England on a high - Hales

  • Last Updated: September 17 2012, 14:16 BST

Alex Hales says confidence in England's dressing room is soaring after helpin the side to another victory on Monday.

Alex Hales: 'We're feeling pretty confident'

A nine-run warm-up win over Australia followed last week's success over South Africa and Hales declared the victory a "great way" to prepare for their ICC World Twenty20 title defence, which they begin on Friday.

Stuart Broad's team left Nondescripts CC with the morale boost of a fifth successive win this year over their oldest enemies, and the team they also beat to clinch their T20 title in Barbados two years ago.

It was Broad himself who made perhaps the most critical contribution, his only wicket accounting for Michael Hussey (71) - who had made an Australia victory likely with a barrage of big-hitting off England's young spinner Danny Briggs.

The left-hander went lbw to the England captain, and Australia fell short of 172 for six - a total underpinned by Hales' half-century at the top of the order.

Hales reflected with some satisfaction on his and England's performance, and the victory which was their reward.

"It's a great way to start the warm-up to this tournament, and we also had that good win against South Africa too [in Birmingham last week]," said the tall opener.

"So we're feeling pretty confident heading into this tournament.

"It adds to the confidence in the changing room, which is already pretty good."

Hales' own 36-ball 50 was one of a clutch of useful performances, the others from Eoin Morgan and Luke Wright with the bat and Steven Finn and Graeme Swann with the ball.

"It's nice to get some runs under your belt in the first warm-up game," he said.

"It was a good team performance, and Wrighty and Morgs also played their part.

"It is a very different challenge to what we're used to in England. But I think the deck was a lot better than everyone expected.

"It came on to the bat nicely, but I think 170 was a pretty good score out there."

The display left Australia all-rounder Shane Watson in no doubt that England have the right youngsters to compensate for the loss of the absent Kevin Pietersen.

"As a player there's no doubt he will be missed - Kevin Pietersen is an amazingly talented batsman," Watson said.

"In the last [Twenty20] World Cup, he was one of the big reasons why England won it.

"But England have a number of very exciting young guys coming in, who can do a really good job as well."

Watson was equivocal about how big a disadvantage it might prove to England to have to get by without their most gifted batsman, still out in the cold after his protracted summer contract wrangles with his employers and the breakdown of his working relationship with coach Andy Flower and former Test captain Andrew Strauss.

"It won't have too much of a dent in the England side, because they'll be able to make up for it pretty well," he said.

"But any time you lose a player of Kevin Pietersen's class it's going to be hard for you."