James Faulkner says spirits are up in the team after 88-run ODI victory.
James Faulkner hopes Australia can use the advantage of winning the second one-day international at Old Trafford to press on to a series win just as England did in the Ashes.
Australia came close in the first Test but England’s 14-run win in Nottingham put them on course for a successful Ashes defence and a 3-0 series victory — the first time they’d win three successive Test series against their oldest rivals since the 1950s.
But it was a different story in Manchester on Sunday where Australia thrashed England by 88 runs, with captain Michael Clarke making a typically stylish century, to go 1-0 up with three to play after Friday’s opening ODI in Leeds was washed out.
Australia would dearly love to conclude their lengthy tour with a series win ahead of the return Ashes ‘Down Under’ starting in November, even if England are currently resting five senior players — captain Alastair Cook, top-order batsman Ian Bell and bowlers James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann — ahead of that contest,
Faulkner, who made his Test debut in the drawn Ashes finale at The Oval in south London last month and played in Manchester, is in no doubt about the importance of taking an early lead.
“Any time you play a series, whether it’s in one-dayers or Tests, the first few games really dictate how it is going to go,” he said Monday.
“I suppose they had the upper hand in the Ashes, winning the first Test, and I hope we can take full advantage of winning this first ODI,” the 23-year-old left-arm paceman and hard-hitting right-handed lower-order batsman said,
“We don’t want to go home empty-handed,” said bowling all-rounder Faulkner.
“We’ve played some good cricket for the last couple of months, and it’s our time now to really put our foot on the throat and win these last few games.”
Australia’s success at Old Trafford on Sunday was their first over a Test-playing nation in a Test or ODI for seven months, a barren spell that encompassed a 4-0 Test series reverse in India, a disappointing Champions Trophy tournament in the UK and the Ashes, although last week they did thrash minnows Scotland by 200 runs in a stand alone one-day international in Edinburgh.
“It’s been a little while now since we’ve got a win (against a Test nation) in ODIs — I think the last one was against the West Indies,” added Faulkner.
“It was a good feeling, and we hope we can roll on now with some momentum.”
But having had a taste of Test cricket, Faulkner is eager for more and his chances of retaining his place when Australia meet England in the Ashes opener in Brisbane in two-and-a-half months’ time appeared to improve earlier Monday when Cricket Australia announced fellow left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc would likely be out of action for a “prolonged period”.
Faulkner, looking back to his Test debut, said: “Obviously losing a day-and-a-half to rain wasn’t ideal, but I thought we batted really well to make just under 500.
“Then it was just a shame we couldn’t knock them over.
“I took a bit of confidence out of that, and hope I can show that in the next few games here.”
The Tasmanian added: “Everyone’s hoping to try to hold on to their (Test) spot, but at the moment I’m concentrating on the one-day cricket — after that we’ll see what happens.
“At the moment, all my attention is on this series and trying to win games of cricket.”