England will take on Australia in the first ODI of the five-match series at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Thursday.
After yet another Ashes series loss on the English soil, Australia -- led by Steve Smith -- would be looking to resurrect their game against the resurgent hosts.
These two sides locked horns in a Twenty20 (T20) match at the Sophia Garden Stadium in Cardiff on Monday. England outplayed the Aussies by a margin of just 5 runs.
Six months ago, these two were completely contrasting sides, one clinched their fifth World Cup title and the other suffered a group stage exit in the ICC World Cup 2015 after a humiliating defeat against the emerging tigers in cricket, Bangladesh.
England came back home with their confidence gone down the drains. Surprisingly, the English did bounce back strongly in the 50-over format against New Zealand at home. They came back from behind to win a five-match ODI series 3-2 just ahead of the Ashes 2015.
Australia, on the other hand, have not played in this format since their ICC World Cup 2015 victory. They also had to part ways with Michael Clarke, who called time on his international career. And now they will be lead by Steve Smith, who has been carrying the baton of Australian middle-order, almost single-handedly across all the three formats of the international game. The question remains: can the Aussies turn the wheels of fortune towards them on the English soil? We will have to wait and watch!
England, under the leadership of Eoin Morgan, have reached a new height recently. They have been brilliant in all the departments and that is what matters the most in this particular format -- Team Game!
England showcased a brilliant all-round performance in the one-off T20 game. They could only score 27 runs at the end of the powerplay overs for the loss of two wickets. But from there, skipper Morgan and Moeen Ali added 135 runs to power England to a commanding total of 183 runs in 20 overs. The English bowlers kept on picking up wickets at regular intervals, while the Australians were chasing that huge target. Apart from Smith's sublime innings of 90 runs from just 57 balls no other Australian batsmen could withstand the pressure of chasing.
Are Australia way too much dependent on their skipper Steve Smith? Well, we are still looking for that answer. But, Glenn Maxwell seemed to have other ideas about the Australian batting order.
"David Warner and Steve Smith have been extremely successful in all three formats and they're guys that do rake in the big deals in the shorter formats. They're able to adjust through the gears. Steve Smith is the No.1 (Test) batter in the world at the moment but also an unbelievable T20 player," Maxwell said in an interview to the official website of Cricket Australia.
Maxwell also went on to back Shane Watson, who has been under fire ever since the Ashes series. Maxwell has a feeling that Watson would do great in this upcoming ODI series against England.
"He didn't have a great time but I'm sure it's going to turn around for him in this one-day series. He's looking as good as ever. Even yesterday when he started he looked in good nick and in good positive form. It was a freakish dismissal so hopefully his bad luck's behind him and he can start scoring runs for Australia again," Maxwell added.
Australia will miss the services of Aaron Finch because of his injury and suspended James Faulkner for his drunk and driving act back in Australia. The rest of the players looked to be in good shape during the one-off T20 match at Cardiff. On the other hand, England has no injury concerns.
Complete Squads for the 1st ODI:
England: Eoin Morgan (C), Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler (wk), Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Taylor, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
Australia: Steven Smith (C), Matthew Wade (wk), David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, George Bailey, Shane Watson, Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Agar, Joe Burns, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson.
England vs Australia 1st ODI Schedule
Date: 3 September, 2015
Time: 2:30 pm local time (7 pm IST)