Coincidentally, Warner and Head have Australia’s highest one-day partnership for any wicket – 284 opening the batting in Adelaide against Pakistan five years ago. A lot has changed since then, including Head being dropped from the one-day side for more than three years, returning during March this year as a fill-in.
“We are both quite similar the way we take the game on,” said Warner. “With Trav and myself if it’s full, we’ll still play through the line. We like to go aerial, that’s the way that we play. Anything short, we try and punch, pull or go with it. That’s our style of play.”
Malan helped ease the disappointment of missing England’s triumphant T20 World Cup final through injury by crafting a century.
The graceful left-hander admitted he cried after being ruled out of the World Cup final despite passing as fitness test, claiming it was the hardest part of his career.
“There were a few tears shed that night but that’s in the past. We’ve won the World Cup. That’s all that matters,” Malan said.
He was in sublime touch as wickets fell around him. The next top score came from captain Jos Buttler, who looked good for his 29 after days of celebrating but holed out to long-on from leg-spinner Adam Zampa.
It was Malan’s highest one-day score in just his tenth 50-over international and his second century. The first came against the Netherlands earlier this year.
He too eventually holed out to long-on, giving Zampa his third wicket. He finished as Australia’s most successful bowler with 3-55.
Mitchell Starc returned from reject to new ball bowler, delivering the first over of the match and claiming the early wicket of a struggling Jason Roy (6) after Pat Cummins had disposed of Phil Salt (14), caught nicking to Smith at second slip.
Surprisingly dropped for Australia’s last match against Afghanistan during an ill-fated T20 World Cup campaign, Starc bowled the perfect left-armer’s delivery, curving into the right-handed Roy and continuing off the pitch to bowl him in most comprehensive fashion.
Cummins won the toss in his first official match as Australia’s one-day captain and bowled on a surface offering a little seam movement, which raised the question of why Australia left out Josh Hazlewood and picked Ashton Agar as a second spinner, although Agar was brilliant in the field.
Hazlewood is second on the world one-day rankings for bowlers and fourth in the T20 format.
Buttler wasn’t joking when he said that England would be looking for as many fresh players as possible after days of celebrating Sunday night’s T20 World Cup victory.
The captain was one of just three players from the side that beat Pakistan in the final before more than 80,000 fans at the MCG who fronted up again for Thursday night’s match.
The other two were injury replacements on that big night, with Salt covering for Malan and Chris Jordan in for Mark Wood.
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