England captain Eoin Morgan conceded his side’s poor batting display in the opening 10 overs ultimately cost them in the first ODI against Australia.
Australia earned a 19-run triumph at Old Trafford on Friday, as England failed to hunt down what would have been a record ODI run chase of 295 for the Manchester venue.
Jason Roy and Joe Root both fell in the first 10 overs, while Morgan and Jos Buttler struggled.
Jonny Bairstow and Sam Billings, who scored his maiden ODI century, offered some gallant resistance, but it was not enough to stop Australia – who had Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell to thank – taking the lead in the three-match series.
“It probably got away from us in the first 10 overs with the bat,” Morgan told Sky Sports.
“They bowled outstandingly well, they didn’t give us much to get away with.
“I thought we did a reasonable job with the ball, a reasonable score we could chase down with a few partnerships.
“Jonny and Sam, keeping us in the game so long, if we could have extended that partnership past the 40th over we could really have been in an commanding position, but full credit to Australia, they outplayed us today.
A brilliant knock from @sambillings but Australia take victory in the first ODI.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 11, 2020
“I think they did well. You can always be greedy and want more, but I think we did well too. An area of our game we’re looking to improve is taking wickets early and we did that. To be in that position was great. An outstanding performance would have been to continue to take wickets but we didn’t.”
Billings has made the most of a chance to shine in England’s white-ball series this year and capped a fine individual display with an outstanding 118.
Morgan said of the Kent batsman: “Sam’s opportunities over the last four years have been extremely limited and sporadic at times, but to come in and still show hunger and desire in his training and then to come in and get his maiden one-day hundred today is outstanding. It shows a lot of resilience and a lot of character.
“When Ben Stokes is missing he leaves a big hole and we tend to have a lot of players vying for places who bat in the top four for their county.
“So batting at six is an area we need to improve our depth and Sam has added to that today.”