England confirmed their white-ball credentials with an emphatic 4-1 series win in the recent ODIs against Australia, but the bookmakers aren't entirely swayed when it comes to the 20-over format just yet. After two months of preparation in the Big Bash League, the Aussies laid down a hefty marker for the T20 Tri-series by flicking aside New Zealand in their opening match in Sydney on Saturday, and are 6/5 favourites to see off England as well to claim the inaugural Trans-Tasman title.
Their first encounter takes place in Hobart on Wednesday, before a rematch in Melbourne on Saturday, and though England and Australia are 11/8 to be the two finalists, these two matches will go a long way towards establishing a pecking order ahead of the New Zealand leg of the tournament next week.
In keeping with a run-dominated BBL, most of the stand-out contenders for Man of the Match in Wednesday's contest are batsmen - Aaron Finch, Chris Lynn, Jos Buttler and David Warner lead the field at 8/1, with Jason Roy and Alex Hales tucked in behind them on 9/1 and D'Arcy Short - the hard-hitting Player of the Tournament in the BBL - at 10/1.
However, it was the bowlers who bust open the first game in Sydney - in particular Australia's gigantic seamer, Billy Stanlake, whose three wickets in eight balls earned him the Man of the Match award. Remarkably he is priced at 25/1 to repeat that feat - and admittedly lightning doesn't strike twice that often. But England haven't fared particularly well this winter against genuine pace delivered from a lofty trajectory, and if Stanlake gets in the mix once again, he could expose a batting line-up that has been known to malfunction in recent times.