Friday, October 23, 2020

England aim to extend unbeaten home run

Cricket

Cricket - Second One Day International - England v Australia - Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester - September 13, 2020 England's Chris Woakes celebrates the wicket of Australia's Aaron Finch Pool via REUTERS/Shaun Botterill

LONDON: England have proven their mettle in one-day international (ODI) series on home soil and will look to extend their five-year unbeaten run when they take on Australia in today’s series decider, all-rounder Chris Woakes said yesterday.

England have not lost a bilateral ODI series at home since Sept. 2015 and they can extend that streak in Manchester with the three-match series evenly poised at 1-1.

“It’s an incredible achievement and we want to keep that going,” Woakes told reporters. “It shows how well we have played over the last four to five years.

“We want to win this specific series rather than maintain that record. Whenever you play Australia, you want to win and... it’ll be good for us to finish the summer on a high.”

In England’s 24-run victory on Sunday, Woakes, Jofra Archer and Sam Curran picked up three wickets each, which triggered Australia’s collapse from 144-2 to 207 all out while chasing a target of 232.

Woakes said that England now have the ability to win games with the ball too.

“Teams do realise that we can win from potentially any position and the game is not done until you get over the line,” he added.

“Maybe a few years ago, we could win only from the bat from that situation but now we can do that with the ball as well.”

England have not lost a single series across all three formats since cricket returned from the Covid-19 shutdown in July, with series wins over West Indies, Ireland, Pakistan and Australia.

Bonus

All matches were played in bio-secure environments without spectators in attendance due to the pandemic.

“The fact that we actually got some cricket this summer is a bonus,” Woakes said. “For us as a team, to have performed the way we have... the team has pulled together and played good cricket.”

n Australia batsman Steve Smith is recovering from his head injury but is no certainty to be recalled for the series decider, coach Justin Langer said yesterday.

Smith missed the first two matches after being hit on the head by a ball in the nets last week and is expected to have his fitness assessed during a training session later in the day.