England are a different beast from the laughing stock which exited the World Cup before the knockout stages, but Australia are ready to remind their Ashes foes why they are one-day cricket’s world champions.
The two nations will resume their rivalry again with a five-match one-day international series starting on Thursday in Southampton.
And despite meekly handing back the Ashes urn, Australia are keen to flex their muscles in the limited-overs format and justify their No.1 ODI ranking, with the world’s No.1-ranked ODI bowler, Mitchell Starc, laying down a warning to England’s batsmen.
Australia will deliver a barrage of short-pitched bowling at England batsman Moeen Ali, who starred with an unbeaten 72 in Monday’s five-run Twenty20 win in Cardiff, but Australia’s quicks believe is suspect against aggressive bowling.
“Definitely (that’s the plan). I reckon we can probably bowl a lot more bouncers than we did in that Twenty20 game,” Starc said.
“Even in that game against Ireland, we probably didn’t bowl enough either.
“The boundaries here in Southampton are quite large so, without having that straight-hit … and the square boundaries are back even further, those bouncers for both teams are probably going to come into play.”
Starc isn’t alone in being able to unsettle opposition batsmen, with noted speedster Pat Cummins bowling with searing pace in Cardiff and James Pattinson waiting in the wings.
“I’m glad I don’t have to face it,” Starc said.
While Australia have been nearly untouchable in the past 12 months, losing just three of 24 completed ODIs, it is a different tale for their rivals.
England were sent home from Australia in disgrace after failing to get out of Pool A – following an embarrassing defeat to Bangladesh.
The dismal showing contributed heavily to the sacking of head coach Peter Moores following a subsequent drawn Test series with the West Indies.
His replacement, Australian Trevor Bayliss, has done a sterling job to turn their flagging fortunes around with a focus on attacking cricket which started with a 3-2 ODI series win over New Zealand in June.
Starc acknowledges things will be different in the coming fortnight.
“It was a different team that they brought to the World Cup and, obviously, that series they had with New Zealand prior to the Ashes has probably kickstarted their summer over here, with the way they’ve played their cricket and different make-up of their team,” he said.
“They’re playing good cricket. Before the Ashes with the white ball, (they played) some aggressive cricket and it was a good series to watch between England and New Zealand.
“We expect them to be pretty similar in the way they go about their cricket against us.
“For us, it’s about continuing on from that World Cup.
“We’ve got a bit of a different make-up in terms of our team but we’re still trying to play our brand of cricket, go out there and entertain the crowd.
“We’re going to play for the win against every team.
“… We’re expecting them to come out quite aggressively and we’re going to hit back with some aggressive cricket.”