Australia vs England 2018, 2nd ODI - What went wrong for the hosts

Roy Hales and Bairstow all have their England places on the line during ODI series
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Ultimately they needed a destructive middle-order batsman and a solid spin option.

Australia could still win the series if they win the next three ODIs, but cricket scribes across the ditch are already fearing the worse for next year's defence of the World Cup (in England and Wales) after branding Smith more "Batman than Superman in coloured clothing" as his side continue to struggle in the one-day game.

Jhye Richardson 7: The debutant made the most of his opportunity after replacing Josh Hazlewood in the bowling attack.

Leg-spinner Adam Zampa was dropped in favour of White, making just his second ODI appearance since 2011. England, boosted by the victory in the opening game, fielded an unchanged line-up.

Aaron Finch scored another century but was still on the losing side again. However, he failed to capitalise with an innocuous dismissal off the bowling of Moeen Ali. Having watched England's trio of spinners tie Australia down, the home captain felt compelled to use two part-timers - Travis Head and Finch - inside 13 overs in desperate pursuit of a breakthrough. Amidst all the happenings at the other end, Finch was batting with vast concentration.

Mitchell Marsh 6: The younger of the Marsh siblings was involved in a 85-run stand with Finch for the fourth wicket. His second consecutive 100+ knock was studded with 9 fours and a solitary powerful hit in the crowd. "We lost the two in-batters (Finch and Mitchell Marsh) quickly and two new batters had to go straight away, which was quite hard". Perhaps, Australia would have been better served with a "floater" at No.3 - the hard-hitting Mitchell Marsh or Marcus Stoinis, perhaps - in an effort to maintain the momentum. Suddenly Australia were reduced to 216/6 from 209/3. He removed Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow in successive overs after the two Englishmen were threatening to make a mockery of Australia's total. Apart from Rashid, all other bowlers were economical and also picked at least a wicket. "He bowls fast, he's aggressive, can swing the ball up front". Richardson, who played two Twenty20 matches for Australia against Sri Lanka last summer, is likely to come into the side as a result.

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Bairstow and Hales each fell soon after passing 50 but if the door had been opened ever so slightly for Australia, Root and Jos Buttler quickly slammed it shut with a partnership of 68. The hosts though made a comeback with twin strikes as both the set batsmen were sent back by Richardson.

Joe Root - 9/10 - Excellent all-round performance.

Had it not been for Starc, who forced Buttler into an edge and clean bowled Moeen Ali with a rip-roaring inswinger, the match would have had to drag its lifeless self to the line.

"I was delighted for him because he's had his injury troubles". He came out with the bat to finish the job for England with an unbeaten 39 off just 27 deliveries.

Firing the ball in with a roundish arm, Root had Smith lbw for 18. Starc was the best bowler as usual for Australia with four wickets and tried his best to win the game for his team.

In Test cricket, however, at least away from home, they possess more of the foibles and follies of Edward Hyde, unable to suppress unsafe urges to give away their wickets and bowl poor deliveries with disastrous results.

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