March 21, 2018

Eoin Morgan defends head coach Trevor Bayliss ahead of Australia ODI series

14 January 2018, 06:25 | Lena Norman

Hales learned lesson from Bristol: Morgan

Returning Hales and skipper Morgan help England to tour victory

England's cricket selectors refrained Wednesday from a radical shakeup of the test squad despite a 4-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia.

But England's 50-over side have plenty of reasons to believe they can succeed where their Test counterparts failed when the five-match one-day series starts in Melbourne at 03:20 GMT on Sunday. In fact, between them they have played just 34 List A matches - Tye 24 and Richardson eight.

Skipper Eoin Morgan struck an unbeaten 81, which included seven fours and two sixes, as England chased down their victory target with more than nine overs to spare.

One thing they do have in their favour is a relatively settled unit.

He said: "I'd like to prove a point to everyone, to my team-mates and the media, that I can be that X-factor bowler they want".

Thursday's warm-up win over a Cricket Australia XI showed Alex Hales (52) and captain Eoin Morgan (81no) in particularly eye-catching form, while Plunkett joined Mark Wood in delivering the kind of rapid seam bowling that was conspicuous by its absence at key times during the Ashes.

England's development into a one-day force after their dismal group-stage exit from the 2015 World Cup has been based largely on a talented batting line-up prepared to attack throughout the innings.

For many years, England had been completely dominated by Australia in all formats of the game, but, the first game between the rivals in the tri-series held in England in 2005 came as a pleasant surprise for the hosts.

Returning Hales and skipper Morgan help England to tour victory

"Joe should be fit to play", Morgan said.

Joe Root has been passed fit for the first one-day global against Australia after recovering from a viral illness.

Morgan (81*) took the tourists home after Hales, Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow all make significant contributions.

He said: "It's a good opportunity for us to try and change our one-day cricket a bit". Dawid Malan has been called as a replacement of Stokes.

But there is already disquiet in some quarters that with so much emphasis on how best to prepare for the next Ashes series in Australia in 2021, two years of planning will effectively be put in place by a coach who will not be there to see the job through, and whose successor might have different ideas anyway.

Although Stokes would have batted in the middle order, Chris Woakes, Willey, Plunkett and Rashid are all capable of providing crucial runs down the order.

Bayliss has said since the Ashes that he will stand down when his contract expires in September 2019.

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