By Rob Barnett
England have form at coming from behind in Twenty20 series and Alex Hales says they are confident of doing so again this week.
In the last 14 months Hales, ranked the world’s best T20 international batsman, featured as England shared series with India away and Australia at home after losing the first game.
Those were both two-match rubbers whereas the tourists can still recover from yesterday’s 13-run defeat at Hobart to beat Australia 2-1.
“We’ve shown some real quality in our last few series where we've lost the first game against India and then we bounced back well,” Hales said.
"We lost against Australia in the first game during the summer and bounced back well. As a squad we are still very confident in what can happen in these two games."
England’s chance to square the series comes tomorrow at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where an enormous crowd is expected.
"It's a huge game, any international game of cricket is, particularly playing at the MCG in front of what is going to be a huge crowd," Hales added. "(It's) a must-win game for this series.”
Although England could not overhaul Australia’s 213 for four yesterday, Ravi Bopara’s 27-ball 65 not out meant the tourists ended on a high. Bopara flew to England’s fastest format fifty, from just 23 deliveries, and finished with seven sixes.
Those kind of performances bode well for the rest of this series and England’s next T20 challenge: three games with West Indies during early March in preparation for the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.
"A lot of Twenty20 is based around momentum," Hales said.
"These two games coming up are huge for us, heading into Barbados where we are playing against a very strong West Indies side who are the current World Cup holders for Twenty20.
"We’ve got a lot of tough cricket coming up which should stand us in good stead for what is going to be a good World Cup campaign."