Clarke seeks winning form from ODIs

Nothing will erase Australia's Ashes pain, but Michael Clarke's side are out to at least end their frustrating tour on a high in the one-day series against England.

A marathon campaign spanning more than three months draws to a close with a five-match ODI series starting at Headingley in Leeds on Friday.

While England's decision to rest the core of their Ashes-winning side in the 50-over format has taken some sting out of the series - and Australia's hopes of exacting revenge - motivation remains high among the tourists.

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The tour has so far yielded just two wins - a Twenty20 game against England and Tuesday's ODI victory over minnows Scotland - five losses and two draws across all international formats.

That has included a 3-0 Ashes series loss and, adding to the frustration, even the weather conspired against Australia at times in winning positions.

With a chance to take some much-needed momentum towards the limited overs tour of India (October) and the return Ashes series in the Australian summer, Clarke insists there's still plenty to play for.

"It's an important series for us," Clarke told AAP.

"We didn't have any success in the Test series so we want to turn that around.

"It's been a pretty long trip in the UK so it'd be nice for us to go home on a high with winning the series."

Team significance aside, the series looms as an important one for individuals.

As well as the coming series, the 2014 Twenty20 World Cup and 2015 one-day World Cup form part of the bigger picture for a host of players aiming to push selection claims.

Limited overs specialists George Bailey, Shaun Marsh, Matthew Wade and Mitchell Johnson are among those who can give the Test selectors something to think about with strong series.

Others like Phillip Hughes need to impress to prevent being dropped altogether and Clarke said performances would be relevant for all formats.

"The way to get selected in any team is to make runs or take wickets, it doesn't matter what form of game you're playing," Clarke said.

"I think the boys know that.

"Whatever the format, put runs on the board and selectors will be looking at you."

Much interest continues to surround the performance of former Fawad Ahmed, who is seemingly being groomed for Ashes selection.

The leg-spinner starred with the ball in last week's T20 loss to England and Clarke was impressed by his 1-39 from 10 overs against Scotland on his ODI debut.

The 31-year-old will likely get plenty of bowling time in an extended audition at the top level.

"It's about learning what international cricket's about and that takes time," Clarke said of Ahmed.

England warmed up for the series with a hard-fought victory over Ireland on Tuesday and they'll be without rested stars Alastair Cook, Stuart Broad, Ian Bell, James Anderson and Graeme Swann.

That, and the fact an Australian top order spearheaded by explosive opener Aaron Finch looks to be firing, has the hosts looking vulnerable.

Still, Australia will need to overcome a poor recent record, having not beaten England in an ODI since February, 2011.