Our Twenty20 performances have been relatively inconsistent in recent times. We’ve got a style of play that works but we’re just not able to execute as often as we would like.
Twenty20 cricket is a pressure game and you have to make a lot of good decisions in a short period of time. This week’s two Twenty20 matches against England give our players another chance to make better decisions under pressure.
We’ve got a strong batting line-up with plenty of power hitters. These guys can change the momentum of a game at the drop of a hat. And in the bowling line-up there’s lots of competition for spots between the experienced and the more youthful.
England has named a team full of Twenty20 specialists but they’re pretty inexperienced internationally. It makes it difficult to prepare as we don’t know a lot about them, but if we are able to apply pressure they hopefully won’t be used to the level of intensity.
Looking back on the Champions Trophy, there really wasn’t a lot of cricket to reflect on. We won a tight one, we lost a tight one and had a washout. You couldn’t say we played well, but you couldn’t say we played poorly. It felt like we were just getting going.
And that’s why there were four good sides that didn’t make the semifinals. We had our opportunity to beat England in Cardiff and secure a semifinals spot, so we’ve got no one to blame but ourselves.
We lacked composure in our top order batting that day. Kane Williamson and Corey Anderson showed a lot of maturity for two young guys as they assessed the situation superbly and gave us a chance of victory.
Overall we bowled well to the conditions. Mitchell McClenaghan was outstanding, Kyle Mills was very good, and Nathan McCullum had a fine overall tournament.
We haven’t quite nailed our top order batting yet but from my perspective the solution will not come from chopping and changing the players. We have to find players who show composure in pressure situations and give them plenty of opportunities to prove themselves.
The fact England made the final of the Champions Trophy shows how good our one-day series victory against them was, and likewise how important a Twenty20 series victory will be this week to end the tour on a high note.