Australian captain Tim Paine will play in ODI 3, despite suffering a blow to the mouth during the Aussies’ loss to England. Picture: Getty Images
Australian captain Tim Paine will play in ODI 3, despite suffering a blow to the mouth during the Aussies’ loss to England. Picture: Getty Images

Aussies bruised, battered but up for fight

TIM Paine has a badly cut mouth, Billy Stanlake has a badly cut big toe and Australia's one-day reputation has a bruise growing bigger by the match.

But as the losses continue to mount there's a bit of fight in the group being formed by new coach Justin Langer and a level of confidence that the bumps they are copping right now aren't knockout blows.

A 38-run loss to England in the second one-day clash in Cardiff was the sixth in seven games to the old enemy and the record of the reigning World Cup champs makes for ugly reading.

The absence of several stars, including banned batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner along with frontline bowlers Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins have played their part in the two defeats on this tour.

 

A rotating top order through the two games, with D'Arcy Short brought in to open with Travis Head while Aaron Finch dropped down to number five, isn't aiding matters.

But the rot had set in long before that and Australia has now lost 13 of its past 15 ODIs. Since that epic World Cup win at the MCG in 2015 the reigning champions have a 27-28 win-loss record having seen a revolving door of players in that time with several retirements as well.

Shaun Marsh held his head high after plundering 131 against the Poms. Picture: AFP
Shaun Marsh held his head high after plundering 131 against the Poms. Picture: AFP

Australia racked up 304 at Sophia Gardens, including a mammoth 131 from Shaun Marsh as they fell short of England's 342 and Paine, sporting stitches in his lip after copping a bad bounce in the field, said he believed his team was not being outclassed by the world's No.1 side.

Instead he said getting both the batting and bowling to fire on the same day would see an immediate turn in results.

In game one the bowlers almost defended a meagre total of 214 as the batsmen struggled, but in Cardiff the bowlers conceded 41 boundaries and Andrew Tye went for 81 off just nine overs.

Australia has to win game three at Trent Bridge on Tuesday to keep the series alive and despite two lopsided performances Paine is adamant this new group won't roll over and can beat England.

"I think we can, I really do. I think our best cricket is good enough to beat these guys," he said.

"We just haven't put the complete package together. In the first game we didn't bat well, and then we didn't bowl as we would have liked.

"If you give England a chance they are going to be all over you, they are the best team in the world."

Towering Aussie seamer Billy Stanlake is unlikely to be ready for Tuesday’s do-or-die clash. Picture: AP
Towering Aussie seamer Billy Stanlake is unlikely to be ready for Tuesday’s do-or-die clash. Picture: AP

Marsh, who hadn't been in the one-day side since February 2017 before his recall by new coach Langer, also believed a win was getting closer.

"We felt like we were in the game right until the end," he said.

"We know we need to improve a fair bit to get that win. We're heading in the right direction but we still need lots of improvement and hopefully we can see that in a few days' time and try and get back into this series.

"We want to win and unfortunately we are just falling a little bit short at the moment. We need to regroup over the next few days and work on the areas we need to work on and hopefully put in an all-round performance at Trent Bridge."

Stanlake is unlikely to be fit for Tuesday's match while Michael Neser, who played in game one, is in line for a re-call after the bowler's failed to get the job done in Cardiff.



Man brutally attacks 18-year-old girlfriend

premium_icon Man brutally attacks 18-year-old girlfriend

This week he was sentenced in Hervey Bay District Court.