ENGLAND TOUR OF AUSTRALIA 2017-18
Cricbuzz Staff •
Both teams will eye early series lead. © Getty
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) January 14, 2018
The Ashes is done and dusted but the rivalry between traditional foes Australia and England resumes in the 50-over format in a battle expected to be far more exciting and closely fought than the disappointingly lop-sided Test series.
Ironically, in the aftermath of such a hyped but underwhelming Ashes, the five-match One-Day International (ODI) series starting at the MCG on January 14 is set to be a relatively low-key affair and in the backdrop of the burgeoning Big Bash League and the upcoming Australian Open tennis.
Traditionally, Australians are used to England rolling out a staid and workmanlike 50-over team but things have markedly changed. These days, with the ODI format the No.1 priority for embattled coach Trevor Bayliss ahead of a home World Cup next year, England oozes with firepower particularly in the batting – even without the services of suspended superstar allrounder Ben Stokes.
Unlike their demure Ashes team, England boast of vaunted explosive depth throughout their batting order and have packed the top order with dynamic pair Jason Roy and Alex Hales to bat in the top three, meaning star batsman Joe Root will slot into the No.4 position. Jos Buttler, another heavy hitter, is set to fill the role of ‘floater’ but is slated to come in at No.6.
England’s attack isn’t as formidable but contains considerably more variety than their popgun Test arsenal led by quicks Mark Wood, Liam Plunkett and brilliant spinner Adil Rashid – the leading ODI wicket-taker of the past three years. They will prey on an unsettled Australian batting order and should feel confident of making the necessary inroads.