After game one of the India series that became 26/32 with a very comfortable 101 run victory after a rather lacklustre run chase by India in pursuit of Australia's 275/6. And after game two it was 27/33 as the Aussies cruised to another comfortable win, chasing down 252 with six wickets in hand.
|Current ICCWC Table (05/02/16)|
Australia play their last game of the India series on Sunday, which is when England kick off their series against South Africa with their first ODI (this is the last series in Round 4 of the tournament). Nothing less than a 3-0 series win will do for England. The six points will take them to 15 in total and a more comfortable third place in the table, with series against Pakistan, Sri Lanka and West Indies to come.
England have had two pretty meaningless warm-up games against South Africa Emerging players. If they are the best they have behind the main squad then South Africa have some worries. The South Africa squad has some familiar names in it - Mignon du Preez, Dane van Niekerk, Marizanne Kapp (all have just returned from the WBBL), plus the exciting pace of Shabnim Ismail, who spent just one weekend with the Melbourne Renegades and picked up 3/10 against the Stars (including England's Nat Sciver). Chloe Tryon, Trisha Chetty, Lizelle Lee and Sune Luus make up the bulk of a decent side, which, on paper, looks somewhat short on batting in the ODI format and short on power in the T20 format.
England have a new Head Coach in Mark Robinson, but the team that takes the park on Sunday is likely to have a very familiar look to it for all England fans. Seven of the 15 man squad have spent the past couple of months in the WBBL in Australia - Brunt, Cross, Edwards, Knight, Taylor, Winfield, Wyatt. The other eight are Beaumont, Elwiss, Greenway, Grundy, Gunn, Hazell, Jones, and Shrubsole (Sciver was originally selected but remains in England due to an ankle injury).
The starting 11 may well look like this - Edwards, Winfield, Taylor, Knight, Greenway, Jones, Wyatt, Brunt, Gunn, Grundy, and Shrubsole.
England should be too strong for South Africa in the longer format of the game, but things might be tighter in the T20 format, when you would hope that England will be looking to find the right combinations for the T20 World Cup in India, which starts in March.