Hopes eyes improvement
James Hopes believes Australia must improve on their victory against Ireland if they are to claim a series win over England.
Last Updated: 18/06/10 2:37pm
Match-winning hero James Hopes believes Australia must improve on their victory against Ireland if they are to claim a series win over England.
Hopes recorded career-best figures of five for 14 as Ricky Ponting's side beat Ireland by 39 runs in Dublin.
But it was a far from convincing display from the world champions, who looked on the ropes when Ireland got off to a brilliant start chasing a winning total of 232.
Skipper William Porterfield and Paul Stirling hit 80 in the first 11 overs before Hopes' efforts helped the Aussies to their win.
But the all-rounder believes the tourists must now improve with the opening match of the NatWest series against England at the Rose Bowl looming large on Tuesday.
Hopes, who was a part of the Australian team that routed England 6-1 in last year's NatWest Series, said: "We're going to have to get better because if we bowl like we did at the start and the English team get into a position like the Irish team did, they're a bit more experienced and they probably would have put us away.
"We've got to make sure we don't let it get out of hand early on. The game is 100 overs and if we do that, I think we're going to see some pretty good games of one-day cricket.
"There was a stage when panic could have taken hold, but our one-day team has been together a while now and we've got ourselves out of that situation before and we did again.
"It was good to play the Irish because they are a pretty good team, we have another practice match on Saturday (against Middlesex) and we know that a five-match series against England is going to be different to the seven-match series we played them last year when we beat them 6-1.
He added: "They have a bit of a different team this time round, they are coming off a (World) Twenty20 win and they are playing in their own back yard in front of full houses. I'm sure they're backing themselves to beat us.
"If you add Kevin Pietersen back into their team - he wasn't there last year - I think they are going to be naturally more aggressive."