Opinion: ODI series was an insult to cricket

Australia

There is a sense of identity about England's Test Team whereas the one day members feel like a motley crew of individuals who have been clubbed together at the park entrance.

Phew. It is finally over. After a one day series which took in the scenic sites of Leeds and Edgbaston rainfall and the squally showers of the South Coast, the hostilities between England and Australia will cease for a couple of months.

Recent jousts have had all the allure of a dead rubber. In fact, water torture would have been more fun than watching this 'five' match fiasco. You can't really blame the Australians.

Mitchell Johnson looked as sharp as a tack and Clint McKay claimed a hat trick. Michael Clarke and Shane Watson battered and bullied England's inexperienced line-up, treating James Tredwell like he was Simon Kerrigan. George Bailey did much the same.

The Aussies wanted to win. They were clear about that and played accordingly. England experimented by playing a team more lop sided than the Costa Concordia. What they actually did was treat the game with disrespect.

In their quest to find the right personnel for some halcyon future, they impacted on the quality of the games. Already shorn of half a team by choice, they then decided to go in with a quarter of a team such were the limitations of the new boys and the creaking old ones. Always a bowler short (two short in the final game) they deservedly came unstuck. It was like watching a third XI after a hangover.

With his dreadful fielding and crazy helmet, Michael Carberry looks like he is in a 80s time warp. He doesn't look or feel international standard. Ben Stokes took a few wickets but went for plenty while Boyd Rankin was poles part from the rest of the attack.

However, Tredwell was exposed as an average county trundler who has peaked as a useful spare part. It was all over the place and England had Jos Buttler to thank for nicking one victory out of the sorry mess of bowling carnage.

This was no Indian summer of one day entertainment. It was a painful and slurred way to end an international tour. There was joylessness about it and a pained expression on players like Joe Root, KP and Jonathan Trott, who endured four ducks against Australia in all formats this summer.

Ravi Bopara had his mind elsewhere until it was too late. Distracted doesn't even get close to his state of mind. He continues to boggle the mind.

Ultimately, watching England play one day cricket has never been any fun and never will be. After all, they had a Barbadian and Irishman opening the bowling in the last match.

There is a sense of identity about England's Test Team whereas the one day members feel like a motley crew of individuals who have been clubbed together at the park entrance.

There are not that many occasions when Michael Vaughan's sarcasm pays off but on this evidence, England fans do deserve a partial refund for depriving us of the quality of Cook, Bell, Anderson and Swann and treating the series as if it was some sort of extended practice match.

They thoroughly deserved to get thrashed for their blase attitude to selection and the balance of the team. KP had lost interest by not scoring more than 6 in his last three innings and running himself or others out. By then we had stopped caring.

<b>Tim Ellis</b>

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