Headingley: England are out to avoid a repeat of previous post-Ashes slumps when they play Australia in a five one-day international series starting on Friday at Headingley, captain Eoin Morgan said.
The hosts have won six of their last nine home one-day series and have crushed Australians 4-0 last year but they lost the last two post-Ashes series, in 2009 and 2010-11.
England comfortably beat Ireland in a warm-up match on Tuesday with Morgan scoring an unbeaten century against his native country. “We’ve talked about it in previous series before and this series is no different, we need to turn up, produce our skills, at crucial times we need to stand up and be counted,” he told reporters on Thursday. “I think everybody is aware of the responsibility that’s on their shoulders and what is expected.”
Morgan said Kevin Pietersen will have an important role to play in the one-day Internationals against Australia, which starts at Headingley on Friday.
With Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann all rested after a successful Ashes campaign, Morgan will lead some unfamiliar faces into battle against the visitors.
Given the lack of experience in the England line-up, Morgan has urged 33-year-old Surrey batsman Pietersen to lead the way. “Kev has a hell lot to offer as a senior player and as a batsman,” Morgan told a press conference.
“As a senior player he leads by example with the confidence with which he goes about his business. People rub off on that and that’s crucial.
Despite the absences of Bell and regular captain Cook, Morgan said that Pietersen was not guaranteed to open the batting against the Australians. “It’s certainly an option. Kev’s opened the batting for England before and done well,” he said. “He also bats in the middle-order as a very explosive player. He’s very versatile in that regard so we'll be looking at both options.”
However, despite back problems of his own, captain Michael Clarke said he gave no thought to resting himself ahead of the next Ashes series starting in November. “It was a no-brainer for me if I wanted to stay here and play the one-dayers,” Clarke said.
“I want to play every game I can for Australia. It would be good to leave the country with a couple of wins under our belt,” said Clarke.
“I’ll prepare today, as I have done over the past few days, like I would if it was the first Test of the Ashes. It’s just as important to me.
“It’s easier to rest players when you win than it is when you’re not performing as you'd like,” Clarke said. (agencies)