Millennium Post

Aus, Eng switch to one-day mode

Aus, Eng switch to one-day mode
With the World Cup in the back of their minds, favourites Australia and England will lock horns in the opening match of the ODI cricket tri-series here on Friday, looking to test their squads one last time in the final lead-up to next month’s mega-event.

High on confidence after the 2-0 Test series win over India, the Australians will face England at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday before renewing hostilities with the reigning World Cup title holders in Melbourne on Sunday.

The tri-series is seen as a final warm-up for all the three teams ahead of the World Cup, to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand in less than a month’s time. The series will provide players of all the three teams opportunity to find their form and stake a claim in the final XI of their respective sides in the World Cup.

The series will be specially vital for England as the team would look to settle down under new captain Eoin Morgan. In a big decision, England replaced Alastair Cook with Morgan as captain in less than two months before the World Cup to improve their chances. Under Morgan’s leadership, England have piled up runs in their two warm-up games in Canberra, scoring a total of 755. Ian Bell has been in threatening form as he blasted 187 off 145 balls in the 60-run win over the Prime Minister’s XI on Wednesday.

But skipper Morgan is in desperate need of runs, having scored just one fifty in his past 19 ODI innings. To add to Morgan’s woes, England’s ODI form has been poor off late and they will look to regain the winning touch after last year’s series losses at home to Sri Lanka and India, and away to Sri Lanka.

Anderson doubtful

England seamer James Anderson is doubtful for the tri-series opener against Australia Friday, battling to recover from a knee injury. England take on the home team at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the first match of the One-day International (ODI) tri-series also involving Australia. “It was more managing his workload coming back from injury. We decided that he wouldn’t be able to play three games in a week - and obviously the most important game is on Friday. So in order for him to be fit for selection, we needed to up his workload in the nets,” said England skipper Eoin Morgan.

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