Faulkner: Early lead is key
Australia are determined to make their early NatWest Series advantage count - just as England did in the Ashes.
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There was no way back for Australia after their narrow defeat in a titanic first Test at Trent Bridge this summer.
But this time, after victory by a much more convincing 88-run margin in the second one-day international at Emirates Old Trafford, it is the tourists who have the initiative.
There are only three more matches to play too, following the washed-out first fixture in Leeds, and the onus is therefore on England to respond immediately to stay in with a chance of adding ODI series success to their 3-0 Test triumph.
James Faulkner, who made his Test debut in the drawn final match at the Kia Oval and helped Australia go 1-0 up in Manchester, knows how important it is to strike the first blow.
"Any time you play a series, whether it's in one-dayers or Tests, the first few games really dictate how it is going to go.
"I suppose they had the upper hand in the Ashes, winning the first Test, and I hope we can take full advantage of winning this first ODI."
A new-look squad, featuring only a handful of Ashes combatants, has already shared a two-match Twenty20 series with England and beaten Scotland by a mammoth 200 runs.
But Australia need to win the ongoing series, which continues at Edgbaston on Wednesday, to help build some self-belief in time for the start of their home Ashes campaign at the end of November.
"We don't want to go home empty-handed," said bowling all-rounder Faulkner.
"We've played some good cricket for the last couple of months, and it's our time now to really put our foot on the throat and win these last few games."
Australia's success at Old Trafford was overdue after their Champions Trophy disappointments, not to mention the Ashes again.
For a victory over a Test-playing nation, they have to scroll back seven months.
"It's been a little while now since we've got a win in ODIs - I think the last one was against the West Indies," added Faulkner.
"It was a good feeling, and we hope we can roll on now with some momentum."
Captain Michael Clarke's century, in a stand of 155 with George Bailey, and the eye-catching form of mercurial left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson were particularly encouraging for them yesterday.
But Faulkner said: "Confidence levels have always been pretty high since we've been here.
"I think we've played reasonably good cricket the whole three months ... it'd be really nice now to capitalise on a good solid start and try and win this series."
Faulkner's prospects of retaining his Test place against England in Brisbane in two-and-a-half months' time improved this morning when Cricket Australia revealed his fellow left-armer Mitchell Starc is likely to be out for a "prolonged period".
Reflecting on his first taste of Test cricket, the 23-year-old Tasmanian said: "Obviously losing a day-and-a-half to rain wasn't ideal, but I thought we batted really well to make just under 500.
"Then it was just a shame we couldn't knock them over.
"I took a bit of confidence out of that, and hope I can show that in the next few games here."
He knows that has to be his first step to further progress, and will not be distracted by what the winter may or may not hold.
"Everyone's hoping to try to hold on to their (Test) spot, but at the moment I'm concentrating on the one-day cricket - after that we'll see what happens," he said.
"At the moment, all my attention is on this series and trying to win games of cricket."