3-0 in the series, and England are looking rather deflated at the moment.
It was another great performance from the bowlers, backed by some flawless fielding. Some of those catches were not easy, and from a consistency and intensity level, our fielding standards are lifting too a good level again. Mike Young must keeping the boys hard at work! Having a slightly younger unit of players, as well as a few of the other guys getting back into the International circuit has certainly increased the energy quite a bit out there!
Cameron White has really taken his opportunity with total ambition, visible in our younger ranks, at the number 3 role.
Cameron's contribution's have been on the ascendancy since his innings in the first Twenty20. I have always been eager to see himself and David Hussey in the One Day side squad lists, and while David Hussey didn't make the cut this time around (he'll be back), Cam White has really shown such determination after being given his chance to spend time in the middle before the international crowds to see just why we regard him as such a fine ODI prospect!
He has made the Grade for ODI cricket, but his place in the squad is still a match up to the conditions, available players and also the individuals' form.
He has always had the reputation to the International onlookers as a monster hitter, but it was fantastic to see him take his time out in the middle on that wicket, which needed some hard grafting too get the runs.
Himself and Michael Clarke gave themselves a lot of work to do by pacing the inning's out at a very slow rate, and had they lost the partnership 150 runs shy of victory, the required rate may have become quite a matter to deal with.
But he stuck to his guns and after launching that six in the 80's it was certain he would reach the triple figure mark, his debut ODI century!
It was quite an achievement for him, when you take into consideration he has been stuffed into the lower middle order repeatedly (not too mention a rough entrance to Test cricket in India...no thanks to the NSP there), and this has given him the best possible chance to mould a future place for himself in this team. Even better is that it could boost his flexibility in the batting line-up when needed, and the benefit is we also get a specialist slip fielder. He drops very few there!
This is been a very positive payoff for the team, and at the right time this team may be starting to peak.
I can't exclude Callum Ferguson, the Redbacks finest!
Apart from being the One Day find last summer, he is increasing his chances at a future Test call-up! His ability to adapt to the match situation (and conditions too), yet play with an 'under the radar' profile, is setting him up nicely as a great future prospect to the side, where Michael Hussey and Ricky Ponting will not be around forever.
His style isn't flashy to the onlooker, but the way he plays his shots almost in motion feels like he moulds his shit around each delivery on merit, with little fuss, just doing what is required. I think Fergal is an excellent cricketer, and I am very proud of what he has achieved. He still has plenty challenges ahead!
Even his inning's in the match was so well tuned. He kept the singles coming, bashed away some poor deliveries square of the wicket, and it was good to see him there at the end even though Cameron and Pup had put in all the ground work.
Michael Hussey came in and without fussing about too much knocked down the remaining runs to wrap up the match and give the team a 3-0 lead in the 7 match series. Huss is in the running's for ODI cricketer of the year, and while Punter's return will cause some chopping and changing in the batting line-up, he has performed very well in One Day cricket!
With Ricky Ponting out for the last 3 games, and now a few question marks regarding the batting order (on a positive note)for the remaining games, Cameron's performances have actually made it quite a tough situation now with Punter returning into the side. Who will make way for him, how will the order shift, these are interesting points to look at.
Firstly, it is very important Punter gets match time in 50 over cricket, as he will not only be leading the squad in the Champions Trophy, but it has been a while since he wore the National colours.
Secondly, it's important he resume his place at number 3 in order to get back into the role with the other players around him.
It will be refreshing to see Punter back in the team, especially to see how his intensity levels are. Michael Clarke has done a fine job as Captain! He is analysing his team strategically and has been able to match his field tactics to not only the bowler operating, but also to the English line-up.
I like the aggressive tactics that he has been using. He hasn't been shy in his tactics, or conservative, so it's put him in a good position. I think he needs a bit more confidence in his own abilities as he seems to be handling the job really well.
But he has grown up under Punter's leadership, so the desire to keep playing and learning as a senior squad member there is understandable.
Shane Watson, for the first time in a while, didn't cash in on a big score with the bat in hand but his bowling has been the most effective return of form in the ODI scene.
After he was given a few overs in the Ashes, he looked pretty far below average of what I believe Watto is capable of.
But he has been bowling to his capabilities and doing what we need from him. He's getting wickets and managing to deliver the goods really well while giving enough pressure for the other bowler's to do their job comfortably.
James Hopes is doing a similar job to Watto and his fielding was particularly impressive!
Another good reason to have both Shane Watson and Brett Lee is this team is they are full of the aggressive Australian characteristics we have been lacking...never afraid to shy away from the competition and always keen to share a few words of gesture!
Nathan Hauritz seems to be after Andrew Strauss' wicket a fair bit!
Strauss is a really good batsman so it's great Ritz' is pegging him!
7-0 in this series is a result I don't see it as unreachable, but that intensity would need to be held together when heading off the South Africa for the Champions Trophy.
The series is not secure yet, and I still want to see a lot more cricket in this series from each member of the squad who goes out there as one of the 11 players.
So I am not complaining there is a fair bit more left in this series, but I have to agree that 7 ODI's is a bit much after an Ashes series.
Five would be enough, surely!