England were handed a reality check, after beating world champions India to reach the final, as they were skittled for 166 in reply to a home total of 278 for eight.
The return of Mitchell Johnson and a match-changing 141-run fifth-wicket stand between man of the match Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh proved enough to send England to a third successive defeat to Australia in the Tri-Series.
England now have 13 days to prepare for a return bout, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Valentine’s Day, when World Cup points will be on offer.
Securing those will arguably be a bigger prize than the Tri-Series trophy on offer at the WACA Ground today and, while the manner of defeat will dent England confidence as they head for their preparatory games in Sydney, they do leave Perth having made important strides forward during the Tri-Series.
“There has been a huge amount of progression in the last three or four weeks that we’ve been in Australia,” Morgan told ecb.co.uk.
“Looking at where we were in Sri Lanka and where we are at now I think we’re a little bit of a different side with the outlook and the manner that we are playing in.
“The biggest test for us will be coming back from defeat like this.
“Any side, when they do get knocked down, the stronger ones get back up – and I’ve no doubt that we’ll bounce back from this.”
England had initially profited on Morgan’s decision to bowl first in humid conditions as they reduced Australia’s feared top-order to 60 for four.
That hinted at both men regaining something near full fitness after injury, but Australia were able to accelerate away from a sticky position on the back of Maxwell’s career-best 95 from 98 balls.
Marsh added 60 himself and their partnership allowed James Faulkner to supply the late hitting with a half-century from 24 balls that included four sixes.
Morgan admitted his bowlers had allowed Australia to get more than they should have but, after their chase was littered with poorly-judged shots, he aimed blame solely at his batsmen for defeat.
“It was pretty poor,” said Morgan, who misjudged his first ball from Johnson to exit without scoring.
“Winning the toss and bowling first and having Australia four or five down early was brilliant. The first 35 overs of our bowling innings, I am really proud of.
“I think if we’re being really harsh on ourselves, Australia probably got about 20 too many, but certainly given the batting conditions 270 was certainly within our reach.
“I think throughout the innings we kept shooting ourselves in the foot, making poor decisions, which again led us to the position we’re in at the moment.
“It is very disappointing that we continue to make mistakes when we weren’t put under that much pressure.”
The England players will now enjoy a couple of days off before warm-up matches against Pakistan and West Indies, and Morgan hopes his team-mates use the time to recharge their batteries and begin the task of getting ready for that World Cup opener against Australia.
“Probably more important (than anything else) is getting that down time in between,” he said.
“It is important that we’re physically and mentally fresh for the warm-up games. Guys have been putting in performance after performance.
“What we are going to be looking for over that World Cup period is consistency. If we can strive to achieve that we can do good things.”
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