EOIN MORGAN insists England will not sledge Australia about the ball-tampering scandal when their five-match one-day series starts today.
The Oval hosts Australia’s first international since the tour to South Africa when they were caught scratching the ball with sandpaper during a Test, leading to bans for captain Steve Smith, deputy David Warner and opener Cameron Bancroft, plus the resignation of coach Darren Lehmann.
While Morgan still expects sledging between the sides, the England captain says the scandal will not be used to taunt the Aussies.
It will be service as usual — we’ll continue to play our cricket aggressively
Asked if England would go there, Morgan said: ‘No. It probably could be ammunition (for them). It will be service as usual. We play our cricket pretty hard, positively, aggressively, so we’ll continue to do that. Every time we’ve played Australia we’ve come up against a team playing hard, so we’ll expect that as well.’
New head coach Justin Langer has said Australia will not allow banter to turn into abuse. Asked if the tourists can stick to his pledge, Morgan replied: ‘I don’t know, I’ll only be able to tell you after tomorrow. I think it’s going to be a good series.’
Morgan has, however, agreed to new Aussie captain Tim Paine’s request for the two teams to shake hands before today’s match.
‘They are trying to turn around the image of the game in their country, and we’re all for that,’ he said.
Jos Buttler slots back into the England side after Sunday’s shock six-run defeat to Scotland, of which Morgan said: ‘It’s no good losing the lesson and the game. You’ve got to take something from it.’
■ AUSTRALIA captain Tim Paine does not expect recent results to have any bearing on the outcome of their one-day series against England.
The five-match contest starts today, with England’s 4-1 ODI win in Australia in the winter tempered by a surprise six-run defeat to Scotland on Sunday.
‘What happened in Scotland and what happened in Australia is going to have no impact on this series really,’ said Paine.
‘Obviously they would have liked to have won the other day but, if anything, we saw again how dangerous their batting can be. We know we’re going to have to be at our absolute best.
‘I’m sure they’ll come back better for what happened.’