Broad upbeat after latest loss

Andover Advertiser: Ravi Bopara top-scored for England with 65 Ravi Bopara top-scored for England with 65

Captain Stuart Broad believes England can still take something away from their forgettable tour of Australia, despite a 13-run defeat in their Twenty20 series opener in Hobart.

An under-strength Australia blasted 213 for four on the back of a century opening stand between Cameron White (75) and Aaron Finch (52) to set England a record Twenty20 chase.

England made a sluggish start in pursuit and only Ravi Bopara's 65 from 27 balls, including seven sixes, late on thinned the margin of defeat to 13 runs.

England must now win in Melbourne on Friday to keep the series alive, and avoid three series defeats in all formats against Australia this winter.

Broad is confident his young side can do that, and took confidence from the fact they still managed to reach 200 for nine despite losing early wickets.

"Thirteen runs isn't a huge defeat," he said.

"I know it was glossed over a little bit by Ravi's hitting at the end. We didn't get moving as a batting unit but to still get 200 runs actually gives us quite a bit of confidence.

"We have to bounce back and we have to win at the MCG to stay in this series. I'm pretty confident we can do that.

"We're obviously very disappointed but a big strength of this side in particular, and the records show that, is we do come back from disappointments and losses pretty well.

"That will be what we have to do at the MCG."

England were made to rue dropping White on 10 when Joe Root to put down a routine edge at first slip.

"Putting down Cameron White in the first three or four overs and for him to then go and get 70-odd hurt us," Broad said.

"We have to find a way to take early wickets.

"Finch has hurt us in the games he's played and give our batsmen something more realistic to chase."

A Twenty20 international record 22 sixes were hit in the match, although that figure was ballooned by a short boundary on the eastern side.

Australia were able to exploit it throughout their innings with openers White and Finch clearing the rope seven times between them.

England had only managed two sixes by the time Bopara walked to the crease with his side in trouble at 98 for five in the 12th over.

Broad questioned the size of the boundary afterwards.

"For grown men 52 yards is not a big hit, is it?" Broad said.

"It was maybe a little bit weighed in the batsmen's favour but we've seen a record amount of T20 sixes.

"It is probably an imbalanced record because it was an absolute chip.

"We've seen a lot of entertainment and I think the MCG might be slightly bigger!"

While Australia were without the likes of David Warner, Shane Watson and Mitchell Johnson - who jetted out to South Africa on Wednesday to begin their tour - England included five fresh faces.

Top-order trio Alex Hales, Michael Lumb and Luke Wright all slotted in straight from playing in the Big Bash League, but their experience in Australian conditions hardly helped as they all fell cheaply.

Among the changes England left out Ben Stokes, one of the shining lights of the tour.

Broad suggested the Durham all-rounder was in England's plans, with the World Twenty20 just around the corner, but believes the team selected deserved their places on past form.

"This T20 side the top seven has been pretty consistent for the last 18 months," he said.

"We've scored 200-plus on numerous occasions. Stokesy has been a form guy on this tour but has not featured a huge amount in the T20 stuff for us.

"The top seven deserve their spots with the consistency and performances they've done for the last year to 18 months.

"Stokesy is a wonderful cricketer and will play a huge part in the next three months there's no doubt. The guys that are in possession of the shirts who have done so well deserve to keep them."

White admits that when the likes of Warner and Watson return for the Twenty20 series against South Africa in March he might be pushed out.

The 30-year-old former captain, who had not played for Australia in the shortest format since 2012, is aiming to push his claims in the next two games as he looks to sneak into Australia's World Twenty20 squad.

"Those guys are going to come back in so I'm not exactly sure I'll be in the team," he said.

"They're going to come back for that next series.

"I'll just concentrate on these next few games and try and put my best foot forward and score a few more runs.

"With the Twenty20 World Cup coming up that is a bit of an aim."

Australia were also boosted by the debut of leg-spinner James Muirhead, who bowled with calm and consistency before making Tim Bresnan his first international wicket.

White revealed it was just the second time the 20-year-old had attended an Australia game in any capacity.

"It was actually his second one-day international match he's been to in his whole life," he said.

"The first one was the other day in Adelaide and the second one he played in. That's not a bad effort.

"I thought he had a great debut."

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