ENGLAND TOUR OF AUSTRALIA 2018
In Sydney, a full-strength Australia was armed with their frontline pace attack for the first time in the series. © Getty
Josh Hazlewood, the star paceman, says Australia must pull out all the stops to avoid a humiliating home One-Day International series whitewash.
After a dominant 4-0 Ashes triumph for Australia, the script has been stunningly flipped over in the 50-over format with England having wrapped up the ODI series with two matches to spare following a 16-run victory at the SCG on Sunday.
Even though the final matches in Adelaide and Perth are now dead rubbers, Hazlewood said a struggling Australia had much to play for to prevent an embarrassing 5-0 series loss on home soil.
“That is obviously the goal from here on in,” he said in Adelaide on Wednesday (January 24). “England were in the same position I guess in the Test matches. There is always plenty to play for when you’re playing for your country, and it’s Australia Day on Friday obviously and the new stadium in Perth on Sunday.”
In Sydney, a full-strength Australia was armed with their frontline pace attack for the first time in the series. The dominant trio of Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc tore through England during the Ashes but found the going more difficult with the white ball against an explosive England batting order. After a strong start, Australia’s attack crumbled at the death as a brilliant Jos Buttler century propelled England to a match winning score of 302 for 6.
“That first 10 overs is probably the key time to take those wickets,” Hazlewood said. “I think we did that to a degree last time, (they were) 4-100 at some stage. You know you’re going to go for runs, it’s about taking wickets early to really get into their middle order.
“We haven’t quite transitioned from Test cricket as well as we could have,” he added. “England have two sets of bowlers in some regards with only really (Chris) Woakes and (Mooen) Ali backing up, so they’re really one-day specialists and probably have showed us how to play in those regards.”
Australia, the reigning World Cup champions, have been shown up against a rampant England line-up boasting superior depth and firepower. Hazlewood admitted England was a formidable foe in the coloured clothing.
“We know they’re a quality one-day outfit … they know their roles and probably the key is with their batting,” he said. “They have got those top three guys who go hell-for-leather and there’s a couple in the middle that bat time, and then they finish with a flourish. They really know their roles and they’re playing some good one-day cricket at the moment.”
Game four will be held at the Adelaide Oval on January 26 – Australia’s national day.