England will eye a 5-0 series whitewash when they take on Australia in the fifth ODI at Manchester on Sunday. England have taken a 4-0 lead so far with comprehensive wins over their arch-rivals in the four ODIs. Australia would play for pride in the fifth ODI and look to avoid a whitewash. Cricket24by7 takes a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the two teams, prediction of the clash on Sunday.
In-form batting line-up
The England line-up boasts of in-form attacking batsmen who have dominated the Australian bowling line-up in the ODI series. England openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow have struck three fifties and two fifties in four ODIs. Roy is in brilliant form, hitting two tons. Bairstow is giving brilliant support at the other end. The openers have two century and one fifty stands in four innings. Besides them, England captain Eoin Morgan is leading from the front with the bat with some able support from other batsmen such as Jos Buttler, Joe Root, Alex Hales and all-rounders such as David Willey and Moeen Ali.
Can they be ruthless?
England team can be guilty of losing momentum and taking the match of academic interest lightly. They have taken a 4-0 lead in the five-match series and can lose intensity in the fifth match. Australia would come hard at England. Morgan and his men must keep the intensity high to complete a series whitewash.
Australia have few destructive limited-overs batsmen in Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, Marcu Stoinis. Finch and Marsh cracked brilliant tons in the fourth ODI, but in vain. Travis Head, Tim Paine and Glenn Maxwell can add solidity to the batting line-up. Marsh has struck two tons already and lot rests on him to avoid an embarrassing series whitewash.
Batting and bowling lack depth
Australia have been hampered with the absence of key players such as Steve Smith, David Warner due to ban and Mitchell Starc due to injury. Their batting and bowling hence lack depth in limited-overs cricket. They are missing these players and no adequate replacement has been found yet.
England will start favourites in the fifth ODI as well after having outclassed Australia in all departments in the last four ODIs. Australia would come hard at England though. Our vote goes to England in this clash.