Broad: England ready to head home

Salisbury Journal: Stuart Broad's England slumped to defeat in the second T20 in Melbourne (AP) Stuart Broad's England slumped to defeat in the second T20 in Melbourne (AP)

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 Sunday'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 an 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.

"That's part and parcel of Twenty20 cricket and the way we play.

"When you're looking to get big scores there are going to be times when you don't and there are going to be times when you don't and you can't let that dent you too much."

England were limp with the bat in Melbourne as their top order crumbled before managing 130 for nine.

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.

Indeed, Australia were initially buoyed by the return of 39-year-old Brad Hodge, who wore the green and gold for the first time in six years, as he led a razor-sharp display in the fiel;d with a diving catch and run out to belie his advancing years.

"It was really disappointing with the occasion - the MCG, England versus Australia and a must-win game you want to do yourself and your team proud with your performance and we didn't do that," Broad said.

"You have to give credit to Australia. They've outplayed us for, however, long we've been here - 100 days or something.

"We didn't do ourselves justice but I think Australia bowled fantastically well early. They made it difficult for our power hitters to go and we were a bit sloppy in the middle period, gave away a few cheap wickets.

"We struggled to recover from that."

Despite Sunday's match now being consigned to dead-rubber status, Broad said England were unlikely to be panicked into making too many changes.

The right-armer prefers continuity in team selection - especially this close to a major tournament - although suggested Ben Stokes cold be brought in.

"He's a brilliant cricketer," he said.

"These two games it's been tough to leave him out because I am a believer in Twenty20 cricket you have to go with guys who are on form and guys when it's their day let them run.

"We know the last four or five years in English cricket consistency has worked for players. It gives them a clarity in their role and I believe our top seven have done a job for us in the last 18 months.

"Losing two games, you have got to reassess.

"I don't want to make emotional decisions.

"There won't be much panic, especially leading into what's going to be a big six weeks coming up for us."

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