Cricket news - Zampa hopes Australia can imbibe England's adaptability

At one point, Australia were cruising on their way to hand England a series defeat before the hosts pulled off a coup of sorts to achieve parity

At one point, Australia were cruising on their way to hand England a series defeat before the hosts pulled off a coup of sorts to achieve parity

Post 2015, ODI cricket in England is not associated with attrition. Yet the World Champions had to do just that for large portions of play in the second ODI at Old Trafford, before pulling off a tactical coup of sorts to level the series. Eoin Morgan's all or nothing view of the limited-overs format has resulted in some incredible successes but that proud brand of cricket has had to be tempered, given the nature of pitches on offer.

The tired wickets at the fag end of a difficult season of cricket have given Morgan an early peak into the tweaks that could be necessary for his team three years later, at the World Cup in India. To that extent, Sunday's victory was a positive step towards that metamorphosis.

"It says that England are a really good cricket team," Australia's Adam Zampa acknowledged. "They're really adaptable. Their one-day cricket over the last four or five years has been unbelievable: they're really attacking with the bat and they do the job with the ball as well. But they read the conditions really well and they adapt, their bowlers literally hit the top of off stump the whole time, and they're really disciplined. I think England are a really good cricket team and we can learn a lot from them.

Australia appeared to be cruising towards a series win at 144 for 2 in a modest chase of 231 before unravelling spectacularly in a 20-ball phase that saw them lose 4 for 3 with Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer succeeding with their 'hit top of off' lengths on a two-paced wicket. Zampa, who plays limited-overs cricket on true wickets in Australia, reckoned it was important to have pitches with different behavioural characteristics.

"I think last night we saw a bit of 1990s one-day cricket almost, just due to the fact we were playing at Old Trafford and the wickets are pretty tired at the moment. They've had a long summer here, and I think one-day cricket's still going to evolve even further from what you saw during the last World Cup," Zampa said. "I think it's definitely still a batsmen's game, but you're seeing a different type of one-day cricket at the moment due to some tired wickets, some tired players and lots of cricketers who haven't played a lot recently too. It's been a really good battle.

"Particularly yesterday's game definitely played a role in that, a used wicket and things like that. I think the first game was still a pretty good wicket, but we don't really get wickets like that at home, playing one day cricket at places like the Gabba, MCG and SCG. Generally they're pretty good wickets, and I like one-day cricket that way as well. It is nice to play on those wickets, but I don't think playing on wickets like that is good all the time."

The batting collapse robbed Australia one chance of ending England's proud home record - they haven't lost a bilateral ODI series since 2015 - but they will get another chance in September 16th's decider to close out a series they've largely played well in. Zampa also hopes the return of Steve Smith, rested thus far as a precautionary measure following a knock to his head in training, could help mitigate similar situations.

"Cricket's never easy to watch because everyone really wants to win and we were so close to winning a series with a game to spare. When you're watching that happen, it's never easy, but it's hard to say... when Marnus and Finchy were batting really well, you feel like you're a little bit comfortable almost, but you also know that the wicket was getting tired and up and down and they had some really good bowling options as well. It was a tough one.

"It's been disappointing to have him [Smith] miss the last couple of games," Zampa said. "He's a world class player and his experience as well, so I'm not sure where it's at at the moment; we didn't really get to see him yesterday around game time. I think it's pretty obvious he's picked in most cricket teams, so hopefully we can have him back for that third game."