Australia v England – 2nd ODI: Selection Spin

Australia 9/270 (AJ Finch 106, MR Marsh 36, DA Warner 35, AT Carey 27, JE Root 2/31, AU Rashid 2/71) lost to
England 6/274 (JM Bairstow 60, AD Hales 57, JE Root 46*, JC Buttler 42, CR Woakes 39*, MA Starc 4/59, JA Richardson 2/57)


Australia’s ODI woes have continued, outplayed for a second time in two games by an England team playing with a punch that they sorely lacked in the Test series. Selection has played it’s part so far from both teams. Roy, Hales, Morgan and Buttler give a confident aggression with the bat lacking in The Ashes series. Rashid and Wood give the spin variety and extra pace very much in need in the English Test cricket team. Where to start with Australian selection…..


270 was never going to be enough on a belting ‘Gabba pitch. Warner and Finch get the team off to a very good start again. Finch constructs another ton, two in a row, his white ball credentials unquestionable and boosted yet again. After the 68 run opening partnership, the middle order failed to accelerate, Root claiming the wickets of skipper Smith and the struggling Travis Head. Mitch Marsh looked good for his 36 but his stumping was a poor dismissal at a time when Australia badly needed him to go on and get a big score.


Australia just couldn’t find the boundary in the final overs, limping to a below par score. Alex Carey was very impressive with 27, the only batsman to show some spark in the final overs. Tim Paine would not want to miss too many games with Carey around. Cameron White, in his first ODI since 2015, struggled to hit out at the end, copping flack on some platforms. But it was a total waste of time playing White if he is going to bat at 7. The Victorian’s wonderful form in domestic 50 over cricket has been whilst batting in the top 3 for the Bushrangers, and while he has a well deserved reputation as a hitter, it’s been when well set at the crease in recent years. Give him a shot at 4 or don’t bother playing him at all.


Mitch Starc claimed the dangerous Roy early, but some good batting from Bairstow and Hales gave England an ascendancy they rarely looked like losing. More wickets to Starc gave a glimmer of hope, hope taken away again by Buttler’s attacking innings. All the while Joe Root calmly ticked the score over, a player building a fabulous ODI record.


Jhye Richardson was particularly impressive on debut, bowling fast and moving the ball. Huge future, great choice by the selectors.


Apart from Starc and Richardson, the home team’s bowling was extremely lacklustre. Tye is a fantastic T20 bowler but does he have enough tricks when batsmen have more time in 50 over cricket? Where was a specialist spinner? Zampa’s confidence will not be helped by consistently being in and out of the team. Give him an extended run or play Lyon. Or Agar. Or Swepson. Or Holland. Or Ahmed. Just play someone and back them in, Travis Head’s off-spin is only handy at best, while Finch’s left-armers make his coach’s slow left-armers from back in the day look Vettori-like. Is there room for both M.Marsh and Stoinis in the team? Probably not when Marsh’s bowling is still a way off being back to its peak post-shoulder surgery.


At the moment England look a far superior one-day team. Plenty to ponder for the Australian selectors in the next 18 months leading up to the World Cup.


About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. Citrus Bob says

    You raise some great questions there Luke. Head or White at 4. On form White but why not give Short a run?
    Zampa must be played if he is in the squad. Spinners get wickets in this game. He wont be in any future team but Ahmed is my trump card.
    Time Paine would be concerned no runs in the future for him – just play (pardon the pun). What would be wrong with Carey at 4 anyway?
    SPD needs a spell from the game or let someone else captain this format
    Love the attitude of the English. Note no Anderson or Broad to corrupt them. My favourite player at the moment has to be Jonny Bairstowe his demeanour on the field is infectious and just wish more players smiled when they get a good ball and chased like hell when fielding.

  2. Punxsa-and-the-rest-of-it Pete says

    Luke, no one but no one loves cricket as much as I do, but I just can’t watch these ODI’s. I just wish the format would bugger off. Enjoyed reading your report all the same.

  3. Thanks for this, Crackers. you raise some excellent points.
    I must admit I have very similar thoughts to yours:

    Spinners – every international team plays at least one spinner, many of them play two. You are correct in saying that the selectors simply will not back a spinner and stick with him. Although I have gone off Zampa in the past 6 – 12 months, I thought he was shabbily treated. Yes, he went for 73 in Melbourne, but Starc went for 72. It is clear that Zampa is no longer the answer here, so get someone else in.
    Pace – the obsession with pace continues. In Melbourne, the game was lost in the first 6 overs when Starc and Cummins were smashed for 55 runs. It was impossible to pull the game back from there. Yes, Starc took 4fa in Sydney, but he still went for 59 off 10.
    All-rounders – M Marsh and Stoinis cannot be picked in the same team as they are the same type of player (with the exception that Marcus actually bowls).
    Batsmen: the constant chopping and changing means that most batsmen are fearful of being dropped from the team and therefore unwilling to take risks. This leads to safe batting, which leads to scores of 300, which means losses. Head desperately needs runs. As does Warner (it would be interesting to see what would happen if his run of low scores continues).
    Maxwell – his continued absence is casting a shadow over this entire team. He should be playing. End of story.
    Smith – I am not 100% convinced that he is still in our best ODI team. However, I look forward to being proven wrong on this.

  4. Luke Reynolds says

    Citrus- look forward to White getting a chance up the order tonight. Would rather Smith have a rest than have someone take over as full time ODI captain.

    PP- being played after The Ashes and not having a greater context really hurts these games. Change is coming.

    Smokie- would much rather 2 spinners in the team than 2 or 3 average medium pacers. Deliberately didn’t mention Maxwell but share your thoughts on him. ODI’s are probably Smith’s weakest facet compared to his peers Kohli, Williamson, Root & de Villiers. Am sure he can turn his 50 over form around.

  5. Luke the lack of overall support and consistency re Zampa has hurt him yes a spinner must be played and surely,Lyon is given a chance and backed in to much 1 day cricket purely a money grab.How,Rashid wasn’t in England’s test touring party is a mystery and not convinced re Paine ability to finish overall with the bat it is Carey time.Smith and Warner should have been rested showed that the CA were worried about overall perception of 1 day cricket ( my comment is re the whole one day series ) thanks Luke

  6. Smith and Warne certainly under achieved in the ODI’s. A total of 175 runs in ten completed innings, by our two best batsmen is not what you want. Smith with a top score of 45 in the ODI’s is having a rest now prior to touring South Africa, though i’m not sure what we gain from having Warner playing in the T20 side.

    Smih the best test batsmen in the world, Warner a ferocious slayer of bowlers on Australian soil, but for both to lose form simultaneously was not good timing.

    Zampa as our number one ODI spinners?


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