Australia have registered a thumping 64-run victory over England where their captain Aaron Finch scored a hundred and later their pace battery Jason Behrendorff and Mitchell Starc thrashed England by taking 9 wickets in between them at Lord’s on Tuesday, June 25. Their all-round performance impressed the former Australia captain Steve Waugh.
“Without doubt this was a commanding performance by a team that is gathering confidence and momentum at exactly the right time,” Steve Waugh wrote in his column for ICC. “Australia played an old fashioned ODI game based around a solid platform with the bat from the rock-solid Aaron Finch and David Warner, allowing the rest of the order to capitalise and construct a challenging total on a pitch that more represented a Test match than a one-day game,” he wrote.
“It was a match that showcased skill and composure over brute strength and power largely because of a pitch that was fair to both bat and ball. It was a genuine contest won by a team that knows its game plan and believes it can go all the way,” he added.
Both the openers David Warner and Aaron Finch added 123 runs for the first wicket. Though Warner failed to convert his half-century to a big score, captain Aaron Finch scored a hundred. Waugh, however, feels that Aaron Finch is playing wonderful cricket at the moment as well as is leading with example.
“Finch’s century was his best in the green and gold. He is at the top of his game right now; mentally tough, technically sound, focussed and trusting in his judgement of line and length. He is leading the charge and allowing others the freedom to relax and play their own way. Together with Warner, they continue to ensure Australia is ultra-competitive in every match by either posting an imposing total or chasing down any target,” expressed Waugh.
Waugh was also impressed by wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Carey who scored a quickfire 38* off 27 to take the team to near 300.
“Carey plays with the perfect mixture of calmness and intent, assessing the situation and pouncing on any opportunities that present themselves in the frenetic pressure of the final overs. He shapes as a potential match-winner for Australia in the back end of the competition,” added the former captain.
Australia’s winning foundation made by Jason Behrendorff and Mitchell Starc who took 9 wickets in between them.
“Australian selectors must be congratulated for the bold selection of Jason Behrendorff and the faith they showed in presenting him with the new ball. It had an immediate impact, with Behrendorff producing one of the deliveries of the tournament – an unplayable late in swinger that sent a bewildered James Vince back to the pavilion and destabilised England’s chase,” he shared.
“His five-wicket hall was not only significant for its impact on the match, but his ability to swing it in conjunction with Starc will have put all future batsman on notice that their techniques will be forensically examined,” wrote the former captain.
However, Steve Waugh believes that England are capable of bounce back in the game again.
“England will feel deflated by their underwhelming effort in a match where they had a chance to flex their muscle and show why they were the pre-tournament favourites. Perhaps this loss will focus them as they now have no choice but to win all remaining matches much in the same way we did back in the 1999 World Cup. They are capable but they must locate the intensity and free-spirited style that has defined their cricket of recent times. They must now respond or face elimination,” he concluded.