Captain Stuart Broad admits England’s players are looking forward to leaving Australia after their last hope for some redemption at the end of a “torrid” tour was crushed by defeat in the Twenty20 series.
Australia coasted to an eight-wicket win with 31 balls to spare at the MCG to complete a whitewash of all three formats this winter, which has led to the end of Andy Flower’s tenure as England team director.
The tourists have been battered and bruised after quick kills in the Ashes and the one-day international series, and Australia won again at the earliest opportunity in the shortest format.
With off-field issues also clouding the future direction of the England team, Broad conceded he was looking forward to returning home after tomorrow’s final Twenty20 in Sydney.
“It’s been a torrid tour for team England,” he said.
“We came here with high hopes in the Test arena and lost 5-0.
“We didn’t really get going in a one-day series which if we look at it we probably should have won, and lost 4-1, and now we’ve lost the Twenty20 series. It’s been a really tough tour on the cricket side of things and off the field.
“We’ve lost a few guys who have gone home. I don’t think many players or coaches will look back on this tour with huge fondness.”
England will have little time to lick their wounds when they return home early next week, with preparations for the World Twenty20 to think of.
They travel to the Caribbean in just over a fortnight before the tournament starts in Bangladesh on March 16.
Broad does not believe the pain inflicted in Australia will be damaging by the time they reach the sub-continent, after most of the Twenty20 squad were not involved earlier in the tour.
Nonetheless, defeat at the MCG dropped Broad’s side down to eighth in the Twenty20 world rankings – just a place above Ireland.
“I don’t think many people carry the scars from Australia to the Caribbean and to Bangladesh,” he said.
“I think a few of the guys are looking forward to having two weeks at home in their own bed and refreshing and not thinking about cricket for a while and then coming back a bit refreshed to the Caribbean.
“We’ve got an exciting T20 side there’s no doubt about that. You look through the line-up. We’ve played some really good cricket.
“We’ve not been world class. We’ve not won as many games as we should have done.
“Guys have got an underlying confidence in this T20 side – we just haven’t done ourselves justice in these two games.”
England were limp with the bat in Melbourne as their top order crumbled before managing just 130-9.
Unbeaten half-centuries from Australia captain George Bailey and opener Cameron White ensured it was a score that never taxed the hosts – who were without a number of their key men who have already jetted off for the tour of South Africa.
Scoreboards: Page 5.