Pat Cummins believes Australia can take confidence out of their victory over England at Adelaide Oval and carry the momentum of their victory into the final ODI in Perth on Monday. Cummins did, however, concede that the way his side allowed England to fight back after Australia’s blistering start with the ball was “not ideal”.
England were left staggering after Cummins and Hazlewood created havoc with the new ball, losing five wickets in the opening seven overs, but Australia were unable to fully press their advantage and a Chris Woakes-led revival helped England to a first innings tally of 196 – a total that had seemed virtually impossible when they had lost their first five wickets for eight runs.
Cummins and Hazlewood dominated in the early stages and took seven wickets between them after Australia won the toss and elected to bowl first in humid conditions that proved to be helpful for the seamers before England’s middle order stemmed the fall of wickets and Woakes launched a counter-attack.
“It always seems to happen that you get a great start and there’s always someone that gets a few,” said Cummins. “I thought Chris Woakes batted excellent.
“He’s been hitting the ball really cleanly in the last few weeks. But yeah it was certainly a perfect start for us. It was a bit of an unknown for us really, we didn’t know what to do when they were five down.”
Australia needed just 37 overs to chase down the target but lost seven wickets in the process, with only Travis Head – who came into the side in place of the injured Aaron Finch – able to go beyond a start, eventually falling four runs short of a century.
“I think those small totals either go one of two ways really,” said Cummins. “You either blast them out or you get seven or eight down so it was obviously not ideal but I thought someone like Travis Head coming back in the side, he batted beautifully.”
England captain Eoin Morgan acknowledged that the result was all but decided in the first 10 overs, but was encouraged by the way his side avoided a complete collapse.
“Australia bowled really well, took advantage of conditions and really were relentless with traditional line and length,” said Morgan.
“From there it’s a very difficult position to win the game but from there I thought we did rebuild fairly well. To get to 190…we still would have needed something special – something early on or the spinners to catch fire in the middle. It’s never going to go 50 overs.”
While England’s aggressive approach to batting since the 2015 World Cup has brought them success in the 50-over format it has also, at times, led to top-order collapses. Morgan acknowledged there is a still a challenge for his team to go hard with the bat without imploding.
“We don’t want to lose our positive mindset but it’s a balancing act,” said Morgan. We don’t want to wipe 10 overs out of the game and say, they bowled well but we only got 15-20 runs. We still want to take the game forward. I’d rather probably be 40 for 2 than 20 for 0. We just need to get better at playing that way.”
Cummins believes that England’s approach is one that Australia could look to adopt in the run in to the 2019 World Cup.
“I think it’s one of those things, the freedom that the English played with in the first couple of games, trying to replicate that. I think that’s really important in one day cricket. I thought we did that ok today.”