Australia aim to carry on regardless
Momentum is the buzz word around the Australia camp heading into today’s fifth one-day international with England at Trent Bridge, according to Mike Hussey.
The tourists have already taken an insurmountable 4-0 lead in the seven-match NatWest Series, gaining some revenge for England’s Ashes triumph.
Some would be mistaken for thinking Australia would now be starting to wind down following a long and demanding tour that saw the majority of their squad and staff arrive on these shores way back on May 28 for the World Twenty20.
But with the Champions Trophy starting in South Africa next week, Australia have three perfect opportunities in which to maintain their winning run and build up further confidence.
And Hussey, whose batting was not required in Saturday’s encounter at Lord's as Australia claimed a seven-wicket triumph, insists there is still plenty they can improve on.
“Ricky (Ponting) has been on our hammer already about trying to maintain our momentum,” said Hussey.
“Also we’ve identified some areas where we need to improve as well, we want to finish the summer well here in England and it’s a really good lead up into the Champions Trophy.
“Momentum is not something you can turn on and off with a switch, if we can finish this series strongly then that would give us some good impetus going into the Champions Trophy.
“You can’t turn your form on and off as you please, we’ve got to make sure we maintain our standards leading into another huge one-day series in South Africa.”
Asked whether a 7-0 whitewash was a mouthwatering prospect, Hussey replied: “I'm sure it’s a motivating thing for us but we've just got to worry about this game really, if we don't win this one then that’s out of the window.
“It’s been great to win the series but we want to keep the momentum going forward leading into the Champions Trophy.
“I still think we can improve a lot and we're going to have to improve a lot more to be right up there in the Champions Trophy.”
Much has been made of the unsuccessful fight England have put up during the opening four matches, something Andrew Strauss and co are desperate to put right in Nottingham.
The two sides come head-to-head at Trent Bridge for a second time on Thursday before the final match at the Riverside on Sunday.
Hussey has seen plenty of Andy Flower’s team this summer and he admits the side currently contesting the one-day series are very different to the one that managed to wrestle back the Ashes.
He said: “You take (Andrew) Flintoff out of that team and Kevin Pietersen and it’s certainly got a much different look.
“Obviously with (Paul) Collingwood and (James) Anderson resting there’s some different faces that you haven't been used to seeing as much.
“But they show a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of freshness as well which sometimes can be good for a group.”
Australia certainly had a different look themselves during the Test series as a result of Brett Lee’s absence with a rib injury.
The fast bowler missed all five encounters, despite declaring himself fit for the fourth and fifth Tests, but came back to show his ability with a devastating display at the weekend.
Asked what might have been had Lee played in the deciding Test at the Brit Oval, Hussey said: “I haven’t really thought about it to be honest. We've moved on from the Ashes.
“He's been fantastic, he’s been great. I guess the hardest thing about that Test match is he actually probably only had one day’s full bowling under his belt leading into it.
“So the timing was probably not quite right for him. But he's been brilliant in the one-day game.”