January 16, 2021

Tremlett: England and Australia have points to prove at the Oval

The first game of a series is always a big one, so it will be interesting to see how England start against Australia at the Oval in the first of their five one-day matches.

As hosts, England are certainly favourites to win the series. But they are two evenly-matched teams and I expect it to be close. A whitewash either way would be a surprise.

England play well at home and, with Trevor Bayliss and Eoin Morgan at the helm, have been a fantastic white-ball side since the last World Cup.

Read more: The Hundred: Why sponsors will like new cricket proposal

Australia have had problems and distractions off the pitch so theyll want to change a lot of peoples perceptions of their country.

Theyre under new leadership with Justin Langer so will want to prove a point and that can be very dangerous for England, who are coming off a disappointing defeat by Scotland.

Scotland played really well and deserved their surprise win on Sunday. They got off to a flier and carried their momentum on a good pitch with the crowd behind them.

But even though they put 371 on the board, England should have chased that down, with small boundaries and a flat pitch. They lost wickets at the wrong times, got it down to the wire and Scotland held their nerve.

England fell six runs short in their chase of 371 in Edinburgh (Source: Getty)

In friendly games against lesser nations a little bit of complacency can sneak in. Its embarrassing to lose those types of games.

England have lost to the Netherlands and Ireland on bigger stages before so they know that they cant take these games for granted.

They didnt look quite at the races, but going into the series with Australia I dont think theyll be too concerned. Over a long period England have shown themselves to be a very good one-day side, so I think theyll put that result behind them and come out firing.

Despite the changes in leadership I dont think Australia will alter how they play their cricket. They have always played aggressively and theyre not going to stop sledging and start shying away from competition. That would go away from what theyre about.

Its about having a bit more class about how they go about things. Some of their players have taken things a bit far over the past few years. Theyve overstepped the mark and taken the game into disrepute.

Langer and new coach Ricky Ponting have got to the top of the game and played in one of the best sides ever. Theyre fantastic people to have around and the players should learn from them.

Theyre two very good appointments for Australia and I think they should take it back to basics, how they used to play, without that arrogance to gain respect back.

Cricket Australia Arrival Press Conference
Justin Langer replaced Darren Lehmann as Australia's head coach in May (Source: Getty)

Australia are a bit of a laughing stock at the moment so theyre sure to get some stick from English fans. Theyll have to take that on the chin and let their performances do the talking.

New captain Tim Paine has decided to make the two sides shake hands before the series and I think that is good for the spirit of the game. Hopefully they can put what happened behind them, set a precedent and move on. They have a new skipper and new coaches so they are trying to start afresh.

The ball normally comes on at the Oval in one-day cricket and the big square means its a quick-scoring ground.

I hope we see a competitive game with scores beyond 350 so we can start the series with a bang and get a positive vibe around the sport again.




Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *