LONDON: England and Australia play the first of a five-match One-Day International (ODI) series at Lord’s today but the tourists are already looking to their return trip for next year’s Ashes.
Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has played in two Ashes Test series defeats and is desperate to emerge victorious.
“After being involved in two Ashes losses now, it’s a burning desire inside me to be a part of a successful Ashes series,” said Watson. “I haven’t been a part of that in Test matches and now is a time to be able to put some things in place so we can have some success when we come back here during the Ashes.”
Australia are the world’s top-ranked ODI side but England come into this match on the back of six straight home-series wins in and a run of six victories in as many completed matches. England’s recent success has been built on their top-order batsman, with Ian Bell filling the gap as opener created by Kevin Pietersen’s limited-overs retirement by scoring a hundred against the West Indies earlier this month.
The hosts are likely to play five specialist bowlers, with Tim Bresnan at number seven and medium-pacer Watson believes that if Australia can make early inroads there is an opportunity to put England’s middle-order under pressure.
“For England to be able to go in with four frontline quick bowlers is a very good thing for them against our batting line-up — but if we are able to make inroads into their batting early they may be one short.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 29th, 2012.
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