Captain Stuart Broad believes England can still take something away from their forgettable tour of Australia, despite a 13-run defeat in their Twenty20 series opener in Hobart.
An under-strength Australia blasted 213 for four on the back of a century opening stand between Cameron White (75) and Aaron Finch (52) to set England a record Twenty20 chase.
England made a sluggish start and only Ravi Bopara’s 65 from 27 balls, including seven sixes, thinned the margin of defeat to 13 runs. England must win in Melbourne tomorrow to keep the series alive, and avoid three series defeats in all formats against Australia this winter.
Broad said: “Thirteen runs isn’t a huge defeat. I know it was glossed over a little bit by Ravi’s hitting at the end. We didn’t get moving as a batting unit but to still get 200 runs actually gives us quite a bit of confidence.
“We have to bounce back and we have to win at the MCG to stay in this series. I’m pretty confident we can do that.
“We’re obviously very disappointed but a big strength of this side in particular, and the records show that, is we do come back from disappointments and losses pretty well.”
England were made to rue dropping White on ten when Joe Root put down a routine edge at first slip. A Twenty20 international record 22 sixes were hit in the match, although that figure was ballooned by a short boundary on the eastern side.
Australia were able to exploit it throughout their innings with openers White and Finch clearing the rope seven times between them. England had only managed two sixes by the time Bopara walked to the crease with his side in trouble at 98 for five in the 12th over.
“For grown men 52 yards is not a big hit, is it?” Broad said. “It was maybe a little bit weighed in the batsmen’s favour but we’ve seen a record amount of T20 sixes. It is probably an imbalanced record because it was an absolute chip. We’ve seen a lot of entertainment and I think the MCG might be slightly bigger!”
While Australia were without the likes of David Warner, Shane Watson and Mitchell Johnson – who jetted out to South Africa yesterday to begin their tour – England included five fresh faces.
Alex Hales, Michael Lumb and Luke Wright all slotted in straight from playing in the Big Bash League, but their experience in Australia hardly helped as they all fell cheaply.
Among the changes was the omission of Ben Stokes, one of the shining lights of the tour, although he could return for the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh in March and April.
Broad said: “In this T20 side the top seven has been pretty consistent for the last 18 months. The top seven deserve their spots with the consistency and performances they’ve done.
“Stokesy is a wonderful cricketer and will play a huge part in the next three months. The guys that are in possession of the shirts, who have done so well, deserve to keep them.”