England lead the Ashes Series 6-0, with three ODIs and three T20Is to be played, each worth just 2 points each. The ODIs kick off at the MCG this Sunday (19th) followed by a repeat fixture four days later, and then the final ODI is on 26th Jan in Hobart. The T20s follow in Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney. England need to win just two of the six remaining fixtures to retain the Ashes. That means the Aussies need to win five of the six. It is a tall order, but if they could win all three of the ODIs the score will be back to level pegging at 6-6 and everything will rest on the T20 results.
This has to be the Aussie's target, but how do they achieve it? Here's my Boof-inspired 10 point plan to get them back on even terms:-
1. Bring in Nicole Bolton as opener and drop Elyse Villani down to number 5.
2. Take pace off the ball, so bring in Jess Jonassen for Rene Farrell.
3. And they need to bring in Megan Schutt to replace Holly Ferling.
4. Survive the bowling of Anya Shrubsole and target the bowling of Katherine Brunt and Dani Hazell.
5. Take an off-stump guard to Jenny Gunn.
6. Set better fields especially to the likes of Lydia Greenway.
7. Bowl a foot outside off-stump to Sarah Taylor.
8. Don't rely on Ellyse Perry to get all your runs and wickets.
9. Bat first and score at least 260.
10. Get England out for less.
I think that should be full-proof or should that be fool-proof? Either way three straight wins would be assured and the Aussie public would be back behind their team. BTW Aussies get out there and watch the games live. Your girls need all the help they can get and ours love an audience.
As for England's plans? I cannot see them changing the Test side for the ODIs, provided they have all come through a gruelling four days in the heat OK. England need to be positive, but not reckless, and just bowl tight at the Aussies. The onus is on them to go after the games and win them.
Having suggested that England would shave the Test I am on a bit of a roll, so I'll stick my neck out and say the ODIs will be won 2-1 by either England or Australia. It will all depend on whether the Aussies follow my 10 point plan?