Michael Vaughan criticised England skipper Eoin Morgan following England’s nerve-shredding defeat against Australia and believes the World Cup winning captain’s decision to hand Adil Rashid the decisive final over cost his side the game.
England looked set to clinch the series when they reduced the tourists to 73-5 but a record breaking partnership between Glenn Maxwell and Alex Carey, both of whom scored centuries, helped Australia to within touching distance of their target of 303.
Morgan bowled part-time off-spinner Joe Root for eight overs over the course of the Australian innings and although the Test skipper picked up the wickets of David Warner and Mitchell Marsh, Vaughan felt Rashid should have been brought on earlier to turn the screw when Maxwell and Carey were new at the crease.
Vaughan also felt the final over should have gone to a pace bowler with both Mark Wood and Tom Curran available, but Morgan went with Rashid who was twice dispatched to the boundary by Mitchell Starc who knocked off the winning runs and subjected England to their first ODI home series defeat in five years.
‘I don’t think Eoin Morgan had a great night,’ said Vaughan on BBC Test Match Special. ‘Not using Adil Rashid until Alex Carey and Glenn Maxwell were both in and on about 40 and bowling Joe Root for eight overs.
‘I know he got two wickets but I thought that was overkill. Bowling a leg-spinner in the last over when you could use a pace bowler and hide it to the long boundary.’
Despite the defeat, Morgan drew positives from the outcome and reserved special praise for Jonny Bairstow who returned to his best, scoring a century which helped England post a competitive total having lost two wickets during the first over of the match.
‘We were still in the game (going into the last over),’ Morgan said. ‘When you can break big partnerships and the ball is offering a little bit and it is probably getting more difficult to bat as the innings goes on, you’re never out of the game.
‘Having someone like Adil Rashid gives us that option as well, even when the game is getting away from us. But Australia, given their performance today, were too good for us.
‘I think it started in the first over, losing two wickets for no runs and then post over 300 is a huge positive for us. I think Jonny Bairstow was outstanding today, well supported by Sam Billings and Chris Woakes again with the bat.
‘Then pegging Australia back with early wickets, we thought we were right in the game but Australia fought back really hard, Carey and Maxwell played outstandingly well and we couldn’t seem to get them out, which obviously cost us the game in the end.’
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