Bracken wary of England threat
Nathan Bracken believes England will use their Ashes victory as motivation to complete a summer of misery for Australia when the two sides resume hostilities.
They will hope to complete a game for the first time since the hosts completed a 2-1 series win in the Ashes courtesy of victory in the final Test at the Brit Oval.
They were due to contest two Twenty20 internationals at Old Trafford but both were abandoned due to rain, the second without a ball being bowled.
The seven-match NatWest one-day series will begin at the ground where England claimed the Ashes, and Bracken, despite not being in the Australia Test or Twenty20 squads, believes Andrew Strauss’ team will be buoyed by their recent success.
“The England side will be using the Ashes win as a motivation to try and beat us here in both forms,” the 31-year-old said. “They will want to win the one form of the game that is left and walk away saying we beat Australia in both the Tests and the one-dayers.
“That will be their goal for the series and for us it will be our aim to stop them.”
England recorded a three-run win over Ireland just three days after winning the Ashes, their first one-day international since the 2-0 ODI series win over West Indies.
And left-arm seamer Bracken believes the hosts have the quality to challenge Michael Clarke’s team, who sit one place above England in the International Cricket Council ODI rankings in third.
“On paper, the England side has a lot of good cricketers in it,” he added. “They have a lot of good players who are coming out of a good Ashes series of performing well, plus there’s also a few new guys who have been chucked in there who are eager to impress.
“The series is in England as well, so if you are an English player playing in England there is no more motivation than playing Australia here.”
The last time the two sides met in an ODI series was in 2007 when England surprised the hosts Down Under by beating them in the Commonwealth Bank Series shortly after losing the Ashes 5-0.
Bracken believes that loss will give Australia an added incentive to beat their old rivals in this ODI series.
“The last ODI series here was a draw and the last time England was in Australia England won, so realistically we haven’t beaten England in a one-day series either here or in Australia for the last two times," he said. "So we are trying to get revenge for those two.
"We haven’t been consistent enough in our one-day form. There has been glimmers of what we can do: we have put on good performances in Dubai (against Pakistan) and we played well at the end of the South Africa tour.
“But the consistency that we have prided ourselves on for as long as we can remember is probably not as good as we have expected it to be.”
The ECB will be holding a full inquiry into the circumstances leading up to the abandonment of the Twenty20 international game at Old Trafford. ECB's head pitch inspector Chris Wood will be meeting Lancashire CCC staff and officials on September 2 and reporting back to the ECB board.