The short-term momentum for England’s Ashes win in 2005 was widely credited as being built on their heavy win in the Twenty20 international that preceded the main event. They also performed well in a keenly-fought One Day series. This time the coloured clothing is worn with the Ashes already won; the home side need to ensure that it is more than just a pyjama party.
T20 cricket has rocketed in importance since 2005 and Australia will treat the two matches that feature on this itinerary with more respect. They cannot afford not to – something needs to be salvaged from a disappointing tour. The seven ODIs that follow provide an opportunity for one team to claim a heavy win.
England have been directionless in coloured clothing for some time and they need to get their limited overs plans in order, as there are world cups in both formats on the horizon. England took their eye off the ball following Ashes glory four years ago. The same mistake should not be made.
They face an Australian team even more beatable than the one they encountered in the Test matches. Ricky Ponting is being rested initially and Brad Haddin is injured. The fit again and fired-up Brett Lee is a man to look out for, but the home team should not lose too much sleep about the arrival of specialists like Callum Ferguson, James Hopes, Cameron White and Tim Paine.
England have their own injury worries but should remember that they won the Ashes without Kevin Pietersen and in many ways, Andrew Flintoff. They can triumph again without their star players.
England rarely win both a Test series and One Day series, but this is the ideal opportunity to do just that against Australia. A 4-3 ODI series win would mean England can, for once, embark with .good odds on the Champions Trophy