‘England defeat was inevitable’ | ‘It was meaningless cricket’

England’s “absolute pumping” in their ODI series to Australia was “inevitable” after the joys of winning the T20 World Cup and with a number of key players missing, says Matt Prior.

England crashed to a 221-run reverse in Melbourne on Tuesday – their record ODI loss – as they sunk to a 3-0 series sweep, nine days on from winning the T20 World Cup at the same venue.

Liam Livingstone, Mark Wood and Harry Brook missed the series as they prepare for December’s Test tour of Pakistan, while captain Jos Buttler, spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid and seamer Chris Woakes did not play in all of the 50-over matches in Australia.

Former England wicketkeeper-batter Prior told BT Sport: “It was an absolute pumping. There was only one team that turned up all series. It was all a little bit inevitable.

Olly Stone and David Willey (Associated Press)
Image: Olly Stone and David Willey trudge off after England are bowled out for 142 in Melbourne

“There was always the hope that England would be able to muster something together and the new guys coming in would bring some energy and impetus.

“But even they were under the pump having not played cricket since September. To be expected to go over to Australia and perform at their peak is quite a big ask.

“What it does show is how good that full-strength white-ball team is. We need to look after players like Moeen and Buttler while we have them. This wasn’t full strength. If it was, we would be worried.”

Buttler: We got what we wanted from our trip to Australia

England suffered a six-wicket loss in the series opener in Adelaide, a 72-run thrashing in Sydney and then crumbled to 142 all out in a chase of 364 from 48 overs in a rain-trimmed game at the MCG.

It was Australia at their ruthless best, they smelt blood and really hammered it home.

Matt Prior, speaking to BT Sport

Buttler was disappointed at the series defeat but still buzzing from last week’s T20 triumph.

He said at the post-match presentation: “We tried our best, we fell a long way short. I thought Australia outplayed us in every department and all credit to them.

“There is lots to be proud of. You don’t need a very long memory to remember the scenes [at the MCG] from last week so we got exactly what we wanted coming here. We are very proud of that.”

‘It was meaningless cricket played in a meaningless way’

Former England fast bowler Steve Harmison said the ODI series was “meaningless.”

He told BT Sport: “The euphoria of winning the T20 World Cup has not been diminished in any way by three meaningless games played, from England’s point of view, in a meaningless way.

“There was no real pattern of play for England going forward.

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Watch highlights from the T20 World Cup final as England beat Pakistan by five wickets at the MCG to become dual white-ball world champions

“It was fulfilling fixtures with half the team going to Pakistan for the Test tour and some of our best players not playing in all the games. It was meaningless cricket played in a meaningless way.”

Australia captain Pat Cummins said at the post-match presentation: “It’s been fantastic all three games, everything has really clicked.

“The bowlers have wanted to bowl and done the job and the batters have been fantastic. It was good to finish it off here with what I think is the best ODI I’ve been a part of.”

Watch England’s Test team in action in Pakistan live on Sky Sports in December. The first game, in Rawalpindi, starts at 5am UK time on Thursday, December 1 with our build-up beginning at 4.30am on Sky Sports Cricket.


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