Australia v England – Fourth ODI Ratings

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at 2018.01.27
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Having won the first three matches, England were determined to carry on their excellent form and exact revenge for their Ashes defeat by whitewashing Australia in this ODI series.

Although, as it turned out, they weren’t that determined.

Here are the ratings for the Fourth ODI between Australia and England.

Top Order Collapses
Grade: B-

With the ease of their first three victories at the forefront of their mind, England decided to make this fourth game a little more challenging for themselves. Their plan? To lose their first five wickets for just eight runs.

It was a daring plan and a remarkable scorecard. Any time that England fans waking up stupidly early in the morning on the other side of the planet are forced to struggle to decode which side of the score is wickets and which is runs is always a good thing.

Two wickets down for four runs early was good. 3/4 was better. But 5/8 was close to perfect. Because whichever way around it is, the score is sufficiently dreadful for bleary-eyed viewers to second-guess everything they know.

Lloyd Pope
Grade: B+

Those first five wickets were shared between Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins. Although, to be fair, England have struggled terribly with the bat at all levels ever since Lloyd Pope took the ball the other day. So the Under-19 flame-haired leg-spinning sensation must surely share some of the credit for the collapse.

Lloyd Pope mentally destroying England in the Fourth Australia v England ODI 2017-18

Lloyd Pope mentally destroying England in the Fourth Australia v England ODI 2017-18

Pope’s talismanic off-field presence might have sapped England batting confidence all around the world. But it was Hazlewood and Cummins destroying them on the pitch. So much so that the Australian selectors must have felt pretty silly having selected bowlers other than that pair.

Although not as silly as Steve Smith felt when he started bowling those other bowlers, allowing England to stage a recovery.

Chris Woakes
Grade: A-

Because from 5/8, England eventually recovered to 196 all out. This total was thanks primarily to Chris Woakes, who made an impressive 78. He was finally caught by Glenn Maxwell, who surprised everybody by suddenly popping up in the outfield to snare a skied chance, despite not being part of the team.

Classic Maxwell. Even when he was omitted from the squad at the beginning of this series, you always had the sense he’d somehow have an impact at some point.

He’ll just be disappointed he didn’t contribute more while the series was alive. Something that Steve Smith would no doubt like him to work on during the South African Test series he won’t be playing.

After Woakes’ outstanding showing with the bat, the England all-rounder also chimed in with the ball, snaring the wicket of David Warner early, as Australia struggled in their chase.

It did make one wonder how well England would have gone had they selected Woakes for the Ashes.

Oh, sure, there’ll be some who’ll tell you that Woakes did, in fact, play for England during the Tests. But that’s crazy talk. I think we would have all noticed an England player displaying such a high level of skill.

Travis Head
Grade: B+

With Warner out early yet again, his average for the series fell to 14.5. In contrast, David Warner’s opening partner in the series averages 92.75. As a result, Warner must retain his spot, lest the logical concept of a ‘David Warner opening partner’ disappear, taking with it Australia’s most consistent batsman.

That’s just common sense.

The David Warner opening partner for this match was Travis Head, who made 96. He held an otherwise shambolic innings together. With Warner gone, his next partner was Cameron White. But just as the White-Head partnership threatened to explode, Tom Curran managed to put the squeeze on. Disgusting stuff from all concerned.

After White came Smith, Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinis, all of whom succumbed to the bowling of Adil Rashid. At 5/136, England were still, absurdly, a chance for victory.

Net Run Rates
Grade: D-

But not much of a chance. Because Head and Tim Paine combined to give Eoin Morgan head pain and guide Australia to 180 and within sight of victory. Despite Head being dismissed four short of his century and Paine then running out Pat Cummins for some reason, the Australians scrambled home with three wickets and several dozen head puns in hand.

The entire match was a perfect way to celebrate Australia Day. Assuming, that is, your standards of perfection are incredibly low.

More importantly, thanks to their frenzied batting that would otherwise have been completely without purpose, Australia had thirteen overs remaining when they secured the win. This ensured their net run rate was sufficient to qualify for the fifth and final match of the series to be held on Sunday.

They will face England.

(Originally published at http://www.theroar.com.au/2018/01/27/the-liebke-ratings-australia-vs-england-fourth-odi/)

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