The interminable drudge of a 50-over series after a hard-fought Test series is as much a part of the sporting landscape as Emeli bleeding Sande’s crap music being used over some montage or other. The IPL’s Eoin Morgan leads an inexperienced/rubbish England team while Australia will hope to add some victories at the end of a tour which has seen them win three games, one of them against a team containing Gemaal Hussain.
No Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Matt Prior, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan or Simon Kerrigan MBE from the roster of beloved Ashes winners. This gives the England team a somewhat makeshift look although it does give us an opportunity to view the one day outfit without the fabled turgid top three of Cook, Bell and Jonathan Trott. Our suspicions are that being 30/3 more often than 170/3 will prove to be a disadvantage, but only time will tell. After all, it didn’t seem to matter much in the Test series. Michael Carberry should get the chance to make amends after one of the great ODI debuts on Tuesday (runs made: 10, runs conceded: 12, catches dropped: 2) and he will presumably be partnered by Kevin Pietersen, who hasn’t played an ODI since January.
England’s bowling looked a man light at Malahide but in the spirit of classic 1990s revivals, Ben Stokes looks set to be miscast as a third seamer and biffing number 8 batsman. Ravi Bopara and Eoin Morgan are kind of fighting to get into the Test squad for the return leg of the Ashes, supposing of course they really fancy carrying drinks for an entire tour. Jos Buttler will continue to flatter to deceive with his inimitable mix of shoddy glovework and quickfire ducks.
Australia’s humungous squad seems to contain all eligible players who have played cricket ever, apart from their Test bowling attack which is the only good thing about their team. Excellent planning there. Michael Clarke will captain in the visitors’ ongoing campaign to knacker all their decent players before the winter comes around. He’ll be joined in the middle order by his heir apparent George Bailey, a man who outdoes Darren Sammy in the non-playing captain stakes.
Aaron Finch will look to make it three centuries in a little over a week and will then presumably stick it to Dave Warner over Twitter. Matt Wade and James Faulkner are in the team for misplaced aggression and self-belief, Mitchell Johnson is in there for light relief. Given such competition it is unlikely that there will be room for Glenn Maxwell to add to the numpty quotient. The absence of Maria Sharapova from the US Open has left many a sub-woofer speaker unused over the last fortnight so praise be for the presence of Gruntin’ Clint McKay in the Australian attack.
We don’t often get predictions right. In fact, we almost never get them right. However, it is going to hose it down in Leeds tomorrow. Given that this will reduce the series to a four match affair, 2-2 is an inevitability. Like Noel Edmonds, we’d put our house on it.