So this is it then. England begin their final series of the summer on Friday as they face the Aussies in the first of three ODIs.
Given that at points it seemed like we might not get any action at all, it’s been a phenomenal summer of cricket – even though we haven’t been able to be inside the stadiums!
What better way to wrap it up than by getting one over on Aaron Finch and the tourists?
It’s set up to be a fascinating series and with that in mind, we’ve outlined five talking points heading into the 50-over series…
England look to finish in style
The only thing better than capping off the summer of cricket with a series win against the Aussies is by doing it with two!
Eoin Morgan’s men proved too good for the tourists in the IT20 contests and will be hoping to do the same in the 50-over clashes.
In terms of predictions, it’s hard to look past the reigning world champions. Particularly given what happened the last time these two met in an ODI.
Rooty and Roy return
Leaving the England Test skipper out of the T20 squad was a big call and Joe Root will no doubt be keen to come to the party against the Aussies.
That’s not to say his place in the ODI team is under any doubt – he was our highest run-scorer in last season’s World Cup triumph and is arguably the greatest batsman in the land – but he may want to serve the selectors with a reminder of just how good he is against the white-ball.
The most frightening opening partnership in the world also seems as though it will be back together, with Jason Roy recalled after recovering from injury.
Jos Buttler caused some chaos at the top of the order in the T20 series but Roy’s return will allow England the luxury of dropping him down the order, while Jason and Jonny kick things off in style up the top.
Morgan is spoilt for choice
Despite the absence of Ben Stokes, England’s bowling options heading into the series are mouthwatering and you could certainly argue it’s one of the most balanced white-bal bowling units we’ve ever had.
Jofra Archer and Mark Wood offer the express pace, to go alongside the nous and wile of the Curran brothers, and there are few better with the new ball than Chris Woakes.
Adil Rashid had the Aussies tying themselves up in knots in the T20 series and looks likely to cause more chaos, while Moeen Ali is firmly back in the England camp – which is fantastic news whichever way you look at it.
Morgan is spoilt for choice when it comes to his bowling options, it’s going to be fascinating to see how he uses them against Warner, Smith and co.
The rusty Aussies?
Talking of the Aussies, they seemed pretty intent on blaming their IT20 series defeat on rustiness.
If that is indeed the case, then they should be a bit more competitive in the ODIs. As much as it pains us to admit it, there’s certainly some quality in their side.
The problem they face, however, is they’re up against the world cup champions and were hammered last time they played aa 50-over game on English soil.
Let’s hope for more of the same.
Rashid in the spotlight
Rashid is one of the best white-ball bowlers in the world right now. He tore through the Aussies in the IT20 series – finishing as the highest wicket-taker in the series – and how they play him is likely to have a huge impact on how the next week plays out.
Such has been his impressive form with the ball recently, that Chris Silverwood admitted he is on the radar for the Test team.
Clearly, the Yorkshire man will need to impress with the red-ball as well but he’s likely to be in the spotlight in the upcoming series as well.
Much of England’s focus moving forward will be on the 2020/21 Ashes and if Rashid continues to cause the Aussies pain in the ODIs, he may just play himself into the Test squad.