" Melbourne, March 28 - Australia cricket captain Michael Clarke will retire from One-Day Internationals…
Australia’s recent domination of England in one-day internationals will not have a bearing on the result of the high-profile cricket World Cup opener between the traditional rivals, feels the co-host’s skipper George Bailey.
Numero uno side Australia followed an emphatic 4-1 series win in England last January with a tri-series victory at home this month to make it the clear favourites going into the mega-event that kicks off with a double at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and Christchurch.
“I’d love to say (past records) counts for something, but I honestly don’t think it does,” Bailey told reporters on Friday.
“England has made some really positive changes to the way they play and their structure, and I personally think they look really dangerous. Unfortunately we all start on zero tomorrow.”
Australia have won 13 of 15 ODIs against England over the past four years. The record in Melbourne is even more one-sided, with England losing eight of their last 11 matches at the MCG – its last win coming way back in 2007.
The MCG is expected to hold a near capacity crowd of around 90,000 for the match.
“There’s a lot of talk about a big crowd, a big tournament and a big clash to kick it off,” Bailey said. “All things that the boys are very, very excited about.”
Australia’s Test captain Michael Clarke will skip the match as a precaution as he makes his way back from hamstring surgery, but coach Darren Lehman has no doubt he’ll play Australia’s second match on February 21 against Bangladesh.
“We’re happy with the way he’s pulled up and really happy with his progress,” Lehman said. “We’re going to stick to the plan and he’ll play against Bangladesh.”