England vs. Australia: 5 Reasons to Watch the One Day International Series
England vs. Australia is a fixture that has dominated the sporting summer, and the two nations will square off once again starting Friday in a five-match One Day International Series.
After the grueling Ashes schedule, two Twenty20 Internationals and the prospect of England’s tour Down Under in the upcoming winter, fans may feel that these fixtures are overkill.
However, read on for five reasons why this impending England vs. Australia ODI series will be of enormous interest in the short and long term.
The England vs. Australia fixture is the longest rivalry in One Day Internationals, dating back to the first ever ODI in 1971.
Only last year, Australia came to England and were soundly beaten 4-0 in the five-match One Day International series.
However, that resounding victory came after the Australians had beaten England 6-1 in 2009 after losing The Ashes.
And, of course, who can forget 2005 when the two countries played out a scintillating tie in the Final of the NatWest Series to share the tournament?
England vs. Australia is a fixture that just keeps providing great drama and intrigue.
England's Selection Dilemmas
With five players rested by England at the end of what has been a long summer, the onus is on those on the fringes to make their case for inclusion in future squads.
Players like Michael Carberry and Ben Stokes have been given the ideal chance to throw their hats into the ring ahead of the 2015 World Cup.
Meanwhile, England captain Eoin Morgan sees a potential opening in The Ashes squad, with the No. 6 spot in the batting order still not secured by another player.
Australia’s Batsmen Looking for Their Chance
Australia’s batsmen, like their English counterparts, also have their chance to stake a claim in future squads, especially given the excessive rotation that took place during the Test series.
Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh took advantage of some “blunt” bowling by Scotland to each score centuries, and both will be hoping to continue their form and force a regular spot for their country.
Finch also scored a superb 156 in the first Twenty20 International between these sides on August 29, so would appear in prime position to challenge for a spot in the Test team.
Australia's Spin Decision
In the bowling department, Australia also have a significant selection issue to ponder in the spin department.
Pakistan-born leg spinner Fawad Ahmed made his One Day International debut against the Scots and also impressed in the second Twenty20 International against England.
He will hope to challenge Nathan Lyon for the troublesome spinner’s role that has not been truly filled since the retirement of Shane Warne.
The Ashes 2013-14
Finally, no England vs. Australia clash would be complete without a look to the future.
These two countries next face each other just two months from now in what promises to be an absorbing encounter Down Under.
If the tourists can take a series victory here, it will give them a serious fillip going into an Ashes series on home turf.
Meanwhile, if England were to take the win, they would be filled with confidence and momentum going into their next meeting with the Australians.