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Test Cricket News 2014

Australia Finish Strong Against England

Australia were able to win the final game of their five-match one-day series with England despite looking likely to lose after only making 217 from their innings.

The visitors were on course to reach that total but collapsed as they drew closer to the target for a further defeat on their tour. They were eventually bowled out for 212, five runs short with two balls remaining.

After Aaron Finch, Michael Clarke, and Shane Watson fell cheaply, George Bailey scored a useful half-century for the hosts. The middle order batsman helped stabilise the innings and ensured their bowlers had something to defend.

Matthew Wade followed up Bailey's knock with a 31 himself before being bowled by Stuart Broad, while James Faulkner reached 27.

In England's reply, Joe Root and Eion Morgan formed a helpful partnership before it was interrupted to leave the visitors 154-4. Faulkner was able to make the breakthrough when getting the wicket of Morgan for 39.

Root did go on to make a half-century but could only stretch his score to 55 when Faulkner picked up his second wicket of the match.

Despite the loss of the two upper order batsmen, England still looked on course for the win in the betting, as Ravi Bopara spent over an hour at the crease. However, off the bowling of Clint McKay, he was found out of his crease when Wade dislodged his stumps from behind.

The victory gives Australia 4-1 scoreline from the series and ensures they continue they domination again their rivals. They will now face England in three Twenty20 fixtures over the next week.

Later in the month, Clarke will prepare a Test side to take on South Africa away from home. Fans who enjoy a bet on cricket then have the Twenty20 World Cup to look forward to in March.

Lehmann Prioritises Proteas

Australia coach Darren Lehmann has shown where his cricketing priorities lie by pulling Shane Watson out of the ODI squad for the next three games in order to ensure his fitness for the upcoming South Africa Tour.

Watson was a pivotal member of the Australian team that surprised the cricket betting odds to destroy England 5-0 in the recent Ashes Series, batting at number three and providing an additional bowling option in each of the tests.

Having had a brief spell out of the side in late 2011 Watson has become a fixture in the Australian test XI and Lehman feels that some time off may do him some good.

"Given Shane's workload in the past 12 months we consider it would be beneficial for him to have a longer break and continue his training program at home in Sydney ahead of the final ODI and the tour of South Africa," said Lehmann.

Watson was suffering with a hamstring injury ahead of the Ashes but he did not let it show as he tore into the England attack, impressing fans who bet on cricket by scoring with 103 in the third test at Perth.

Clearly wary of the need for Watson to recover properly Lehmann has opted to recall Dan Christian to the side.

"Dan Christian, who has been in excellent form in recent weeks, has been added to the ODI squad to provide an all-round option in Shane's absence," Lehmann said, recognising the contribution that Christian has made to the Brisbane Heat in this season's Big Bash League.

Watson's experience will certainly be missed by the rest of the ODI squad but Lehmann has got his priorities straight and is right to ensure that the all-rounder gets the rest he needs to fire in South Africa.

Warner back in ODI Squad

David Warner is one of a number of players to return to Australia's ODI squad for their upcoming series against England. James Pattinson, Michael Clarke, and Shaun Marsh join the big-hitting batsman in earning recalls to the Australia one-day international squad for their five ODI's against England.

Warner was dropped for the summer ODI series with England and the tour of India in October due to a series of off-field problems and incidents, although a sensational Ashes series for the batsman has resulted in Warner earning a recall to the ODI side for the one-day series against a battered and bruised England side.

Young pace bowler, Pattinson, made a successful return from injury with the Melbourne Renegades in their Big Bash win over Brisbane Heat, possibly now putting himself in contention for the final Ashes Test of this series.

With Ryan Harris struggling to play five back-to-back Test matches, fans who bet on cricket will be hoping his return to the Aussie squad could include a place for Pattinson in the squad for the Sydney Test match.

Clarke and Marsh both return to the one-day squad after missing the India tour with injuries, but both players are fit and ready to heap more misery on England's dismal winter tour; the European outfit are currently outsiders for the win in the cricket betting.

National Selector John Inverarity said: "We believe this is a well-balanced squad that can build on the promising form displayed in our most recent limited overs series against England and India.

"David Warner has won back his place in the Australia ODI squad with his outstanding recent form, not least in the domestic Ryobi One-Day Cup competition that was held in September and October in Sydney.

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