Australia has its point against world champions England


New captain Pat Cummins admitted on Wednesday that Australia had a point to prove after their 20th World Cup failure, with champions England on their sights in a one-day series this week.

Australia entered the World Cup as defending champions but failed to make it past the group stage, unlike Joss Butler’s men who pulled off the title with a crushing victory over Pakistan on Sunday.

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“Yeah, I think you always have a point to prove, especially playing here in Australia,” said Test captain Cummins, who will captain the one-day team for the first time on Thursday after Aaron Finch retired from the 50-plus game.

“We want to win every series we play, maybe we should expect that.

“The core of this team has been part of the T20 team so…it’s a different format, but maybe we haven’t played as well as we know we can and that gives us a direct chance to play against the best.”

They will face England in three one-day matches, starting in Adelaide before moving on to Sydney on Saturday and then Melbourne three days later, the scene of England’s five-wicket victory over Pakistan.

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The win made Butler’s team the first double whiteball champions, taking their 50th and 20th titles.

“They may have a little sleep, but they are class players,” said Cummins, who has just overcome a fit of stomachache and will be fit to play.

“They are riding high. They obviously have a great T20 campaign and are going to be strong.”

Australia head into the series with a near-full strength side away from Glenn Maxwell, who broke his leg in a freak accident at a birthday party at the weekend.

With Finch no longer on the team, Travis Head was called in to open with David Warner.

Head has a strong record as an ODI opener, scoring nearly 600 from 15 innings including a century in Pakistan in March. But he hasn’t scored much so far this summer.

“I actually feel like I’ve trained really well in the last couple of months,” Head said.

“I know it hasn’t trickled into the games yet, but that’s the beauty of it — I know it’s just around the corner.”

Eight members of England’s successful T20 World Cup squad remained in Australia for the one-day series, including Butler and player of the tournament Sam Curran, as they began a year-long build-up to their 50-year defense of the title in India.

They also boast Sam Billings, Jason Roy and James Vince, who are regulars in the Australian Big Bash League and familiar with local conditions. But England’s T20 World Cup finalist Ben Stokes will play no part after calling time out in his ODI career.

“For me, and for the other players who haven’t been around the team in the last month or so, it’s a great opportunity to make a claim and return to more prominent roles in this side,” said wicket-keeper Berman Billings.

“We know Australia are going to be a great outfit, they are always out of their depth in home conditions.”

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