England should have seen out the match and the series when they had their opponents 73-5 chasing 303 at Old Trafford. But they could easily have lost this series with a match to spare had it not been for a brilliant fightback from their bowlers in last Sunday’s second ODI, when Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer sparked a collapse that saw Australia choke chasing 232.
The turnarounds in those two matches summed up what a close and thrilling series this was. Unhelpfully for England all three games were played on pitches in Manchester that did not play to their batting strengths.
England captain Eoin Morgan knew that before the series began and, with one eye on next year’s T20 World Cup in India and the next edition of the 50over tournament in 2023 also on the sub-continent, challenged his players to get in the habit of winning ugly rather than relying on their batting firepower.
In all, England’s batsmen just didn’t perform against a fine Australian attack of Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and leg-spinner Adam Zampa.
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September 20, 2020