Cricket Australia

http://www.cricket.com.au/Global Items/news/2013/9/17/odi-series-review

Players lay foundations for World Cup

UPDATED 17 September, 2013 5:04PM AEDT | by Ben Hocking 4

A look at how each of the Aussies performed in the three completed ODIs against England, and what it means for the ICC World Cup in 2015.

Shaun Marsh (25 runs Average 12.5)

Whenever he seems set to lock down a position with Australia injury always seems to intervene. While he didn't manage to make his mark this series, he once more fell to a hamstring injury and was sent back to Australia after the fourth ODI in Cardiff. He will now miss the Champions League T20 matches with the Perth Scorchers, which could be a blessing in disguise if it means he is able to get his body right for the Australian summer.

Aaron Finch (71 runs Average 23.66)

Didn't exactly live up to the hype he generated in the Twenty20s or the one-day game against Scotland, but still looked comfortable enough to justify his spot at the top of the order for the upcoming series in India. He made a crucial run-a-ball 45 in Manchester that was eventually overshadowed by Michael Clarke's heroics. It will be important to get as many games under his belt as possible over the Australian summer so he performs more consistently for the 2015 World Cup.

Shane Watson (187 runs Batting average 62.33, 3 wickets Bowling average 37.33)

One of the most important players for Australia's World Cup campaign. Much like in the Test series, he proved that if he isn't going to open then the No.3 spot is his perfect position, scoring an impressive ton in the deciding one-dayer and only having the one failure with the bat in Cardiff. Performed his role with the ball, but Australia will need him to be much more damaging on bouncier pitches for the World Cup.

QUICK SINGLE: Aussies finish tour on a high

Michael Clarke (202 runs Average 67.33)

Played the entire series despite concerns over his back and was rewarded with man of the series for his efforts. Australia always looks much better with Clarke in the line-up and he got the series off to a winning start with a fantastic 105 in Manchester. Made the right calls in the field as well, making bowling changes at the right times to break crucial English partnerships, most notably in the final ODI when he called on James Faulkner and Mitchell Johnson to end the Ravi Bopara-Jos Buttler partnership. Clarke will be 34 by the time of the World Cup and as strong as his performance was this series, he still appeared troubled by his back in the final match. Whether he is still available to play in a year-and-a-half remains open for debate.

George Bailey (173 runs Average 57.66)

Couldn't crack a century during the series but did manage two scores of 80+ and only had the one failure in the final game in Southampton, when Australia already had a winning total on the board and were chasing quick runs. Cool head in a crisis, delivers when under pressure and sharp in the field. If Clarke is unavailable or unable to play during the World Cup Bailey appears well suited to step up for the captaincy duties and his batting will only improve as he gets more games under his belt and more opportunities.

Adam Voges (54 runs Batting average 27.00, 3 wickets Bowling average 20.00)

Batting at No.6 when Australia had so much success with the bat robbed him of the chance to lock down his spot, but he did compile a steady 30 as the minor partner with Bailey when Australia were in some trouble at 4-57 in the fourth ODI in Cardiff. Looking forward to the World Cup what he did do was present himself as a genuine all-round option taking three wickets off just 11.1 overs, when most of the other spinners struggled. He will be given more opportunity to bowl in India and across the Australian summer, although, considering he will be 35 by the time of the World Cup he may have to cede his spot in the team to younger talent.

Matthew Wade (36 runs Average 12.00)

Only took one catch and one stumping for the series, while his counterpart Jos Buttler managed 12 dismissals through greater opportunity. Scored two ducks and will need to perform in India or risk losing his spot in the side. The chase for the 'keeping spot in the World Cup is going to be hotly contested before 2015 with Wade having to scrap with Tim Paine and Chris Hartley over the coming Australian summer. Wade will most likely hold his spot for the tour of India, but if he doesn't perform there it will be open season in the domestic competitions as Brad Haddin comes back in for the Test matches and all three 'keepers duke it out for a spot in the one-day team.

James Faulkner (29 runs Batting average 9.66, 5 wickets Bowling average 24.60)

Faulkner has quickly gone from being a bit player to a key component of Australia's bowling attack. Has the knack of getting wickets at crucial times. Failed to make an impression with the bat, but was always in a situation where quick runs were more important than losing wickets. One of the youngest members of Australia's team to play in all the England ODIs, selectors clearly have him pegged for a big role in the World Cup. Before then, coach Darren Lehmann will be keen to work on his batting to develop him into a genuine all-round threat.

Mitchell Johnson (12 runs Batting average 6.00, 5 wickets Bowling average 28.20)

Seems to have completely beaten control issues which have dogged previous tours of England, while losing none of the fire we have come to expect. Was extremely economical, going for just 4.08 runs per over for the series, including an amazing spell of 2-21 off 10 overs in the final game. May not have been in World Cup contention before this tour given he will be 33 at the time and the fact Australia have plenty of younger fast-bowling talent, but if he can keep performing like he did on this tour there is no reason he can't stay on. The pitches in England didn't even offer him much assistance, so he should be even more damaging if given an opportunity at Perth or Brisbane.

Clint McKay (7 runs Batting average 3.5, 7 wickets Bowling average 23.28)

Was the leading wicket-taker for the series and took a breathtaking hat trick in the fourth ODI in Cardiff, which removed the only three Test batsmen in the English line-up (Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott and Joe Root). Only injury could stop him leading Australia's attack in the World Cup as he should get plenty more bounce when he returns to bowling in Australian conditions.

Fawad Ahmed (2 wickets Bowling average 53.00)

Was a difficult series for spinners with veteran England tweaker James Tredwell copping plenty of stick as well (4-151 at 7.42 runs an over). Ahmed's true worth to the side will be proven on the Indian decks in October, if he impresses there he should keep his spot in the side for the Australian summer, where selectors will be able to judge how he handles the home conditions before deciding whether a leg-spin bowler is necessary for the World Cup.

Nathan Coulter-Nile (1 wicket Bowling average 34.00)

Only had the one match to prove himself in Cardiff and was the most economical of Australia's bowlers on the day, going for just 3.4 runs per over off his 10 overs. Should be given more opportunities in future, where we will learn whether he is up to the task on a more regular basis.

Phil Hughes (2 runs Average 2.00)

Had the one shot in the deciding ODI to try and lock down the opener's spot, and was out cheaply to a short ball. A perceived weakness against spin may see him overlooked for the series in India, if Marsh is passed fit to play. Luckily he is a much better batsman in Australian conditions, which should see him given a shot this summer, although whether that is as an opener or somewhere in the middle order will depend on the fitness and form of Marsh. He will probably have to prove himself as an opener if he is to play in the World Cup as it is hard to see him breaking into a spot in the middle order which performed so successfully this series.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 17 September, 2013 4:13PM AEDT

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