressive. A change or two could be seen then.
Like Australia, England’s batting also faltered after a bright start. While Jason Ray batted very well for his fifty, Alex Hales again fell after getting a start. James Taylor and skipper Eoin Morgan hit 49 and 38 respectively to take England to a respectable position. Disappointingly, none of them carried on, and once Morgan fell the chase very much flattened. The England lower order needs to show better resolve than the lack of fight they put up at the Rose Bowl on Thursday.
--By A Cricket Analyst