Australia went into the final of the tri-series at Perth as clear favourites having beaten England twice before in the league matches. As such, an Australian win wouldn’t have surprised many, and definitely not the final margin of victory, a massive 112 runs. For England though it was a case of a great opportunity lost. They had the best of the conditions to bowl on, having won the toss and decided to field first. They got off to a great start, sending back the top four Aussie batsmen with not too many on the board.
To lose from a position where they had Australia at 60 for 4, England should be extremely disappointed. They had the Aussies under all sorts of pressure on the big day, and yet allowed them to recover. It was a mixed bowling performance with the ball, wherein they began well they allowed the opponents to dominate, then again came back strongly, only to concede the advantage back to Australia towards the end. In spite of not finishing strongly, England weren’t chasing a huge score by modern standards, and their batting on the day was something that was extremely ordinary.
In hindsight, the partnership between Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh was the turning point of the game. Australia were 60 for 4 when the two joined hands, and another couple of wickets could have aided the Englishmen in keeping the Australians to under 200. However, that wasn’t to be as Maxwell, rather surprisingly, held himself back and aided his team in making a comeback, before flourishing in his usual manner towards the end. Their partnership subdued the English attack, and James Faulkner played another of his sizzling knocks, which made a huge difference to the end total.
Although England had lost an opportunity to restrict the Australian batting, they still could have made amends by chasing down the target. They had players to do the same. Ian Bell and James Taylor had batted exceedingly well in the previous games. But, they could not handle the pressure of the occasion, and the Aussie bowling was clearly much superior to that of England’s. Josh Hazlewood bowled a beauty to get rid of Bell early on, but for many others, it was clearly a case of them not being able to handle the pressure of Mitchell Johnson, who sent back the in-form James Taylor as well as skipper Eoin Morgan.
Australia dominated the series from the start, and thoroughly deserved to win. As for England, they should be somewhat satisfied having managed to claim victories in a couple of games against India. The Indians should be the most worried of all teams having gone winless in yet another series. As we head into the World Cup, the stronger contenders are being separated from the weak ones.
--By A Cricket Analyst