England name unchanged squad

Dorset Echo: Alastair Cook admitted that the series against Australia is 'a big series for us as a one-day team' Alastair Cook admitted that the series against Australia is 'a big series for us as a one-day team'

England have named an unchanged squad for the five-match NatWest one-day international series against Australia.

The selectors have stuck with the original list of 14 players that helped England defeat West Indies 2-0 this month and secure a sixth consecutive home 50-over series win. England also have a perfect record in their six one-day internationals this year and will look to test their recent improvement against the world's top-ranked side when the series begins at Lord's on Friday.

Skipper Alastair Cook, who along with Ravi Bopara has been released to play in Essex's floodlit match against Australia at Chelmsford on Tuesday night, admitted last week that their Ashes rivals - the last team to beat England on these shores - represented a significant measure of his side's 50-over progress describing it as "a big series for us as a one-day team".

National selector Geoff Miller echoed those thoughts, saying: "The series win against West Indies was pleasing and we are making steady progress in one-day cricket with a sixth straight series victory on home soil.

"Australia are a strong one-day side and I've no doubt this will be a challenging NatWest series for us and we will need to play some very good cricket over the next three weeks.

"Playing against the number one ranked one-day side in the world is an excellent test for us as we look to keep steadily improving ahead of next summer's ICC Champions Trophy and the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup."

Middlesex pair Steven Finn and Eoin Morgan have also been released for games in Tuesday night's round of Friends Life t20 matches, as has Somerset's Craig Kieswetter.

England could be forced into one change during the series with the funeral of Surrey's Tom Maynard taking place at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff on July 4 - the same day as the third ODI in Birmingham.

Maynard's Surrey team-mate and close friend Jade Dernbach left the squad for the second ODI against West Indies last week following the news, and could be again granted leave to travel to Cardiff.

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