| ROBERT KEY: Impressive technique and temperament
Perth: Australian one-day captain Ricky Ponting said on Monday that the Test side’s brisk scoring rate would aid the approaching switch to one-day Internationals culminating in the World Cup early next year.
Australia scored 1,796 runs in the first three Ashes Tests against England at a run rate of 4.08 an over — an exceptionally high rate in Test cricket — while hammering the opposition 3-0.
The summer’s one-day tri-series, with England and Sri Lanka — begins with a day-night match between Australia and England in Sydney on Friday.
With South Australian left-hander Darren Lehmann’s recent elevation to the Test side, there are now only two changes of personnel between the Australian Test and limited-overs line-ups.
Test captain Steve Waugh and Justin Langer make way for Michael Bevan and allrounder Shane Watson.
Under Ponting’s leadership, the Australian one-day side has done quite well after selectors axed Mark and Steve Waugh earlier this year.
Ponting said it seemed the Test side sometimes batted as aggressively as a one-day unit.
“When I was batting the other day (on the opening day of the third Test in Perth) we were scoring at over six runs an over,” he said.
“It is not a deliberate plan — it is just the way things are happening,” Ponting said.
“We are a very confident side, all the players are confident and we are playing that way at the moment.
“In the last couple of years we have been able to score fairly quickly.”
But Ponting said the abbreviated form of the game had moved on enormously tactically since Australia won their second World Cup crown in England in 1999.
“It is a very different game,” he said. “Your mindset is obviously a lot different playing a one-day game, compared with a Test match.”
However, Ponting said he tried not to change his batting style.
“It’s fairly similar for me,” he said. “Hopefully, I won’t change things around too much.”
Harmison, Key in
England named Robert Key and Steve Harmison, both uncapped in one-day Internationals, on Monday in a 16-man squad for the tri-series, which includes Sri Lanka and starts later this month.
Key made 47 and 23 in the third Ashes Test in Perth last week, which Australia won by an innings and 48 runs within three days.
The 23-year-old from Kent, who has displayed impressive technique and temperament as teammates crumble around him, was only selected for the tour after Graham Thorpe pulled out.
Key, who has played four Tests, forced his way into the side after an unbeaten 174 in the tour match against Australia A in Hobart last month.
Harmison, 24, a fast bowler from Durham, has played three Tests and took one for 86 in Perth last week.
Allrounder Andrew Flintoff, who has missed the first three Tests with ongoing complications following a hernia operation, has also been named in the one-day squad.
Worcestershire pace bowler Kabir Ali is the only player in the squad uncapped in international cricket. The 22-year-old is currently training under head coach Rod Marsh with the England academy at Adelaide in South Australia.
England’s one-day squad will fly from Perth to Sydney on Wednesday.
Silverwood ruled out
Fast bowler Chris Silverwood, who broke down during last week’s third Test with an ankle injury, has been ruled out for the remainder of the series.
“Arrangements are currently being made to fly him home to the UK. No decision has yet been made by the selectors with regard to a replacement,” England said in a statement.
England’s Test players Mark Butcher, John Crawley, Richard Dawson, James Foster, Matthew Hoggard, Alex Tudor and Michael Vaughan will remain in Perth for the next three weeks.
Nasser Hussain (captain), Kabir Ali, Ian Blackwell, Andrew Caddick, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff, Steve Harmison, Ronnie Irani, Robert Key, James Kirtley, Nick Knight, Owais Shah, Jeremy Snape, Alec Stewart, Marcus Trescothick, Craig White.