Published: Sat, June 16, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Handshakes instead of sledges to kick off series between Australia and England

Handshakes instead of sledges to kick off series between Australia and England

"The batsman brings his expertise and insight developed over years of top-flight cricket to Nine's broadcast team", it said.

Jonny Bairstow has insisted England can cope with the pressure of being the world's top-ranked one-day global side as they head into a five-match series against Australia on the back of a shock six-run defeat by Scotland.

Skipper Tim Paine, in his first match as permanent captain, called correctly on a sunny day in south London with Queensland's Michael Neser to make his debut.

England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (capt), Jos Buttler (wkt), Moeen Ali, David Willey, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood. "They are trying to turn around the image of the game in their country, and we're all for that".

"It's part and parcel of the game", he explained.

This goodwill gesture - or PR stunt, depending on one's perspective - was first introduced by Paine in March for the fourth Test at the Wanderers in response to the ball-tampering scandal during Australia's already fractious tour of South Africa. "You get to number one and people are going to want to beat you, but you want to be number one in the world".

They'll do so with form on their side - despite Sunday's humbling defeat to Scotland - emphatically beating Australia 4-1 as recently as January after their Test debacle against the same opposition.

England vs Australia
PA Images via Getty Images

Australia were without their injured Ashes-winning fast-bowling trio of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, with Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson and Billy Stanklake selected by the tourists on Wednesday.

England and Australia will line up and shake hands before the start of Wednesday's (Thursday NZ time) ODI series at The Oval in London after Eoin Morgan accepted the request from Tim Paine.

Top-order batsman Cameron Bancroft, who applied sandpaper to the ball, was given a nine-month ban.

It is a match that pits 2019 World Cup hosts England against title-holders Australia.

Coach Justin Langer has called on the team to be "number one" in professionalism, honesty and humility, and that will begin with handshakes between the sides as Australia begin a one-day worldwide series against England.

But Paine concedes Australia must prove they are reformed characters.

The series continues in Cardiff on Saturday.

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