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January 11, 2011
Match FactsJanuary 12, Adelaide
The Big Picture
It's coloured clothes and white balls that will dominate the game for the next few months. But before Australia and England can concentrate fully on their World Cup planning they have two Twenty20 internationals. It's a rematch of the World Twenty20 final in Barbados last year when England came out on top to secure their first global silverware.
They can rightly claim to be the premier T20 side the world, but fortunes change very quickly in the shortest format and it doesn't take much to alter standings. England blew away their Ashes celebration cobwebs with a comfortable win against the Prime Minister's XI in Canberra and will be aiming to keep their momentum going ahead of the one-day series.
For Australia it's time to start the rebuilding process. A new era has been signalled by the retirement of Michael Clarke from T20 and Cameron White has been handed the leadership with Tim Paine his deputy, while some new of young faces are being given a chance. Given the form in the other formats, success here can earn them further honours.
However, despite all their recent problems Australia have an exciting Twenty20 side, especially their fast-bowling attack which includes Shaun Tait and Brett Lee. With the likes of David Hussey and David Warner in the batting line-up there is enough power to knock England out of their stride. Can Australia turn their summer around?
Watch out for...
Shaun Tait can't bowl long spells any more but in the shorter formats is capable of winning matches on his own. He has shown that sheer pace is a valuable attacking option in Twenty20 cricket and Australia allow him to go all out for wickets. It can provide thrilling viewing with a heady concoction of bouncers and yorkers. When it goes wrong he can go round the park, but batsmen underestimate the challenge at their peril.
England didn't need to change their batting line-up during the Ashes so Eoin Morgan has spent the tour kicking his heels. Now he has the chance to show his class and remind everyone that in the limited-overs game he is becoming a consistent matchwinner. There will be an issue over his lack of cricket - he has played one first-class innings on tour and faced one ball against the PM's XI - but he is such a confident player, who will back his natural instinct, that he can slot straight back in.
Australia are fielding a mixture of youth and experience with Brett Lee returning and the uncapped Aaron Finch from Victoria likely to debut. There will be no lack of pace in the bowling attack, while David Hussey is one of the finest T20 batsmen in the world. The young fast bowler James Pattinson should debut in one of the two matches, although the selectors might allow him to start his career at home in Melbourne, for the second game.
Australia (probable) 1 David Warner, 2 Shane Watson, 3 Aaron Finch, 4 David Hussey, 5 Cameron White (capt), 6 Steven Smith, 7 Tim Paine (wk), 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Steve O'Keefe, 10 Brett Lee, 11 Shaun Tait.
England's most interesting selection revolves around the opening berth. Craig Kieswetter is out with injury and Ian Bell's form is so strong that he could keep Michael Lumb, a World T20 winner and IPL player, out of the starting XI. Elsewhere there is no James Anderson, who is back home for a break, so Ajmal Shahzad is likely to earn his chance.
England (probable) 1 Ian Bell, 2 Steven Davies (wk), 3 Kevin Pietersen, 4 Paul Collingwood (capt), 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Luke Wright, 7 Michael Yardy, 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 Ajmal Shahzad, 11 Chris Tremlett.
Stats and trivia
"It's really a fresh start for this team specifically, hopefully a change of format, a change of luck."
Cameron White hopes for better things after Australia's Ashes loss
"It's not easy to win that many games on the trot in Twenty20, they are another two huge games for us."
Paul Collingwood is gunning for a world record eight T20 wins on the trot
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at CricinfoFeeds: Andrew McGlashan
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