With England’s torment with the red ball at the hands of Australia over, our focus turns straight to the ODI series where the tourists will be hoping for a repeat of what happened the last time they were whitewashed 5-0 Down Under.
After the Ashes hammering in 2006/07, Andrew Flintoff led a re-grouped side – with new faces such as Paul Nixon, Ed Joyce, Mal Loye, Jamie Dalrymple and Ravi Bopara – to overcome the odds to beat both New Zealand and Australia to win the Commonwealth Bank series.
And Alastair Cook, who captains England in the five ODIs starting in Melbourne next Sunday, will be hoping he and limited overs coach Ashley Giles, along with some fresh faces of their own, can help restore some pride to English cricket in the shorter format of the game.
But Andy Flower, who oversaw the Ashes disaster, believes stopping a confident Australian side, who are 2/5 favourites for a series victory, will be difficult.
“It’s a huge challenge for Ash and Alastair,” he said. “It will be a tough task for both of them to turn this ship around.”
To aid their efforts, the tourists, who are 2/1 to win the five-match series, have called up Warwickshire star Chris Woakes to their squad for the games against Australia.
Cook and Giles will be hoping the all-rounder, alongside some other fresh faces in the squad, can provide some added impetus to a side which was mauled in the Test series.
Woakes, who made his Test debut in the final match of the English summer against Michael Clarke’s men, will have fond memories of playing against the Aussies having took 6-45 in Brisbane in what was only his second ODI match.
Since then, the wickets have dried up for the 24-year-old with just eight coming in 11 matches but if England are to turn this tour around then Woakes, and the fresh blood of Eoin Morgan, Ravi Bopara, Jos Buttler, Danny Briggs and Chris Jordan will have to hit the ground running, starting at the MCG, where Australia are the 8/15 favourites to continue their winning form, while Cook’s men are 6/4 with Ladbrokes.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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