Wright struggles to explain England woes

Four years ago the Rose Bowl was the place where it all began for England. Their stunning defeat of Australia in the world's second Twenty20 international set the tone for a whole summer which was to culminate in the recapture of the Ashes.

Although the greatest prize, of course, has already been regained this time it can only be hoped for the sake of the home side's involvement in the NatWest Series that the country's newest ground has a similar effect this evening. If not, Australia will go ahead 3-0 and the seven-match series may all be over before it has got into it stride.

As Luke Wright, one of England's all-rounders said yesterday: "It's a matter of taking responsibility. Everyone seems to be getting starts and we just haven't had that hundred or match-winning innings yet. It's hard to put a finger on why that hasn't happened but we are getting in positions where we can win."

England have patently failed to take responsibility so far. They may be suffering from post-Ashes dullness, they may still be trying to work out (yet again) new one-day strategies, but so far only one of their batsmen has reached a half-century.

They have also run into a rejuvenated Brett Lee, who showed signs on Sunday at Lord's that he has not only returned to full fitness but has plenty of venom in reserve, having missed the Ashes. Lee, one of the most watchable bowlers in the world, was injured on the eve of the series and then failed to persuade Australia's selectors of his fitness, but is back and breathing fire.

At the age of 32 and still regularly hitting 90mph as well as bowling brutal reverse swinging yorkers he has lost none of his hunger. "I'm starving," he said. "Hungrier than before."

Lee has been tormenting England in one-day cricket throughout this decade and has taken 42 wickets in 23 one-day matches against them. On Sunday at Lord's he was at his cleverest and most hostile, virtually pawing the ground at the top of his run and playing with enormous joie de vivre.

"I've hopefully got a lot more to offer," he said. "I'm still enjoying my cricket, still loving being part of the Australian team. You saw when I took a couple of wickets the other day that I've still got that buzz."

England will rest Stuart Broad, although he has recovered from a neck strain and Joe Denly is still unavailable. If this restricts their options, they must seriously consider recalling Adil Rashid, who was dropped on defective grounds last Sunday.

While this would, on paper, weaken their batting because it would probably mean the omission of Eoin Morgan, his form has been such that Rashid may in any case be safer option.

The batting order still looks decidedly brittle, with Owais Shah struggling and Matt Prior perhaps slightly high at No 3. But then Australia's top three is Shane Watson, Tim Paine and Cameron White – replacing, let it not be forgotten, the trio of Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting – and they seem to be coping.

The last time England played a home one-day international against Australia on the same day as the England football team played at Wembley was in 1997. Both Englands won, one by six wickets at The Oval when Mike Atherton scored his second and last ODI hundred, and the other 2-1 against South Africa at Wembley. All potential portents are necessary now.

Probable teams

England: A J Strauss, R S Bopara, M J Prior, O A Shah, P D Collingwood, L J Wright, A U Rashid, G P Swann, T T Bresnan, J M Anderson, R J Sidebottom.

Australia: S R Watson, T D Paine (wk), C L White, M J Clarke (capt), C J Ferguson, M E K Hussey, J R Hopes, M G Johnson, N M Hauritz, B Lee, N W Bracken.

* Andrew Flintoff will spend the next two months in Dubai as part of his rehabilitation following knee surgery. Flintoff feels his recovery will be eased in a warmer climate.

* Paul Collingwood has made himself available for his IPL side, the Delhi Daredevils, in the Champions League. Collingwood made no appearances for Delhi in the IPL earlier this year.

News
Sir David Attenborough
people
Life and Style
Young girl and bowl of cereal
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
News
Comic miserablist Larry David in 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
peopleDirector of new documentary Misery Loves Comedy reveals how he got them to open up
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
Sport
football
News
i100
Life and Style
Virtual reality headset: 'Essentially a cinema screen that you strap to your face'
techHow virtual reality is thrusting viewers into frontline of global events and putting film-goers at the heart of the action
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Life and Style
David Bowie by Duffy
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
booksWorld War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel
News
advertisingVideo: The company that brought you the 'Bud' 'Weis' 'Er' frogs and 'Wasssssup' ads, has something up its sleeve for Sunday's big match
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Environment
Dame Vivienne Westwood speaking at a fracking protest outside Parliament on Monday (AP)
environment
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness