Batsmen will inspire England to series win

 
Andy Lloyd
England face Australia at Edgbaston today with the momentum in this one-day international series. If they can triumph again then they’ll know they’re on their way to a series win.

If they take a 5-0 victory, they overtake Australia as the world’s top one-day side, but talk of a whitewash remains premature. This isn’t a bad Australian team – there’s no such thing.

Pat Cummins was impressive and now can’t play because of a side strain, but they’ve still some decent cricketers. David Warner and Shane Watson are a very strong partnership and Michael Clarke is as good a one-day player as there is in the world.

If England can win today, then they can start thinking about a 5-0 win, but it’s a hard game to call, particularly as we’ve a few injury doubts. The one thing we’ve seen this summer is that in England, in English conditions, our boys are very hard to beat – and they’re really going to be up for it.

Jimmy Anderson is a key player and I don’t think England will take any risks with his groin strain, particularly with them two-nil up and with South Africa coming over in a few weeks. It’s important they look after him. Jade Dernbach’s proved a handy player but I don’t think his absence will weaken the team.

Everyone was saying Kevin Pietersen’s retirement from the one-day game was going to affect England but Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara have batted magnificently, England are a very strong batting side and it’s that that’s going to win them this series.

Andy Lloyd is a former England Test cricketer who captained, and then later acted as chairman of, Warwickshire.