England spinner Adil Rashid believes that even if Australia could call on banned duo Steve Smith and David Warner as well as injured quicks Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins they would still be facing a whitewash on Sunday.
Rashid was having none of the what ifs as England remain focused on improving their own performances in the final ODI of the series they lead 4-0.
The leggie argued that Australia were outclassed at home by Australia at the turn of the year.
Rashid said: “Those players were still playing in Australia – Steve Smith, Warner, [Pat] Cummins, [Josh] Hazlewood. They were still playing.
“We won 4-1 there, and here it’s 4-0, so I think it’s very similar.
When asked about the prospect of handing Australia an ODI series whitewash for only the second time in their history Rashid said: “It would be [good].
“But we’re not talking about that at the moment.
“Once the game’s done, if you’ve got the whitewash, then you’ve got things to talk about.”
Rashid and fellow tweaker Moeen Ali should continue to hold the wood over the struggling Aussies at a dry Old Trafford but he is taking nothing for granted.
He said: “We can’t take it lightly but once you know you have one over [a team], you’ve got [a few] wickets, you know they’ll always have that in the back of their minds.
“So when they do bat against certain spin bowlers they might play a bit more hesitantly. They won’t be themselves, and that’s how you get the edge over the batsmen.”
The fifth and final ODI takes place on Sunday at Old Trafford in Manchester.
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