Chris Cairns still sees England and Australia as fairly evenly matched in the 5th and last ODI, but despite this, the series is heading England's way.
The match at Durham went pretty much to script.
It was a great toss to win and England's bowling attack was accurate and utilised conditions well.
I have no doubt that had Australia won the toss, the result would have been reversed.
With this in mind, I am a little concerned with the subsequent witch-hunt and the coach Mickey Arthur coming out publicly questioning his players. Perhaps it's a motivating tactic to ensure the players front up at Old Trafford to avoid an embarrassing white wash.
There are two telling statistic to date: England have four batters with more than 130 runs in the three matches - Australia have none.
Australia have one bowler with four wickets, next best is two. England have bowlers who have taken seven, six and four wickets respectively. In every facet, England are outplaying this Australian outfit.
Now, I never saw this result coming. I felt England were unbalanced and would be exposed. But Australia have limped to totals and their main batsmen -Warner, Watson and Clarke - must take the blame for not setting up their team totals.
I don't believe there is seriously too much between these teams. For this reason, Australia can't be discounted, but with Watson and Lee out, England must be favourite to clean sweep the series.
Starc has been added to the squad but he cannot leapfrog Johnson, and with Doherty to come back in, Hilfenhaus must play again as will Pattinson.
Australia will also be weakened by Wade going in to open and Smith coming in to the team, probably at seven.
With so much chopping and changing for Australia over the last fortnight, they have not had a settled combination. With that in mind, I would promote Clarke to three and say that he must bat through and anchor the innings with a hundred. I feel Clarke has the quality and tenacity to achieve this so he's my pick for top batsman.
Mackay continues to be my pick for leading wicket taker; he's had an excellent series.
As for the result, sorry but it's going to be a clean sweep for the English.
Who would have thought?!?
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