Australia great Shane Warne has slammed the Aaron Finch-led ODI side after their defeat in the second game of the three-match series against England, calling the loss a “real punch in the guts” for them.
Chasing 231, Australia looked comfortably placed at 143-2 at the 30-over mark, but crumbled dramatically thereafter, stumbling to 166-8 before being bowled out for 207. The 24-run defeat meant England levelled the series 1-1, with the final game set to be played on September 16.
Warne, in Manchester as a commentator, said that Australia cannot continue to use rustiness as an excuse for their struggling middle order, having suffered a 2-1 loss in the T20Is that preceded the series.
“Australia hadn’t played cricket for quite a long time so you sort of excuse them [the collapse] in the first T20, even though it cost them that series,” Warne said on air.
“They have been pretty good since then but tonight will be a real punch in the guts for Australia. They pride themselves on getting over the line in those sorts of games and doing the basics well but they didn’t. They weren’t good enough, so it’s 1-1”.
Skipper Aaron Finch, who top-scored for the side with a 105-ball 73, conceded that England’s restricting lines and the weary pitch played a part in Australia’s sluggish chase, but said it was on the team to find a way to shore up their middle order.
After 40.1 overs, England were 149-8.
After 30.4 overs, Australia were 144-2.
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) September 13, 2020
“We knew it would be tough for new batters to start. England bowled really good lines, squeezed and it was hard to hit them down the ground and get boundaries in the middle period,” he said.
“It is very disappointing and how you stop a mini-collapse is the million-dollar question. At times we might not be 100 per cent committed to our plans, at times we might overplay the situation in our heads, so we have to get better at that.”