England vs Australia 2020, 1st T20I: Preview, Live Streaming, Timings, Predicted XI, Stats, Pitch Report & more
The news for England is good as Jofra Archer and Mark Wood are making a return to their squad after missing the last series against Pakistan.
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After running immensely successful campaigns against West Indies, Ireland, and Pakistan, the time for England to face arch-rivals Australia for a three-match T20I series, that will be followed by as many 50-over games, has arrived. The year 2020 has been befuddling in not one but many senses. With the entire world in a dreary impasse, the England Cricket Board found itself gasping for cash and breath with the haunts of fiscal disintegrations looming over their heads big time.
In such phase of adversity, they have not only shown the guts to organize one series after the another, but their team has also played some good cricket to ensure that the English summer has a few good memories the next time it is revisited; if at all anyone wishes… you never know! In a word unmarred by the ravages of a pandemic, this series would have had a context in quintals and tons. Of course, this then would have been the ultimate preparation of what is now shifted to the next year (read ICC T20 World Cup).
That said, not all is lost considering that 19th September is not far away and there is a league of eminent stature waiting to take place. One that will see many of those who are a part of this series in action. For Australia, however, things are really not favorable. In a different world, they would have been termed as favorites for a global tournament that was scheduled to take place in their backyard this year.
However, by English skipper Eoin Morgan’s admission, it is the visitors who are the favorites in the coming series. That is precisely what Morgan believes- “Australia has their strongest squad here so they’ll be putting out their best XI… So if you’re to go on that I’d probably say they’re just favorites.” That he feels so despite the fact that it is his boys- and not the opponents- who have been playing the most cricket in the last couple of months, is strange. And not to mention that England’s record in the last 6 T20I series they have played reads five wins and a draw.
On the other hand, the Australian team has not played any professional game of cricket in the last 5 months. The last they played an international game in an ODI against New Zealand in March 2020 in a series abandoned midway due to the pandemic. So even though Australia is the No. 1 team in the ICC T20I rankings; the favorites as per Morgan, and has lost only a single T20 International in the last two years, the challenge is going to be tougher for them.
Pitch and conditions
Aaron Finch and his men looked gratified by the kind of strip that was offered to them for the intra-squad warmup games. The track at Southampton is expected to favor both batsmen and bowlers, however, with the conditions overcast and expectation of rain, the fast bowlers, the quicks will certainly be in good contention.
Australia has an intimidating battery of pace in Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Kane Richardson. It will be interesting to see who makes the cut between Ashton Agar and Daniel Sams, however that will bog down to the need of the team between spin or pace. The spin twins Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar, however, might be given preference.
For Australia, their batting unit is studded with some big names after the availability of Marcus Stoinis and particularly Glenn Maxwell, who decided to take a break for his mental health last year. With the glitz of Aaron Finch, David Warner leading at the top, and Steve Smith’s reliability in the middle, their batting unit looks as daunting as any currently. Mitchell Marsh and Alex Carey will be given the mid-innings roles below Smith.
Predicted XI- David Warner, Aaron Finch (c), Steve Smith, Matthew Wade/Marnus Labuschagne, Alex Carey (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Agar/Andrew Tye/Kane Richardson, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa.
The news for England is good as Jofra Archer and Mark Wood are making a return to their squad after missing the last series against Pakistan. While Although, England is going to miss the services of two of their premium short-format players- Jason Roy and Ben Stokes. Roy’s absence at the top opens the doors for Jos Buttler, who will be seen opening alongside Jonny Bairstow. However, Buttler’s entry is a headache for the English management at the slot of No. 3 where Dawid Malan performed well against Pakistan.
With the openers fixed in Bairstow and Buttler, accommodating Tom Banton- who surely deserves a spot after a prolific last series- becomes difficult. Sam Billings, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Tom Curran, and Moeen Ali will pick themselves.
Predicted XI- Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jos Buttler, Tom Banton, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Chris Jordan, Mark Wood/Tom Curran.
- Aaron Finch (1989) needs 11 runs to become the second Australian (first being David Warner) to reach the 2000-run landmark in T20Is.
- Australia and England have met twice before at the Ageas Bowl and both have one once.
Head to head
Matches Played- 17 | England Won- 9 | Australia Won- 6 | NR/Abandoned- 2
Match Timings- 10:30 PM (IST), 6:00 PM (local).
TV– Sony Six, Sony Six HD
Live Streaming– The match can be streamed online on Sony Liv and Airtel stream.