After reigning supreme in the three-match T20 series, England will look to continue their dominance in the three-game ODI series that starts on Friday at the Old Trafford in Manchester. England and Australia will meet for the first time in the 50-over format since the 2019 World Cup semi-final in Edgbaston.
The reigning World champions and the number one ODI team have recalled most of their limited-overs specialists after all of them sat out during the ODIs against Ireland. The likes of Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes, Jos Buttler, and Joe Root, who were integral in their World Cup victory last year have returned to the fold in a bid to face the arch-rivals.
We take a look at England’s predicted XI for the first ODI against Australia:
Jason Roy is revealed to have recovered from the side strain that kept him out of the T20 series against Pakistan and Australia. The destructive opening batsman suffered a torrid run against Ireland in three ODIs in which he scored only 25 runs.
However, it is safe to say that Jason Roy fancies playing against Australia. In the 2019 World Cup semi-final game, the 30-year old bludgeoned 85 while his best score of 180 came against them as well. Hence, the South African-born is expected to return to the side.
After failing in the first two T20 internationals against Australia, Jonny Bairstow cracked a whirlwind knock of 55 in the final one. Jonny Bairstow struggled in the initial phase of the innings; however, found his range as it progressed.
The keeper-batsman’s partnership with Jason Roy has been not only destructive but also successful. Hence, it is a no-brainer that the pair will start for England despite three consecutive failures against the Irishmen.
Joe Root has enjoyed an immensely successful run with the English Test side after guiding them to Test series victories against Pakistan and the West Indies. The triumphs against the West Indies and Pakistan was his third consecutive series win as a captain.
While Root’s form with the bat was not satisfactory, there remains little doubt that he is prolific when it comes to limited-overs. The 29-year old operates with a strike rate of 87.40 and averages a healthy 51.05. He will bat at number three for England.
Eoin Morgan (c):
Eoin Morgan sat out of the final T20 international after injuring his finger in the second game. However, Eoin Morgan should be fit for the three-match ODI series and will lead a full-strength English side. The World Cup-winning captain is also one of the best limited-overs batsmen.
The southpaw looked in good touch in the T20s against Australia; however, could not amass a substantial score. However, Morgan was destructive against Pakistan against whom he played an integral role in chasing 196 in the second T20I. Hence, the fourth spot seems the best for him to bat.
Jos Buttler (wk):
As revealed by Jos Buttler that he missed playing white-ball cricket, Buttler justified that in the first two T20Is against Australia in Southampton. He followed his 44 off 24 balls with an unbeaten 77 in the next match to script a series victory for the hosts. However, the keeper-batsman left the bio-bubble ahead of the third T20I that Australia won.
Nevertheless, the 29-year old returns for the ODI series that begins on Friday in Manchester. It is safe to say that Buttler will again be the thorn for the Australian bowlers as he appears in the form of his life, finetuning himself for the IPL in the UAE as well. The 29-year old will play the finisher’s role for the number one ODI team.
Sam Billings could not make his chance count in the final T20 international in the absence of Jos Buttler, scoring only four runs. While Sam Billings has immense potential, it is more often about not making the most of his opportunities.
However, the number six seems the best position for him to bat. Against Ireland, the 29-year old played at number five and finished unbeaten on 67 and 46 in the first two ODIs to rescue England from precarious positions. Hence, Billings must thrive on this opportunity in the absence of Ben Stokes.
Moeen Ali showed glimpses of his return to best form when he struck 61 off 34 deliveries. The spin-bowling all-rounder captained England in the final T20 international and scored two vital boundaries in the game before that to take the pressure off Jos Buttler.
Hence at number seven, the southpaw could play his natural game and he also possesses the capability to control the innings in case the batting line-up collapses. Furthermore, Ali is also a frontline spin-bowler and could chip in with useful overs and wickets when needed.
Chris Woakes secured the man of the match during the semi-final game against Australia in the 2019 World Cup for taking three wickets in eight overs for only 20 runs. Chris Woakes also enjoyed an outstanding summer in Tests, including finishing with an unbeaten 84 against Pakistan in the first Test. He would share the new ball with Jofra Archer and is a very handy lower-order batsman.
It would be Jofra Archer’s first game in ODIs since the 2019 World Cup final in which he bowled an outstanding super over to guide England to glory. Jofra Archer has battled plenty of injuries in his brief career so far while after the World Cup, the paceman has significantly played only Test cricket.
In the three-match T20 series, the 25-year old bowled with fearsome pace and venom but accounted for only three wickets. Nevertheless, Archer would likely be taking the new ball alongside Chris Woakes for England.
Veteran leg-spinner Adil Rashid was the best spinner amongst the two sides in the three T20Is as he repeatedly threatened the Australian batsmen. Adil Rashid struck three consecutive times in the last ball of his spell during the series that gave the visitors a massive setback.
The 32-year old picked up six wickets in three matches, averaging an impressive 12.50 and with best figures of 4-0-21-3. Rashid would be the frontline spinner for England.
Mark Wood last played an ODI during the 2019 World Cup final in which he took the sole wicket of Ross Taylor. Mark Wood picked three wickets in three T20Is against Australia, bowling with express pace at times. Wood would likely be the first-change bowler.