By Rob Barnett
“We’ve had a pretty horrid time here for the last three or four months and it’ll be great to salvage some pride and take home one of the trophies, and we’ve got a chance to do that in the T20 series.”
Those are the words of England limited-overs coach Ashley Giles today ahead of the three Twenty20 internationals with Australia this week.
Having been whitewashed in the Ashes, the tourists were narrowly beaten yesterday at Adelaide to suffer a 4-1 one-day series scoreline.
Chasing 218, Giles’ charges were 154 for three in the 36th over with Joe Root and Eoin Morgan going well. Yet both fell to James Faulkner in consecutive sets of six and England slipped to a five-run loss.
“It’s very difficult to take, most particularly because we got in a position where we should have won the game and won the game comfortably,” Giles admitted.
“It’s the second time in this series that we’ve done that: Brisbane with the ball and Adelaide with the bat. (It’s) disappointing for everyone in the dressing room, but we need to learn from our mistakes as we go forward.”
Although England faltered with the bat yesterday, they had performed admirably with the ball to limit Australia to 217 for nine.
While Stuart Broad shone with 3-31, Tim Bresnan and Chris Jordan stood out for Giles in the closing overs.
“With the ball, the skills generally are quite simple. You can bowl a good length and you have certain variations - slower balls, bouncers - and at the end your skills have got be absolutely spot on,” Giles added.
“One of the really pleasing aspects of Adelaide was we got that right. Bresnan and Jordan at the end I felt were fantastic. We got our fields right, we got the plan right and the execution was good. And the game looks so much calmer when you get those simple skills right.”
The calmness Giles refers to is a rarity in T20 cricket, which the tourists have turned their attention to in Hobart where they face Australia on Wednesday.
“We have to move on; there’s no choice in that. But we again have to learn from the mistakes we made and those same issues or situations might come up in the T20 series as well,” said Giles, who confirmed Alastair Cook and Ian Bell will not be on the limited-overs tour of the Caribbean in a month’s time.
“That game happens much faster. You have to react much quicker, But still, you have to react and you have to make smart decision. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: that’s pretty much what cost us yesterday, making the right decisions under pressure and not backing it up with good skill.”