Cricket: Australia aiming to inflict record losing streak on old enemy

Australia are aiming to inflict a one-day international and Twenty20 series clean sweep of England, which would consign the visitors to their record longest international losing streak.

If Michael Clarke's red-hot team can repeat its 5-0 Ashes whitewash in the ODI series, it would stretch England's losing run across all formats to a record 11, surpassing the 10-match streaks set by the team's predecessors in 1993 and 2001. It would also hand Australia a new record for consecutive victories against the old enemy, eclipsing the 10 scored between October 2006 and January 2007.

If followed by a 3-0 defeat in the Twenty20, England would leave Australian shores with an unprecedented 14-game losing streak at international level and on the receiving end of a 13-0 hammering on this tour.

Sunday night's defeat in the opening game of the ODI series was England's seventh in a row, continuing a run that started in Southampton in mid September, and matches the losing trot of Andrew Flintoff's hapless '06-07 team. That side followed its Ashes hammering with defeats in the Twenty20 and ODI arenas though bounced back to take out the tri-series that summer.

Judging by the emphatic way Australia won in Melbourne, the odds are against Alastair Cook's team finishing this tour on a high.

And if the Australians have things their own way, England will leave these shores without an international victory after more than three months on the road.

''I think we can,'' Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell said. ''The way the side is at the moment and the confidence around the group and the way the England team looked … a little bit drained, looked a bit tired. I think they're still carrying a little bit of the effects from the Ashes.

''Hopefully, we can keep our foot on the throat and keep them to 10-nil and hopefully take them in the T20s as well.''

England's only victory this tour came against a Cricket Australia Invitational XI, which was principally a NSW second XI topped up with a few batsmen on the fringes of the international scene. Two of their three draws in other tour games came in matches where they were behind in the first innings.

Maxwell, who did not feature in the Tests, said he could detect how low English spirits were when he batted in the latter stages of Australia's run chase.

''When we were bowling obviously the batters are pretty intense out there and looked like they did a pretty good job to get to 270 on a pretty slowish wicket,'' Maxwell said. ''Definitely with their fielding, when Finchy [Aaron Finch] and [David] Warner took off, it was a bit like, 'Here we go again' for them. Hopefully that continues because I love beating England; I'm sure everyone does in Australia.''

England's cause will not be helped by the return of their Ashes terroriser Mitchell Johnson, who comes back at the Gabba - where his dominance started this summer - after being given game one off.

''I'm actually not looking forward to him coming back into the squad, to tell you the truth, because I've got to face him in the nets,'' Maxwell said. ''Hopefully he saves himself for the game and puts a bit more pain on them.

''He's had a phenomenal summer - a phenomenal 12 months, really, since the IPL last year.''

This story Cricket: Australia aiming to inflict record losing streak on old enemy first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.