Signs of promise

Trott's form and returning players will give England World Cup chance

In seven or eight weeks time when both sides are fully fit, I imagine they could play each other in the World Cup Final, which would be a very good game.

Ian Botham
Quotes of the week

Defeat for England in the sixth one-day international against Australia means they are now losing the series 5-1 with a game to play.

But Ian Botham reckons Andrew Strauss' men will pick up form in the World Cup later this month - and thinks they could even go on and win the competition.

England posted their highest one-day total against their hosts by reaching 333-6, Jonathan Trott top scoring with an excellent 137.

But Australia chased down that target with four balls to spare, thanks largely to half-centuries by skipper Michael Clarke and opener Shane Watson.

James Anderson took particular punishment, going for 91 off his 10 overs, but Botham did see some positive signs in defeat and says England will be a much-improved side when their injured stars return.

"You should be (winning games) with that kind of score but who would have expected Jimmy Anderson to have had a night like he had?" said Beefy.

"And Paul Collingwood was out of the attack (due to a back strain), so you were a down a bowler.

"But I thought (Kevin) Pietersen did alright and I thought (Michael) Yardy did well, while (Steven) Finn was the stand-out bowler today.

Fitness

"Australia have had the same problems, but in seven or eight weeks time when both sides are fully fit, I imagine they could play each other in the World Cup Final, which would be a very good game.

"If both teams get their players fit, I honestly believe that is a possibility."

Botham reserved special adulation for England's batting lynchpin, Trott, and says the Warwickshire man is becoming a vital component of England's one-day side.

"I think he's been England's most consistent one-day player for quite some time now," said Botham.

"I think he was well established before this trip but he's cemented his place now and told everyone he is here. If he keeps on playing like that, England will do well."

Magnificent

Shane Watson, recently named Australia's Player of the Year, set his country on the route to victory with his swashbuckling and quickly-assembled 50.

And Botham, as well as fellow pundit Greg Blewett, sent plenty of praise in the big Queenslander's direction.

"He has been in magnificent form, like a runaway train," said Beefy. "He works very hard at the game and he has been rewarded.

"He's a good guy when you get to know him, good company and he really does love the game of cricket."

While, Blewett added: "He gets Australia off to a fast start; in the first eight overs here I think they were going at around 10 an over, and maybe he can that do at the World Cup as well."

Comments (1)

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John Faustino says...

Well done Aussies but still a few weeks to the main event so all not lost yet.

Posted 01:47 3rd February 2011

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