ENGLAND coach Trevor Bayliss has predicted a bright limited-overs future for his side despite a disappointing climax to the one-day series which saw Australia canter to an eight-wicket victory in the decisive clash at Emirates Old Trafford yesterday.
The hosts slumped to 138 all out in just 33 overs, although their chances of recovering from 22-3 and setting a defendable target were severely impaired by skipper Eoin Morgan’s enforced retirement after being struck on the helmet by a Mitchell Starc bouncer.
All-rounder Ben Stokes led the revival and struck 42 but it proved in vain. In reply, world champions Australia surged home with more than half of their allocated overs to spare, as opener Aaron Finch struck an unbeaten 70.
Despite slipping to a 3-2 series defeat, England’s limited-overs form has improved drastically since a dismal group-stage exit from the World Cup in March, while Bayliss insists the adoption of a more attacking brand of cricket is the blueprint for success.
“There are some exciting young players in the England set-up and it will be an exciting future,” said Bayliss.
“You want to win every series you play, but I think one of the good things from the summer is the way they’ve gone about playing their cricket. Every now and again there’s going to be a bit of a hiccup like there was today.
“There’s still work to be done, definitely, and we’ve spoken about it a couple of times within the group. But we’ve shown people how well we can play.”
England slipped to 22-3 in the sixth over as openers Jason Roy and Alex Hales as well as No3 batsman James Taylor all fell cheaply before Morgan left the field with concussion.
Morgan, who ended the series as the leading run-scorer with 278, needed to be steadied by Australian fielder George Bailey after being hit, while bowler Starc was visibly shaken by the incident and had to be comforted by coach Darren Lehmann.
Such issues stir painful memories for Australia’s players following the tragic death of batsman Phillip Hughes last year – a match in which Starc featured for New South Wales.
The fall of wickets turned into a procession as man of the series Mitchell Marsh finished with figures of 4-27 and seamer John Hastings 3-21. Stokes top scored with 42, while the only other notable contribution was 35 not out from tail-ender Adil Rashid.
England were given a glimmer of hope in the field when opener Joe Burns edged all-rounder David Willey behind to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow in the first over, while Mark Wood snared skipper Steve Smith in similar fashion to leave Australia 31-2.
But an unbroken stand of 109 between Finch and Bailey guided Australia home, with the latter having the measure of leg-spinner Rashid, who conceded 34 runs from four overs.
ENGLAND’S ODI SERIES
• 1st ODI, Ageas Bowl, Southampton.
Australia won by 59 runs
• 2nd ODI, Lord’s.
Australia won by 64 runs
• 3rd ODI, Emirates Old Trafford
England won by 93 runs
• 4th ODI, Headingley
England won by three wickets
• 5th ODI, Emirates Old Trafford
Australia won by eight wickets