What more can you really ask for than three games packed full of drama and excitement that end in an England series win against Australia?
That’s exactly what we got in the IT20s as England finished 2-1 winners in the first of two white-ball series against the Aussies.
After a quite remarkable collapse from Dave Warner and co. in the series opener, our bowlers turned up the gas and Jos Buttler put the series beyond doubt in the second clash, while we were three balls away from a whitewash in the nailbiting third and final game.
If we’re to believe the ICC Rankings, which has the Aussies at number one after their victory last night, then Eoin Morgan and his side will be feeling very confident of their chances of winning next year’s T20 World Cup.
Big names for a reason
The return of a few of England’s big-name players was a key talking point heading into the series and the likes of Buttler, Jofra Archer, and Mark Wood did not disappoint.
After a summer that has seen him serve a reminder of his quality in the Test arena, Buttler produced two innings that emphasised why he is considered by many England’s greatest ever white-ball player.
There has been great debate about where he should bat in the shortest format of the game but after 121 bruising runs in two games, there can surely be no argument with the current strategy – put him at the top of the order so he gets to face as many balls as possible.
A word too for Dawid Malan, who continued his brilliant start to life in the IT20 arena and finished as not only the leading run-scorer in the series but the ICC’s number one ranked batsman in the shortest format.
The way the bowlers came back to force an Aussie collapse and to help England the first game before blowing them away in the first innings of the second game was frankly phenomenal.
England’s express pace duo Mark Wood and Jofra Archer produced a frightening opening spell in the second clash but it’s hard to look past ever-present duo of Chris Jordan and Adil Rashid as the stars of the show.
Jordan’s expertise at the death is invaluable, while Rashid’s middle-over magic was once again key as the leg spinner continued to stake his claim as one of the world’s finest white-ball bowlers.
The fact that players of the ilk of Jason Roy and Ben Stokes were both missing means there will surely be no scarier side for opponents than Morgan’s when next year’s tournament rolls around.
Two in two?
The only thing better than finishing the summer with a series win against the Aussies, is finishing it with two!
Morgan and his side have the chance to do just that as they’re set to face the tourists in a three-match ODI series over the next week.
According to the Aussies, their problems have been caused by rustiness. Well, if that’s true they should be able to put up more a fight in the 50-over games.
The only problem is they’re taking on the World Cup champions and a side that creamed them in the semi-final on the way to that triumph.
Roll on Friday!