Wade aware of England threat
Matthew Wade is under no illusions about the test that awaits in the NatWest Series, but expects Australia’s express pacemen to cause England problems.
The five-match one-day international rubber gets under way at Lord’s on Friday, with the world-beating tourists up against an in-form England side.
Indeed, England have emerged victorious in their last six ODI series on home soil and are hoping to make Australia scalp number seven.
It will not be easy, however, given the old enemy currently top the International Cricket Council rankings in 50-over cricket.
Wade told ecb.co.uk: “It’s going to be a tough series; there has been a lot spoken about England’s quicks and spinner and our top-order batting.
“They are probably the in-form team in the world at the moment - their Test cricket has been unbelievable over the last 18 months and their one-day form has been getting better, especially at home.
“It is going to be a great series, but we will back ourselves and fingers crossed that we can get the job done.”
One of the more mouth-watering contests is going to be England’s in-form opening pair, of Alastair Cook and Ian Bell, trying to stave off Australia’s impressive-looking pace attack.
Brett Lee showed that, at the age of 35, he still has plenty left in the tank by dismantling Ireland’s top order in a rapid spell during Saturday’s ODI against Ireland.
To complement the veteran, Australia have youngsters Pat Cummins and James Pattinson as well as more experienced campaigners such as Mitchell Johnson, Clint McKay and Ben Hilfenhaus.
Nineteen-year-old Cummins, in particular, has looked outstanding in his limited opportunities to date, claiming a five-wicket haul on Test debut against South Africa to combine with six wickets in four ODIs.
“All the bowlers have bowled really well so far,” added Wade. “Mitchell Johnson was bowling at good pace in Leicester (the warm-up game).
“We have got a few quicks; it’s not fun to face them in the nets, but they are all up and going which is good.
“We have got three or four blokes that can bowl over 150 kilometres per hour, which is always handy - you never want to face that.”
Australia’s preparations for the contest have thus far been hampered, with the warm-up match against Leicestershire - which they won - shortened by rain.
Furthermore, the aforementioned encounter against Ireland fell foul of inclement weather as only 10.4 overs were possible.
Wade admits he and his team-mates have been frustrated by the rain and is hoping it stays away today, when they take on an Essex side that includes England ODI skipper Alastair Cook.
“We need some cricket so hopefully it gets under way,” said Wade. “I am guessing most of the starting line-up in that game will play (on Friday).”