Twenty20 series: England opener Alex Hales confident of comeback to win three-match series after Hobart defeat
England suffered yet another defeat in the opening Twenty20 match against Australia and need to win the remaining two if they are to take the series
Thursday 30 January 2014
Opener Alex Hales is confident England can bounce back and win the Twenty20 series against Australia.
England were left on the brink of another series defeat this winter after losing the first Twenty20 in Hobart by 13 runs on Wednesday.
Stuart Broad's side must therefore win the final two matches of a wretched tour, in Melbourne and Sydney, or face leaving Australia empty handed.
England have previous form of fighting back in Twenty20 series - most recently against Australia in the summer - and Hales thinks his team-mates have the belief to do it again, starting in Melbourne on Friday.
"It's a huge game, any international game of cricket is, particularly playing at the MCG in front of what is going to be a huge crowd," he said.
"It's a must-win game for this series.
"In the last few series where we've lost the first game against India and then we bounced back well.
"We lost against Australia in the first game during the summer and bounced back well
"As a squad we are still very confident in what can happen in these two games."
England were exposed in the opening six-over powerplays in Hobart, with both bat and ball.
Australia raced out of the blocks before openers Cameron White and Aaron Finch powered to a 106-run opening stand.
By contrast England lost three wickets in the powerplay and, but for Ravi Bopara's seven sixes late on, were never able to get going thereafter.
A score of 200 for nine was still managed, which Hales believes was heartening for the remaining two games.
"It is a fine line targeting the powerplay," he said.
"Obviously you want to get off to a good start with minimal loss.
"I think we showed yesterday that if it doesn't go to plan that we have got the middle and lower order who can dig us out of a hole.
"Credit to Ravi and (Joe) Root and Jos (Buttler) they played beautifully.
"I think if myself, (Michael) Lumb or (Luke) Wright doesn't fire we've definitely got the firepower in the middle order to chase down a big score or post one."
Hales was one of 10 English players who it was confirmed on Wednesday has nominated for next month's Indian Premier League auction.
The 25-year-old, the world's top-ranked batsman, is not concerned about that just yet though as he looks to help turn England's fortunes around.
"I'm trying not to think about that to be honest," he said.
"It is a very big series against Australia.
"After the Test and one-day loss we are keen to leave the country with a bit of pride and that's at the forefront of my mind."
With the World Twenty20 also looming large on the horizon - the tournament starts in Bangladesh on March 16 - Hales knows finding form, as a team and personally, is crucial.
England will travel to the Caribbean after this series for three one-day internationals and three Twenty20s.
Limited overs coach Ashley Giles has already stated he will only take his Twenty20 squad on that tour - with Test and ODI captain Alastair Cook left at home - to give the likes of Hales extra opportunity to hit peak form.
"A lot of Twenty20 is based around momentum," he said.
"These two games coming up are huge for us heading into Barbados where we are playing against a very strong West Indies side who are the current World Cup holders for Twenty20.
"We have a lot of tough cricket coming up which should stand us in good stead for what is going to be a good World Cup campaign."
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