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* News: Nathan Hauritz out of the ODIs due to injury and is in doubt for the Tests against Pakistan. Steven Smith looking set for a debut alongside Tim Paine for the Baggy Green.
Shaun Tait has been called up to replace Ritz and the good news is Taito is already in action in the English T20 competition. Ritz is yet another causualty to the injury list, please may it not get any longer!
It was exactly the type of performance we didn't need. No use complaining, the only thing we can gamble on now is that the guys come out strongly in the next three games and win. That's the bottom line. Their seems to be a bit of a casual attitude around the team with this series. I'm not sure what it is, but it's something a few guys seemed to have picked up on. A type of complacency or confidence concern? I'm not quite sure but what happened last match, happened once again and this time we were one important bowler down.
BATTING: 7-239, 50 overs: CL White 86*, SR Watson 57, SPD Smith 41.
It was quite bizarre how similar things played out. Tim Paine and Shane Watson got us off to a flyer in a good attack launched against James Anderson and Tim Bresnan. Despite Watto trying to keep his aggressive intentions up after Tim Paine departed to give Stuart Broad his 100th wicket, he fell again cheaply. In an attempted pull shot, he mistimed it terribly and got out in the fifities zone yet again!
Ricky Ponting is having a very rusty time out there. If ever we needed Punter to step up it would be now, given the attitude around the side. We just expect it to be the Hussey/White show to get us out of the danger zone every single match.
So I do expect Punter to deliver something big soon, we need it from the Skipper!
Michael Clarke continued to struggle for consistency. It's either decent or a no show from him and I think it may be a concern because his confidence with his ODI game is evidently shattered. His body language doesn't shine with that flashy confidence he had just two years ago. It's a concern for the supporters.
Michael Hussey tried his hardest but he was bowled by a fine delivery from Anderson that just nipped back inside to beat the inside of his bat to knock back his stumps.
Fortunately Cam White played conservatively to steer the side out of another terrible position and did this alongside Steven Smith who was playing his first game of the series.
I made a joke with a mate of mine that it'd be funny if Cam also scored 87* like Michael Clarke did last game, because it would just continue to the pattern. He ended unbeaten on 86*. It was a decent innings but many guys will understandably point fingers at the way his innings lacked momentum. Despite 2 sixes and 7 fours, it was similar to Clarke in that he struggled for momentum at the right time of the innings. Generally he has no issues with letting rip when needed. Perhaps it was that the conditions played against him or he was not confident in our other batsmen, either way even his efforts couldn't get us past the 250 mark.
After 50 overs we only managed 239. Immediately, without Ryan Harris in particular or a fired up young Josh Hazelwood most supporters would have known in some circumstances our never give in attitude just doesn't seem realistic.
BOWLING: England 6-243, 45.2 overs; DE Bollinger 3/46.
Douggie Bollinger is a seasoned Test cricket who hasn't really made a huge impact in the One Day game in my opinion, but yesterday he outclassed our entire bowling unit.
Despite Shane Watson having a shorter spell for obvious reasons and only going for 9 runs in three very economical overs, every other bowler except Douggie went for over 5 an over versus England whose bowlers only saw one man with an economy rate over 5. All the comparisons add up when analysing a weakness.
Our batting is a concern, but with our full strength ODI bowling unit I wouldn't be too concerned. But these bowlers seriously need a score to defend. It's essential because England have a strong batting side (as I've mentioned many times already) and without something dominating behind our batting scoreline, it's going to be continually in England's favor, and they can smell the weakness already.
Ryan Harris has the ability to just get that bit of deviation on the ball to create opportunities and with him being sidelined, it just meant that two spinners and a handful of seamers would be a big ask. Andrew Strauss played well up front and proved me wrong with his aggressive game plan. I still maintain there's always a chance with him up top playing with that mindset. Kevin Pietersen didn't show much discomfort as well and then Eoin Morgan continued his heroics scoring another half-century and really showing what a cool customer he is with the bat in hand. He's becoming a thorn in our side! I have quite a bit of video footage of him and there are a number of ways to get him but as you see, once he gets going it is tough to remove him, similar to Michael Hussey. I would go as far as saying he is potentially becoming the English cricket teams very own version of Huss. Potentially I said!
Douggie did a good job. Three wickets, which were all big vitimes, were his for the taking and the only blemish to his figures were two No-balls. That's gifting the opposition opportunities whether or not they make use of the Free Hit or not. But don't get me wrong, it was good to see Douggie bowl a fine spell but he needed support. It didn't happen last night and we paid the price.
It was a very similar feature to that of the 1st ODI and Cardiff remains a gloomy venue for us.
There's still three games. But the urgency is even greater now. It will be very, very hard work because I do think the side is struggling with confidence. You just have to look at the warm-up games for starters. Someone needs to get back that Aussie attitude to get stuck into the opposition and give them nothing! I maintain this is the way to play the game and I just hope one of our guys can make a daunting impact. That's all England need to throw them off-balance. They just need to experience one almighty beating in a game and they are back on the back foot.
And I must say, even though I try my utmost best to be analytical to see the positives and not sledge our own players, I just think we are really missing Mitchell Johnson and the experience of Brett Lee. Even not having guys like Nathan Bracken, Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus is a concern as they bring the X factor to the side, some in different formats though.
No need to panic, the Third ODI will determine what will be the outcome for this series.
AUSTRALIA A are also playing their final 4-day game against SRI-LANKA A.
We mowed them for 78 and have already taken the lead.
Usman Khawaja is cashing in on his call-up to the Test Squad as he currently stands unbeaten on 47* runs, while Eddie Cowan is on 34*. That is highly promising seeing Usman peek at the right time!
Andrew 'Ginger Ninja' McDonald (who still has a Cricket Australia contract) took 3/17 while Peter George was impressive once again with 4/13. Ben Hilfenhaus and James Pattinson had victims behind their names too. It was an excellent bowling effort with not one bowler going for more than 3 runs and over!
The game is already in our hands. Good luck to the Aussie A boys for the next 3 days!