Pumped-up Plun­kett says ODI ar­rivals will breathe life into tour

Sport360 - - England V Australia - By Rory Dol­lard @thervd edi­to­rial@sport360.com

Liam Plun­kett in­sists Eng­land’s one-day spe­cial­ists have no rea­son to be cowed by Aus­tralia’s Ashes suc­cess.

Af­ter sur­ren­der­ing the urn in a 4-0 se­ries de­feat, the tourists are hop­ing for a mea­sure of re­venge in the five-match se­ries.

While the likes of Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes all head into to­mor­row’s first one-day in­ter­na­tional in Mel­bourne bear­ing the bruises of the Test re­verse, oth­ers are bring­ing a fresh dy­namic.

Thurs­day’s warm-up win over a Cricket Aus­tralia XI showed Alex Hales (52) and cap­tain Eoin Mor­gan (81no) in par­tic­u­larly eye-catch­ing form, while Plun­kett joined Mark Wood in de­liv­er­ing the kind of rapid seam bowl­ing that was con­spic­u­ous by its ab­sence at key times dur­ing the Ashes.

The York­shire pace­man took two wick­ets in his nine overs, in­clud­ing CA skip­per Matt Ren­shaw with only his third de­liv­ery on tour, and he has no in­ten­tion of tak­ing a back­ward step at the MCG.

“Aus­tralia are a good team and they’re con­fi­dent from the Ashes but it is a dif­fer­ent squad and a dif­fer­ent unit here,” he said.

“A lot of our guys didn’t play in the Ashes, so we’re full of en­ergy and full of beans. Some of the guys have been out here play­ing in the Big Bash, lads have been all over the world play­ing, so we’re full of con­fi­dence and look­ing for­ward to that first game.

“It’s a mas­sive chal­lenge against one of the best teams in the world, we’re look­ing for­ward to do­ing bat­tle with them and try­ing to take this se­ries.

“It’s al­ways a test when you come to some­body else’s back yard. To get a win out here is pretty big.”

Eng­land had a day off train­ing as they swapped Syd­ney for a rainy Mel­bourne and will hope they can dodge in­clement weather long enough to have a full prac­tice ses­sion at the MCG to­day.

Joe Root will be ex­pected to play a full part in what­ever drills are pos­si­ble af­ter fi­nally shak­ing off the ef­fects of vi­ral gas­troen­teri­tis and take his place in Eng­land’s top or­der.

With Jonny Bairstow guar­an­teed one of the open­ing slots, it means for­mer part­ners Ja­son Roy and Alex Hales are go­ing head-to-head.

The pair made 40 and 52 re­spec­tively against CA, with Hales hop­ing his slightly larger con­tri­bu­tion is enough to earn him a first in­ter­na­tional out­ing since his in­volve­ment in a late night in­ci­dent with Ben Stokes in Septem­ber.

One-day won­der: Liam Plun­kett (r) has joined Eng­land for the ODIs and T20s.

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