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 Friday, 10 January, 2003, 10:43 GMT
What can England learn from VB Series?
England captain Nasser Hussain will look forward to the remaining VB Series games with renewed confidence
Australia win the VB series after England collapse to a five-run defeat in Melbourne.

Can England gain anything from their VB Series experience?

Have your say

A thrilling day of action saw Australia wrap up the VB Series in clinical style.

England, chasing 230, threw away a winning position to be bowled out in the final over.

Brett Lee showed why he deserved his Man of the Series award, taking out Andy Caddick with his final wicket before James Anderson was run out with three balls to go.

England will now have to get over their disappointment to focus on next month's World Cup.

What lessons can England learn in order to avoid World Cup embarrassment?

Have your say

England were far from disgraced in the VB series and were unlucky not to take Australia to a final game, if the key players perform like they are capable of doing then we are capable of causing an impact in the World Cup.
David F, England

What have we learned? Well, that Irani is not a number three; that the rest of the batting can compete; that Alex Stewart's know how and talent must never be wasted lower than five in the order; that Blackwell is not an international all-rounder and that he could do with some fitness training.

That Collingwood is a class act and Anderson will be; that we miss / missed Thorpe, Gough, Flintoff, Giles and probably Jones; that it wasn't only the Aussies who had a comparative second string out due to injury etc; that our tail is weak against a cricket ball thrown at over 90mph (whose isn't). If we've learned all that the VB series has been worthwhile.
Chris R, England

England were narrowly beaten by the best team that one-day cricket has ever seen. They should have no trouble reaching the second stage of the World Cup, and without home advantage, Australia could be in their sights.
Keith L, UK

Have Nasser and his mates considered tiddleywinks? They can't be worse than their cricket...
Alex, UK

In the last couple of games Lee has completely dominated the first 15 overs

Frank, UK

England carry too much baggage and are in awe of Australians all the time. How is one supposed to beat an enemy if the game is started with a defeatist attitude? Cut this rubbish and give it back to the Aussies in their own way. Remember it was not long ago that Ponting averaged three (THREE) in a Test series and Warne beaten to pulp!!
Srinivas Dharmaji, USA

When England face the Aussies again, some simple dabbling with the batting order may preserve wickets and also a good score. I have watched Collingwood, (slowly sometimes) post a big score and preserve his wicket.

In the last couple of games Lee has completely dominated the first 15 overs. I suggest moving Trescothick to number six, have Vaughan open with Knight and have Collingwood at number three, he would score rapidly, but more importantly he could survive and on average score a half century.

I know this an unorthodox plan, but the saved wickets earlier would allow Hussain, Stewart, and Trescothick to go for big shots and finish the game.
Frank, UK

I must agree wholeheartedly with Jamie above. Nasser Hussein has shown a depth of character on this tour that few if any Australians could match. It is an unfortunate fact that when things go wrong for the Australian team, they behave appallingly. Actually, Englnd aren't that bad!

The fact is that Australia beat a bunch of crocks in the first few matches. Australia is not invincible. In fact, if you can get through the first three cheaply, the rest could fall apart. From Martyn onwards there is a definite weakness.

England have got to pull up their socks

Lee Morrow, Zimbabwe

They are certainly not the best team ever. The West Indies were. I say this as an Australian supporter. The opposition in the least few years has been very weak. I also feel that Bradman's lot would have taken some beating.

I do not believe that Australia are a "shoein" by any means for the upcoming World Cup. South Africa or New Zealand could just pip them. As for England, with a full team playing, they should do very well. Don't write them off! They could just surprise everyone!
Frank Ainslie, Australia

Close match. Great effort by the Poms but it was a second-string Australian side. Bevan gone early, Watson just gone and McGrath and Gillespie was nowhere in sight.

England have got to pull up their socks if they think they can get anywhere in the World Cup.
Lee Morrow, Zimbabwe

I think England have a enough batting strength but they not playing up to the mark, Trescothick is not in form, Hussain is not in form, Gough misses the series, and all-rounders have not come up to the mark.

If they find their strength in thing they can have a World Cup, my hope the final will be India vs England.
SMB, India

I have reading the comments from all the English fans on this board. All I can say is....Your side lost a tight game. I can't see how you can possibly read a lot into a loss like that.

Stop writing off your side. Australia have a winning attitude, get over it.
George, Australia

On the right day, England can play at the same level as the Australians

Borys Pawliw, Australia
The ECB have made a conscious effort of scheduling more and more one-day matches and that trend needs to continue.

The more they play, especially on tracks like Brisbane and Bangalore, the better equipped people like James Anderson and Simon Jones will be at bowling out sides with nothing aiding them but sheer wit and skill.
Ammar H. Khan, USA

Lots of positives for England. The difference between the sides is twofold. Firstly English sides seem to lack the killer instinct. They had the Aussies on the rack, but failed to beat them, some thing Australian teams rarely do.

Secondly poor decision made under pressure, e.g. the decision to take a run off the last ball of the penultimate over, leaving no's 10 and 11 to face Lee instead of Collingwood.
Jim Reid, Australia (ex pat pom)

A tight finish at the end of the series. On the right day, England can play at the same level as the Australians. But those "right days" are few and far between.

And as was shown today, even on the right day, even when England are playing at the same level, there seems to be "that little something" missing...and it's that little something that allows a team to do what it takes to win the tight matches.

England proved today they need not be embarrassed by any team. But actually winning games takes that little something extra...and that was not in evidence today.
Borys Pawliw, Australia

Vaughan played extremely well this summer for England and seemed a class well above the rest. However, they just seem to lack the killing instinct and appeared to fail when the last push over the line is required.

If Vaughan continues to fire and a few others around him can click together, then England might have a slight chance of making the semis. Otherwise they'll struggle to get to the Super Six.
Da Egg, Australia

All credit to England at the MCG. The difference in this match? Going the extra yard irrespective of the 'logical' outcome.
Kerry, Australia

Why can't England sustain an advantage?

Ian P, UK
One dayers that are tight require big performers - England have none!! Lee came through for the Aussies when you may have expected him to be nicked away for four. The finals of these series and the World Cup will see many a close finish.

Until England get a performer with bottle they will not win any of these games and suffer many a moral sapping loss.
Richard , Scotland

England did not loose as the man who made the difference Brett Lee was clearly chucking. Wonder how Darrel Hair missed this? Over to you ICC.
Prasantha, Dubai

It was a close and exciting game, but yet again the Duncan and Nasser show seems incapable of lifting England when they falter. Australia were absolutely on the ropes and came back, why can't England do the same? Why can't England sustain an advantage?

Too late now for tactical changes ahead of the World Cup, but there is still time for a dose of good and positive sports psychology to fill the Duncan and Nasser gap.
Ian P, UK

English selectors need to give younger players an earlier start to international cricket. Vaughan is a fine player, should have been playing a lot earlier, the older guys should step down and make the way
Wolf Glaessner, Australia

A valiant effort by England - but let's not forget who they are playing - probably the best Australian team ever. What this has been is a tremendous learning experience for them. They have earned respect from the Aussies!

This has been a very long tour with tremendous pressure, far from ideal playing conditions - I think this will lead to an England v Australia World Cup final - a fitting place for England to reverse the last thirteen matches.
Alan, UK

What a difference. OK, England lost but what a great game and at least England looked competitive and pushed Australia all the way. Compare that to the chasm of quality difference 48 hours earlier.

If England can play like this consistently then they at least have a decent chance of progressing to the super-six in the World Cup, maybe the semis if they get lucky. Australia still look like they're going to win the whole thing.
Mark Summers, London, UK

At this moment they better chance to win the because they have miss the services of great Steve Waugh and his brother. In their absence they are a normal team. Any team can win against them
Muhammad Ehsan, Pakistan

I have been an England supporter for all of my adult life, but I'm afraid I am getting sick of the team that is sent to play Australia constantly losing series after series.

It doesn't seem to matter who plays for England, they treat it as a game. IT ISN'T any more. Australia treats it as a war and they are constantly winning every war.

When will the England players wise up and get serious. If they can't soon, then your country may as well save time and money and not bother to play over here. Give the money to charity and just concede every time a Test series comes up.

I'm sure that would be the best solution all around. At least I can then say that my team isn't interested in wasting millions on a silly game they have no hope of winning and give the money to where it will do more good. Thank you for letting me rave on.
Sid Phillips, Australia (by adoption)

There is nothing like sending the pommies off to the World Cup shattered and defeated. Let's just hope England roll over like they did in this series. Sri Lanka would have been more of a challenge.
Jimmy Simms, Australia

It's time to pull out of the World Cup

Chris, England

England simply just don't know how to win against Australia. It's about time they axed half the team who have experienced defeat after defeat against Australia. England have NO hope of getting close to winning the World Cup.
Richard Hawke, Australia

We are a disgrace...sack the incompetent Hussain - he has no place in an England one day eleven.

And you just love Blackwell - learn to bat or clear off back to Somerset, you have clearly failed your country again.

It's time to pull out of the World Cup as we do not have the players who deserve the chance to play.... I am certainly hacked off with my dreams and ambitions being shattered by a bunch of amateurs who just don't care.
Chris, England

England has to realize its potential. In my view they are playing very well, but losing focus at crunch time. England has a good side and should learn to play under pressure.
Vishwanath, USA

England must put this disappointing series behind them and continue to focus on the World Cup.
Boris Forey, Canada

The current England should go home and take a rest... for a long, long time. Another embarrassing trip abroad is the last thing we need to see again so soon.

The batting of England always comes up short

Andrew, Australia

Australia will reign supreme at the World Cup because they have a depth of skills lacking in other teams. But cheer up... sooner or later Australia will not dominate so clearly as now.
Jim Edstein, Taiwan

It was a lucky win for Australia, and injuries plagued both sides. Hussain, however, must look at the reality that the batting of England always comes up short.

It looks like England plays for a noble loss. This seems to be the English mindset.

I am from Melbourne and it was 44 degrees, the second-hottest day on record. For England to bowl in this is very tough and when these bowlers batted, I bet they were not feeling too good, which may have contributed to their bad batting.

Many people from England won't understand just how hard it was to bowl in the 44 degree heat.
Andrew, Australia

Irrespective of the end result of this most painful of English tours, I would just like to make one observation regarding Nasser Hussein as captain of the current team.

Before the knives are sharpened by the home pundits I would like to state that never have I seen a captain continue to display such levels of dignity, resolution and integrity in such trying circumstances.

Well done Nasser, you've won one Australian fan!

Jamie, Australia

I am an Aussie cricket follower and naturally love having thrashed the old foe in such a comprehensive manner. Nevertheless, I cannot help but reach the conclusion that it is unlikely that any Australian in the current crop could have displayed the depth of character which Nasser has throughout this "summer of discontent".

Sure, I'll hear the refrain from your own press that "All we are is good losers!" But few people could maintain composure following the losing results of this summer.

For someone who is so passionate about the English cause, and who came so close in the last game, this is doubly so! I think his display of grace and integrity are admirable.

As captain he made some mistakes, but always gave 100%. Your team was outplayed and overpowered by the stronger team and I do not think that any current alternative could have done any better.

I can only hope that when the wheel turns and Australia suffers similar defeat, that we can cope in a similar fashion. Well done Nasser, you've won one Australian fan!
Jamie, Australia

England must face reality and accept that their current one-day team does not belong in the same league as Australia and South Africa. This World Cup will be a two-horse race, with New Zealand as a possible surprise package.
Flip de Bruyn, South Africa

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