England vs Australia, 2018: 3 things Australia must do to get back to winning ways
Australian cricket has gone through a lot in recent times. The ball-tampering scandal has left them having to regain lost respect and reputation. The aftermath of recent events sees them playing under a completely revamped team and team management.
They are now led by Tim Paine, with Justin Langer as their head coach who is assisted by Ricky Ponting. A new look Aussie side without their biggest stars David Warner and Steven Smith will look at playing the game in the same rigor as the earlier sides sans the unnecessary banter.
Australia are the defending champions and will look to use the period up until the ICC World Cup to find the right balance for their team. Getting the right combination and sticking to the team is going to be crucial for this team.
They have got a good opportunity to play in English conditions for a 5 match ODI series ahead of the ICC World Cup.
Australia are without the likes of Steven Smith and David Warner as far their batting is concerned and are missing their premier fast bowlers- Patt Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood for this ODI series.
The depleted Australian team couldn’t put a good fight in the first ODI and fell short by 3 wickets at the Kia Oval, London. They just couldn’t put enough runs on the board to test the English batsmen.
Heading into the second ODI of the series to be played at Cardiff, Australia would need to do in order to get back to winning ways and come back in this series:
#1 Aaron Finch must step up and play to his potential
With the ball tampering scandal, among the finest batsmen in the modern game- Steven Smith and David Warner were banned for a period of one year. Realistically speaking, both these batsmen who were the pillars of the Australian batting line-up may not feature in the World cup squad.
So this batting lineup which is taking on England currently would most likely be the batsmen that would lead Australia’s world cup defense. And what we saw at the Kia Oval in the first ODI doesn’t paint a pretty picture. The batsmen and especially the senior batsmen just weren’t good enough.
The onus lies on Aaron Finch to step up and deliver at the top of the order. He has been in the shadow of Warner and has managed to make his own space through his attacking batting. But now without Warner, Finch not only is the enforcer but he has to bat long an deep.
The onus and responsibility will be on him to play like a senior batsman and provide the start his side would want from a player of his quality and talent. If that happens, then the likes of Travis Head, Shaun Marsh, Glen Maxwell can play and perform under less pressure.
For Australia to pose a threat and for their batting to click against the English, they would need Finch to get them off a flying start which would also make Eoin Morgan tinker around with his bowling plans, as in the first ODI the English bowlers completely controlled proceedings and weren’t completely tested.