By Rob Barnett
Skipper Stuart Broad says England’s last game of the tour Down Under remains important, despite Australia wrapping up the Twenty20 series today.
The hosts’ eight-wicket win at the MCG leaves Broad’s side playing for pride in Sydney on Sunday.
However, the match represents another step towards the World Twenty20, starting in mid-March, ahead of which England have a limited-overs series with defending champions West Indies in the Caribbean.
Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk, Broad said: “This series is gone, which is disappointing. But every time you pull on the Three Lions for your country you want to win that game and you want to do the best for yourself and for your team.
“I think the guys will look at that game positively because we have got cricket coming up. It’s not like we go home and you don’t do anything for four months.
“We’re playing towards World Cups etcetera, but I think the guys will really give it their all there because we’re desperate to leave Australia with a little bit of pride.
“It’s been a tough tour and Australia have thoroughly outplayed us and you have to give credit to them.”
The hosts completed their third series victory of England’s visit by initially limiting their opponents to 130 for nine, with seamer Josh Hazlewood returning 4-30.
Unbeaten fifties from Cameron White and home captain George Bailey finished the job with more than five overs to spare.
Broad admitted that, defending such a low score, he and fellow opening bowler Jade Dernbach did not deliver well enough up front.
“Jade and I didn’t set the tone how we’d like to. I have to take responsibility for that,” Broad, who played his 50th T20 international today, added. “But I think you have to credit the way Australia played.
“When you’re chasing a low total, what you want from a team is to come out a bit ‘blocky’, stuttery and give you a chance. But they came out all guns blazing.
“That’s a lesson we can learn for the future. I think there’s been occasions in the past when we’ve potentially fallen into the trap of getting too shy and we have to learn from our mistakes because you’re always going to lose games in international cricket, but to lose it when you don’t particularly feel like you’ve turned up is disappointing.”