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England’s cricketers must win their final two one-day internationals against Australia to secure the series.
Rain has been a curse so far, completely washing out the first of the five clashes at Old Trafford, while England managed to bat for just less than 15 overs at Edgbaston before play was abandoned.
Now they must win the fourth match in Cardiff on Saturday, and then follow up at Southampton on Monday to add to their Ashes triumph over Australia.
To do that they must get to grips with the bowling of Mitchell Johnson, who appears to have found his form again judging by his five overs in Birmingham, taking the wicket of Kevin Pietersen as England struggled to 59-3 before stumps were drawn with the weather not improving.
Jonathan Trott survived to score 28 but faced a torrid time from Johnson, and captain Eoin Morgan is well aware that England’s batsmen must stop him dominating them.
“He bowled well in the last game, and we know his capabilities. We’ve played against him for years,” he said.
“We know when he bowls well, he’s pretty dangerous. We’re aware of the fact he’s a wicket-taker and probably the guy who leads their attack.
“We’ve played against him long enough to know that when he’s at his best he’s very, very good – but if he gets it wrong, he gives you enough scoring opportunities to capitalise.”