Aus v Eng 1st ODI: England's batsmen 'have no interest' in powerplay overs
Tourists must take the attack to Australia when restrictions are in place...
By David Lloyd
Last Updated: 13/01/14 10:09am
The tourists suffered a six-wicket defeat in the opening one-day international against Australia in Melbourne after the hosts overhauled their total of 269-7 in 45.4 overs, with Aaron Finch scoring 121 off 128 balls.
England won the toss but didn't take advantage of the fielding restrictions in the first 10 overs after they opted to bat first, scoring 28-2 in that period, before adding 24-1 in the second powerplay. In contrast Australia racked up 64-0 and 37-1 in the comparative stages.
Lloyd said England's lack of ambition and adventure had cost them dear. "This was another poor performance from England," he reflected.
"I thought Australia cruised that game. Alastair Cook said England were 20 short. Absolutely not! They were 50 short. Australia will be saying again 'it's only 1-0, we're going for 5-0'.
"Australia will come out in any game and try to take advantage of the first 10 overs when the fielding restrictions are in. What's in the minds of David Warner and Aaron Finch when they go out? Against whichever attack, it's to attack. Their first instinct is to hit the ball.
"Finch looks immensely powerful. He's making his name in Twenty20. He has scored a hundred here and he's going to go on.
"England appear to have no interest in the first 10 overs; they set their stock on the last 10 overs, when they scored 86 runs. So they would say 'that worked for us' but their score is only roundabout par and they are a bowler light.
"Michael Clarke said Australia weren't flash in the field but they out-fielded England once again. All of the work goes in, yes, but pressure comes into it - the pressure of 'I've got take that catch' or 'I must stop that ball'."
England will face a Prime Minister's XI at Canberra's Manuka Oval on Tuesday before travelling to Brisbane for the second one-dayer on Friday.
Lloyd expects the tourists to make at least one change but says that Gary Ballance, who top-scored with 79 off 96 at the MCG, can be confident of keeping his place.
"His was a calm innings and the captain said on interview that his calming influence can help England for years to come - that might be at number three in all forms of the game," said Lloyd.
"I thought that he played thoroughly well. He knew where he could play and where he could score runs against a decent attack. But just remember that Mitchell Johnson - the scourge of England - will be playing from now on in.
"I thought Chris Jordan did really well too. He's comparatively new to international cricket but he bowled slippery and got decent pace. He's got a good action and, again, I think you can look forward and see these younger players - like Ben Stokes did in the Test matches - really making a name for themselves.
"You can forget Steven Finn. From what we're hearing he's just not ready to play; he's telling people that he's just lost it, he hasn't got it and he needs to get it back.
"You can tinker with the side and bring a spinner in - either Danny Briggs or James Tredwell? That means you've got to leave a batsman out. Before this innings it would have been Gary Ballance but not now."
Warner contributed 65 to a first-wicket stand of 163 with Finch although not before he had received a reprieve from the television umpire when he was on 22.
The opener edged Ben Stokes behind and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler appeared to take a clean catch low down but was called back after replays proved inconclusive.
"We see this so many times," said Lloyd. "I was on commentary for Channel 9 and Ian Healy said 'it's a clean catch, he's taken that - the fingers of the gloves are under the ball and it has bounced into the palms of his hands'.
"You get these situations where the lens foreshortens everything you see and your mind sees what you want to see.
"Lots of people where I was, in the commentary position, were saying 'this is out, but it's going to be given not out'."
Watch the second one-day international between Australia and England from 3am on Sky Sports 2.