Bairstow: Catch us if you can, Australia

England batter says copying their one-day style of play isn't as simple as Steve Smith might think

Jonny Bairstow believes Australia's task of mimicking England's ultra-aggressive ODI batting style is far from as simple as an overnight switch in strategy.

England easily accounted for Australia in the Gillette Series opener in Melbourne on Sunday night, despite the hosts making 8-304 – a total once considered daunting and one that had previously never been chased down on the vast expanses of the MCG.

But England have the greatest win/loss ratio of any side in ODI cricket since the conclusion of the 2015 World Cup, won by Australia, and their success has largely been built around posting monster totals.

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Since that tournament, Trevor Bayliss's team have posted nine of the 30 ODI scores of 350-plus – more than any other side – and three of the top four, including a world record 3-444 against Pakistan at Trent Bridge in August 2016.

"It looks like the way they play is for everyone to go really hard and Joe Root is sort of the rock in the middle," Smith said post-match at the MCG on Sunday night.

"He just plays good cricket and guys bat around him.

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"That works for them and it's something we might have to think about as well. Having guys that are going really hard and having someone, it might be me, who just bats normally.

"I guess when you do that, perhaps you're going to have days where you get bowled out for not many. But you back your players to come off more often than not and get those big totals.

"That's what the English players are doing at the moment. They're playing with such freedom and have really good game plans."

However Bairstow, who has only recently cemented his spot in a crack batting unit, said the approach has been one that has been worked on over a period of time under Bayliss, and given the explosiveness of the likes of Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Jos Buttler and Bairstow himself, as well as the steady (while still fast-scoring) hands of Root and skipper Eoin Morgan, he questioned whether Australia were as well equipped to pull off such a bold tactic.

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"It's an individual team thing, isn't it," he said ahead of Friday's second ODI at the Gabba. "They can go out and copy what we do (but) it might not work for them.

"There's people you've also got to have in your team to play around in order for you to score those 300s, 350s, 400s that we have done.

"So just saying 'oh we're going to try and do that', that's something that we've been working on for the last 18 months.

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"So it's a good thing that they're looking at the way we're playing because that means we're obviously doing something right, and long may that continue with the group of players that we've got.

"We're pushing each other at training every day, saying 'how can we get better?' With the line-up that we've got, we've got Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett coming in at nine and 10, I mean there's firepower all the way down."

2017-18 International Fixtures

Gillette ODI Series v England

Australia ODI squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Cameron White, Adam Zampa.

England ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

First ODI England won by five wickets at the MCG.

Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Tickets

Third ODI SCG, January 21. Tickets

Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Tickets

Fifth ODI Perth Stadium, January 28. Tickets

Prime Minister's XI

PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Tickets

Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series

England T20 squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Tickets

Second T20I Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Tickets

Third T20I Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Tickets

Fourth T20I NZ v England, Wellington, February 14

Fifth T20I NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final TBC, Eden Park, February 21

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