The Three Lions have been at the receiving end of a few cleansweeps against their old enemy over the years but the tables have been turned this time with a rampant English batting line-up making a mockery of the Aussie bowling attack.
If Eoin Morgan’s team do defeat Australia in the fifth ODI at Old Trafford on Sunday, it will be their second ever 5-0 ODI series win in history.
Also, it will be just the fourth time England have won all matches of a bilateral ODI series of four matches or more.
Here are England’s ODI series whitewashes involving four matches or more.
DEFEAT ZIMBABWE 5-0 IN 2001
The Zimbabwe side of early the 2000s was a fine unit and had world-class batsmen like Andy Flower, Grant Flower and Alastair Campbell, plus a spirited bowling attack. In the end, it was a walk in the park for England as they registered wins by five wickets, eight wickets, four wickets, 70 runs and seven wickets in Harare and Bulawayo.
For the Englishmen, Nick Knight was the top-scorer with 302 runs and Matthew Hoggard picked up 10 scalps.
DEFEAT ZIMBABWE 4-0 IN 2004
A substantially weakened Zimbabwe outfit following the exodus of established players following political turmoil in the country. Zimbabwe captain Tatenda Taibu had a thankless job as England cruised to wins by five wickets, 161 runs, eight wickets and 74 runs without even trying that hard.
For the record, Michael Vaughan scored more than 200 runs and Darren Gough took seven wickets.
DEFEAT PAKISTAN 4-0 IN 2012
One of the most stunning performances by a ‘visiting’ team in the UAE. Pakistan are a tough nut to crack on the slow surfaces in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah but England, led by Alastair Cook at the time, defeated a strong Pakistan line-up that had Misbah ul Haq, Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal, by 130 runs, 20 runs, nine wickets and four wickets.
Cook smashed 323 runs from four matches while pacer Steven Finn picked up 13 wickets. What’s even more commendable is that it came after England’s shock 3-0 defeat in the preceding Test series.
Note: England registered 4-0 wins over South Africa (2008), Australia (2012) and West Indies (2017) but they were originally five-match series.
The 28-year-old was included in the 17-member squad for the three Test series against the West Indies, the third match of which stated in Barbados on Saturday.
“Vandersay, who toured West Indies with the national team is sent back to Sri Lanka owing to his conduct, which amounts to breach of contractual obligations,” the board said in a statement.
It adds to the woes of the Sri Lankan team who started the third and final Test without regular skipper Dinesh Chandimal.
Chandimal was handed a one-match ban over ball tampering charges during the second Test that ended in a draw. Chandimal was given the ban after being spotted applying saliva to the ball with a sweet in his mouth.
The ICC on Friday dismissed Chandimal’s subsequent appeal. Suranga Lakmal is leading Sri Lanka in Chandimal’s absence.
England need just one more victory at Old Trafford on Sunday to complete a one-day international clean sweep against their Ashes opponents, who are minus at least five key players.
Three of Australia’s first-choice seamers are injured, while former captain Steve Smith and David Warner are serving year-long suspensions for their part in the ball-tampering controversy in South Africa earlier in the year.
England are on the verge of what would be their first 5-0 victory over Australia in any format, since the age-old rivalry began almost 140 years ago.
Most ODI wickets by England spinners:— Deepu Narayanan (@deeputalks) June 21, 2018
105 ADIL RASHID
104 G Swann
76 J Emburey
68 Moeen Ali
60 J Tredwell#ENGvAUS
The record-breaking form of Eoin Morgan’s world number ones undoubtedly comes with a caveat for some, because of Australia’s key absences.
Rashid, however, does not agree – having been part of a team which also won 4-1 down under at the start of the year, when England began exacting a little white-ball revenge for their 4-0 Ashes hammering.
Asked if this summer’s series might have been very different against a full-strength Australia line-up, he said: “No, I don’t think so.
“Those players were still playing in Australia – Steve Smith, (David) Warner, (Pat) Cummins, (Josh) Hazlewood. They were still playing. We won 4-1 there, and here it’s 4-0, so I think it’s very similar.”
Six months on, England are careful not to get ahead of themselves by focusing too early on what would be a proud and historic achievement.
“It would be (good),” Rashid said at the prospect of a whitewash. “But we’re not talking about that at the moment.
“Once the game’s done, if you’ve got the whitewash, then you’ve got things to talk about.”
He is England’s leading wicket-taker in the series, with 11 so far and 19 in tandem with fellow spinner Moeen Ali.
The dry environs of Old Trafford offer the prospect of more – and although the leg-spinner is not crowing about that yet either, he does acknowledge previous matches can get in batsmen’s heads.
The transformation of Adil Rashid as an ODI bowler is superb. Every year since 2015 he's bowled quicker, shorter, spinning and drifting the ball less. From an old-fashioned toss-it-up leggie, Rashid has blossomed into a world-class, extremely modern white ball spinner. #ENGvAUS pic.twitter.com/nZStijLI8S— The Cricket Prof. (@CricProf) June 16, 2018
“We can’t take it lightly but once know you have one over (a team), you’ve got (a few) wickets, you know they’ll always have that in the back of their minds.
“So when they do bat against certain spin bowlers they might play a bit more hesitantly.
“They won’t be themselves, and that’s how you get the edge over the batsmen.”