Australia and England To Clash In the Series Opener of the Heavyweight Series
The two giants of World Cricket – Australia and England – are all set to feature in a high-voltage series before the marque event. The former of the two teams are World T20 champions, the latter are World champions, and both are prime contenders for the upcoming T20 World Cup. That’s why the series between the arch-rivals is substantially important.
England’s previous challenge was against Pakistan – where they edged ahead in a tight series, even without their full-strength team. Australia are coming fresh after a 2–0 series win against West Indies. So, both sides will be high on confidence and eyeing to extend their good run of form.
The first of the three T20Is will be played on Sunday, and the teams will be eager for a dominating display.
Players to Keep an Eye On
Aaron Finch had a struggling outing in the last game against West Indies. His form of the late hasn’t been great too. The Aussie skipper needs a fluent knock to get himself up and running before the mega event.
Ben Stokes – the star English all-rounder, will be playing his first T20 International since March 2021. With the World T20 only a week away, his form and rhythm will be crucial for the English team.
David Warner vs. Moeen Ali
The Aussie southpaw is looking in terrific touch, and England might fancy Mo’s off-spin to keep him in check. However, Warner won’t back away from taking the aggressive route against the offie.
Alex Hales vs. Kane Richardson
Richardson looks to persist with the back-of-length bowling tactics. That’s exactly what the English opener loves to dominate. So, Richardson will need to stay out of Hales’ radar – especially when the field restrictions are in the play.
Australia’s big three – Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Pat Cummins – are rested from the first T20I. Glenn Maxwell and Adam Zampa will also not feature in the game in Perth.
Kane Richardson, Ashton Agar, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, and Nathan Ellis will replace them. Matthew Wade is also not a part of the squad.
Probable XI: David Warner, Cameron Green, Mitchell Marsh, Aaron Finch, Josh Inglis (wk), Tim David, Daniel Sams, Ashton Agar, Mitchell Swepson, Nathan Ellis, Kane Richardson
Ben Stokes and Jos Butler are all set to return to the team. Stokes will bat at the #4 position, so Harry Brook should feature at his usual batting position of #5.
Probable XI: Jos Buttler (C), Phil Salt/Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Reece Topley.
Weather and Conditions
The weather will be on the cooler side, and there are no odds of rain. It will only be the 2nd T20I at this venue, so it’s hard to get an idea of the par score.
What They Said?
“He’d have to go pretty close, I think. It depends on what balance we go with – whether we go with an extra batter or an extra all-rounder. But he couldn’t have done any more to push his case in this series.”
England coach Matthew Mott admitted that Harry Brook had made a strong case for himself to be included in England’s first-choice XI.
“With some players remaining on the east coast, it provides further opportunity for Nathan Ellis and Daniel Sams who both performed well in India. Likewise Mitchell Swepson was a part of last year’s World Cup squad and continues to provide good depth in our T20 spin bowling department.”
Chair of selectors George Bailey expects Australia’s bench strength to cash their opportunities.