England v Australia ODIs - Men's
'We let them off the hook': Aussies lament late cameo
Australia's bowlers to review their tactics to England's tail after Tom Curran and Adil Rashid played a vital role with the bat at Old Trafford
14 September 2020, 08:41 AM AEST
Australia's bowlers will take a closer look at their approach to England's tail as part of their review of the second ODI after the tourists "let them off the hook" late in the home side's batting innings at Old Trafford.
Vice-captain Pat Cummins says his side's 24-run loss in Manchester was "a tough one to get your head around" given the Australians were in control for most of the match before England sealed a series-levelling win.
Australia's collapse of 7-32 in a little more than an hour dominated the post-match headlines, but England's late surge with the bat also proved pivotal to the final outcome, lifting them from 8-149 to a total of 9-231.
Tom Curran (37 from 39 balls) and Adil Rashid (35no from 26) slammed 76 runs in less than 10 overs, the highest partnership by a No.9 and No.10 pairing in the history of Australia v England ODIs, striking eight fours and a six between them.
After the Australians had dominated England's star-studded top order for the second match in a row, Cummins said the partnership between Curran and Rashid was difficult to fathom.
"I'll get my head around that tomorrow and have a bit of a look at the footage," he said after England levelled the series at one-all.
"On that wicket, for 40 overs it felt like a good length was the hardest to hit, and suddenly they started hitting them quite nicely.
"We'll have a review. If we'd kept them down – those last 10 (overs) went for 80-odd, I think – we're suddenly only chasing 200 and it's a different game.
"But what I will say is Adil and Tom are both really good batsmen. They might be batting at nine and 10, but when they walked out, we knew that they could still really hold the bat.
"It's a tough one to get your head around. I thought we bowled really well and then let them off the hook in the last 10 overs ... (where) we gave them an extra 40 or 50 runs."
After England had been 8-149 after 40.1 overs, Australia cruised to 2-144 after 30.4 before Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes sparked a collapse of four wickets in five overs, paving the way for England's victory.
Cummins likened the used surface at Old Trafford to a fifth-day Test pitch, and said there was no sense of complacency in Australia's dressing-room in the run chase, even when Aaron Finch and Marnus Labuschagne shared a 106-run partnership for the third wicket.
"Having fielded for 50 overs on that wicket, we knew it was going to be really hard work," he said.
"We were obviously really happy when Aaron and Marnus were going along nicely but I heard the commentators say 'they're going along beautifully, they're walking it home' but none of us were thinking that.
"We knew the last 80 or 90 runs were going to be hard work on that wicket, especially as the ball got softer and older."
Having built their white-ball resurgence on high-tempo cricket, England skipper Eoin Morgan has made no secret of his side's efforts to grow accustomed to playing on slower, inconsistent pitches given two of the next three World Cups will be held in India.
The two sides have played on the same pitch for the opening two matches of this series and Cummins agreed that playing on flat and consistent surfaces wasn't necessarily the best practice ahead of major tournaments, particularly in Asia.
"Something we always talk about in tournament play and World Cups is that towards the back end, you are likely to get these kind of wickets where spinners (will play a role) and you're not getting 350 that you might get at the start of the tournament," he said.
"On a really good wicket, in your death bowling you go to yorkers or slower balls or bouncers. Here it's tossing up what's the hardest ball to hit – is it a yorker or maybe it's top of the stumps? Maybe you can keep the fields in for longer, the spinners might have more of an impact.
"I really enjoy it. It makes you think differently and try and problem solve."
Australia will have two days to recover ahead of the series decider on Wednesday, when they'll have to decide if they'll bring back star batsman Steve Smith after he missed the first two matches due to a blow to the head at training late last week.
"Steve passed both assessments, but we have decided to rest him as an extra precaution in line with our high level of focus on duty of care to all players," a Cricket Australia spokesperson said.
Highest ninth-wicket partnerships in Australia v England ODIs
88 – Shaun Marsh & Doug Bollinger, Hobart, 2011
81 – Jos Buttler & Adil Rashid, Manchester, 2018
76 – Tom Curran & Adil Rashid, Manchester, 2020
73* – Michael Bevan & Andy Bichel, Port Elizabeth, 2003
60 – Tom Curran & Chris Woakes, Adelaide, 2018
2020 Tour of England
Australia's T20 and ODI squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
England T20I squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood. Reserves: Liam Livingstone, Saqib Mahmood
England ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood. Reserves: Joe Denly, Saqib Mahmood