Australian captain Michael Clarke
Australian captain Michael Clarke

Writing on the wall for ODI team

THE writing is on the wall, or should that be scoreboard, for the Australian ODI team.

England took a 2-0 lead in the five-game series after a six-wicket win at the Oval in London yesterday.

It's not only the series that Australia has got to try and save now - it's their No.1 ranking in ODIs which is also on the line.

England will be the top-ranked team in all forms of the game if they beat Australia 5-0.

Captain Michael Clarke said Australia has only one option when the arch rivals meet in game three at Edgbaston tomorrow - win.

"I think the scoreboard in the first game at Lord's hid how far away the teams were," he said. "England outplayed us at Lord's, it says we only lost by 15 runs but England outplayed us, and here too. We need to get better quickly."

To do that, Clarke said all his bowlers, with the exception of Clint McKay, needed to improve and he defended the decision to play wayward paceman Mitchell Johnson after young speedster Pat Cummins was ruled out of the game, and the series, with a side strain.

Johnson finished with 0-43 from seven overs in an erratic performance after an eight-month absence.

The team for the game won't be finalised until just before plays starts.

If they lose against England, Australia must hope they will be able to beat ... Afghanistan.

Cricket Australia announced yesterday the teams will play an ODI in the Middle East next month ahead of the series with Pakistan.



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