Australia v England, 2nd Twenty20, Melbourne January 12, 2011

Australia search for that winning feeling

72

Match Facts

January 14, Melbourne
Start time 19.35 (08.35 GMT)

The Big Picture

Australia's one-wicket defeat in the opening Twenty20 of the two-match series summed up the season that Shane Watson and his team are having. The stand-out performer on either side, Watson added four wickets to his rollicking half-century and was named Man of the Match, but still ended up on the losing side as England squeezed home from the final ball. Such are the vicissitudes of Twenty20 cricket, where victory can often depend upon a slice of luck at the right moment. Australia's morale will not have been helped by yet another loss to add to their recent string of disappointments.

Wednesday's match in Adelaide had the air of a new beginning for Australia, with Cameron White taking over the leadership of the T20 side and Tim Paine acting as his deputy. There were also a few fresh faces, with Aaron Finch and Steve O'Keefe, and the return of a veteran in Brett Lee, but the changes weren't enough to secure the win Australia so desperately need. While they will hope for better in Melbourne on Friday, particularly from a sluggish middle order, England are developing a psychological hold over them that will be hard to shrug off.

The visitors are, of course, world champions in this format, but several members of the team have been relegated to the sidelines for much of the Australian tour. Ajmal Shahzad and Michael Yardy were still more than competent with the ball, however, and Eoin Morgan showed no rust whatsoever as he provided backbone to the middle-order with a fluent 43. It wasn't quite the same story with Steve Davies and Luke Wright, who survived a combined total of four deliveries, and it was left to a nerveless Chris Woakes - on England debut - to see the side home.

It is surely a challenge for both teams to maintain focus on the task at hand with a World Cup just over a month away, but England are on a successful roll and Australia are headed in the opposite direction. The harder task for the hosts might be to re-discover the self-belief that makes all the difference in closely-fought games.

Form guide


(most recent first)
Australia LLLLL
England WWWWW

Watch out for...

Cameron White's tenure as Australia's fifth Twenty20 captain did not start ideally - making just 6 as his side slipped to a narrow defeat - but his brand of clean hitting could light up the MCG. He has had limited-overs success against England before and currently has more sixes than fours in Twenty20 cricket. A natural leader, he will be keen to stamp his authority on his first series in charge.

Steve Davies only faced two balls in Adelaide. It was enough to display both his classy strengths - natural timing and flair through the off side - and weaknesses - needlessly hitting the ball in the air. He is under pressure after Matt Prior's good showing in the Ashes but if he can find some luck early on he may take to Australia's pacey new-ball offerings.

Team news

Australia's power pack of vein-popping batsmen and fiery fast bowlers almost pulled off a win against England, which may be enough for White's side to stick with the formula. If there is a change it may be in Lee being replaced by the young fast bowler James Pattinson, who could start his career on his home ground in Melbourne.

Australia (possible) 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/James Pattinson, 11 Shaun Tait.

After clocking up another win, their eighth in a row, England will be in no mood to change. Especially as Ravi Bopara is not in the squad to challenge Luke Wright's position.

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 Chris Woakes, 10 Graeme Swann, 11 Ajmal Shahzad.

Stats and trivia

  • If Australia lose again they will set a new team record for the most consecutive defeats in Twenty20 cricket. Though they still have some way to go before catching Bangladesh's unwelcome run, which currently stands at 12.

  • Luke Wright's second-ball 0 gave him the unwanted joint title for most ducks in a Twenty20 career.

Quotes

"Never in doubt."
Chris Woakes knew something we all didn't in that final over in Adelaide.

"When England needed a big shot they found it."
The same luck didn't apply to Cameron White's Australia

Sahil Dutta and Liam Brickhill are assistant editors at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 5wombats on January 15, 2011, 8:29 GMT

    @Aussie06; yeah yeah yeah.....LOL. @Marcio; It's been far from silent - moderators haven't let my postings in for some reason.

  • Aussie06 on January 15, 2011, 0:20 GMT

    @all the poms: i hope england enjoy their current form...because it aint long before the aussies become just as dominant as they were a few years ago... WATCH out you POMs... the new legends will arise and when they do... the world will yet again fear Australia!

  • Meety on January 14, 2011, 23:19 GMT

    @ Bunswalla - who did they beat in the T20 final? So it is clear that Eng. are not superior in T20, particularly as the series just completed was 1all. Not very superior! @landl47 - agreed re: selections, Oz have a history of rotation before a W/Cup or Champions Trophy. Before the 07 W/Cup we were thrashed by NZ - several times we were unable to defend scores around 330 to 350! I beleive that the T20 side was selected with the 50/50 W/Cup in mind - (Tait & Lee, D Hussey & maybe Paine). As for your lot - obviously Anderson had better things to do & so too Tremlett. Also - Collingwood is out of form big time & I think he needs to show something in the 50/50 games or retire & join the IPL circus. Also - that 6 hit by Woakes was the cleanest hit I've seen in a long while, (whilst I think he is very talented as an allrounder), I reckon the replay showed he had no idea where the ball was, also his reaction suggested a degree of surprise - either way a monster of a hit!

  • Meety on January 14, 2011, 12:59 GMT

    Ended up being a grandstand finish. I think Oz were marginally better over the 2 games - I think there needs to be either a one off T20 or 3 match series. This is sort of unfinished. I thought Finch was brilliant & now deserves to be a regular in the Oz T20 side. I still don't think White's captaincy was that great, but if he was responsible for the increase in intensity in the field - all credit to him. D Hussey needs to only be selected in T20s as a bowler batting @ 8, (If he continues to get more overs then O'Keefe & White). This leads me to the side selected, if White (I am a big fan of), is not going to bowl - there are better T20 batters then him. If O'Keefe is only going to bowl 2 overs - there are better options than him - (Doherty). Lee & MJ were brilliant, Tait was good but that wide he bowled was CRAP - could of lost us the match. The thing I was mainly happy about was the fielding was FINALLY at a standard that Oz cricket should be at - & guess what we went onto win!

  • Marcio on January 14, 2011, 12:09 GMT

    The silence of the wombats. All 5 of 'em. What reality are you denying? Do you really think that a team which has players like Sean Tait, Brett Lee, Cameron White, and Shane Watson are out of Engalnd's league. Get real! Two even games supports what I have been saying all along. Australian cricket is not suffering from any shortage of talent, only a shortage of management and leadership. Cameron White will turn that around in the T20 game. Clarke and Ponting need to move aside in the longer formats. As a matter of interest, exactly who in your bowling lineup in T20 inspires your superiority sentiments? Eng has a very good batting lineup, and an ordinary bowling lineup in T20s and 1dayers. They are very beatable. AUS is strong in both departments. Prepare for doom!

  • 5wombats on January 14, 2011, 8:46 GMT

    @Marcio; "Check Please". Waiter; "Certainly sir - what kind? Reality"? The LLLLL's and the WWWWW's sort of give a clue. @all - don't worry - not many other people know what he's talking about either. But it's FUN isn't it! @Marcio doesn't deal in facts - he deals in wind-ups - best to take his comments in the humourous spirit in which they are intended. Anyway - it's only T20 - so who cares.

  • Browndog1968 on January 14, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    Hey 'thebarmyarmy' it's delayed by 3 hours so those of us who work can get home set up a lager or ten and actually get to watch the game bro!!! It's OK for some eh? LOL

  • mstr_cricket on January 14, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    aussies will win no. 2- they got the hitting power in watto, white and warner and also the bowling pace and precision in lee, tait and watto again. aussie aussie aussie oi oi oi

  • thebarmyarmy on January 14, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    Again Collingwood is to high in the batting order. He needs dropping 2 spots or at least 1 spot.

  • on January 14, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    paine betta bat tonight was a joke that he didnt get a hit in the last game.

  • 5wombats on January 15, 2011, 8:29 GMT

    @Aussie06; yeah yeah yeah.....LOL. @Marcio; It's been far from silent - moderators haven't let my postings in for some reason.

  • Aussie06 on January 15, 2011, 0:20 GMT

    @all the poms: i hope england enjoy their current form...because it aint long before the aussies become just as dominant as they were a few years ago... WATCH out you POMs... the new legends will arise and when they do... the world will yet again fear Australia!

  • Meety on January 14, 2011, 23:19 GMT

    @ Bunswalla - who did they beat in the T20 final? So it is clear that Eng. are not superior in T20, particularly as the series just completed was 1all. Not very superior! @landl47 - agreed re: selections, Oz have a history of rotation before a W/Cup or Champions Trophy. Before the 07 W/Cup we were thrashed by NZ - several times we were unable to defend scores around 330 to 350! I beleive that the T20 side was selected with the 50/50 W/Cup in mind - (Tait & Lee, D Hussey & maybe Paine). As for your lot - obviously Anderson had better things to do & so too Tremlett. Also - Collingwood is out of form big time & I think he needs to show something in the 50/50 games or retire & join the IPL circus. Also - that 6 hit by Woakes was the cleanest hit I've seen in a long while, (whilst I think he is very talented as an allrounder), I reckon the replay showed he had no idea where the ball was, also his reaction suggested a degree of surprise - either way a monster of a hit!

  • Meety on January 14, 2011, 12:59 GMT

    Ended up being a grandstand finish. I think Oz were marginally better over the 2 games - I think there needs to be either a one off T20 or 3 match series. This is sort of unfinished. I thought Finch was brilliant & now deserves to be a regular in the Oz T20 side. I still don't think White's captaincy was that great, but if he was responsible for the increase in intensity in the field - all credit to him. D Hussey needs to only be selected in T20s as a bowler batting @ 8, (If he continues to get more overs then O'Keefe & White). This leads me to the side selected, if White (I am a big fan of), is not going to bowl - there are better T20 batters then him. If O'Keefe is only going to bowl 2 overs - there are better options than him - (Doherty). Lee & MJ were brilliant, Tait was good but that wide he bowled was CRAP - could of lost us the match. The thing I was mainly happy about was the fielding was FINALLY at a standard that Oz cricket should be at - & guess what we went onto win!

  • Marcio on January 14, 2011, 12:09 GMT

    The silence of the wombats. All 5 of 'em. What reality are you denying? Do you really think that a team which has players like Sean Tait, Brett Lee, Cameron White, and Shane Watson are out of Engalnd's league. Get real! Two even games supports what I have been saying all along. Australian cricket is not suffering from any shortage of talent, only a shortage of management and leadership. Cameron White will turn that around in the T20 game. Clarke and Ponting need to move aside in the longer formats. As a matter of interest, exactly who in your bowling lineup in T20 inspires your superiority sentiments? Eng has a very good batting lineup, and an ordinary bowling lineup in T20s and 1dayers. They are very beatable. AUS is strong in both departments. Prepare for doom!

  • 5wombats on January 14, 2011, 8:46 GMT

    @Marcio; "Check Please". Waiter; "Certainly sir - what kind? Reality"? The LLLLL's and the WWWWW's sort of give a clue. @all - don't worry - not many other people know what he's talking about either. But it's FUN isn't it! @Marcio doesn't deal in facts - he deals in wind-ups - best to take his comments in the humourous spirit in which they are intended. Anyway - it's only T20 - so who cares.

  • Browndog1968 on January 14, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    Hey 'thebarmyarmy' it's delayed by 3 hours so those of us who work can get home set up a lager or ten and actually get to watch the game bro!!! It's OK for some eh? LOL

  • mstr_cricket on January 14, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    aussies will win no. 2- they got the hitting power in watto, white and warner and also the bowling pace and precision in lee, tait and watto again. aussie aussie aussie oi oi oi

  • thebarmyarmy on January 14, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    Again Collingwood is to high in the batting order. He needs dropping 2 spots or at least 1 spot.

  • on January 14, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    paine betta bat tonight was a joke that he didnt get a hit in the last game.

  • Khuri on January 14, 2011, 6:12 GMT

    Australian players have fear of loss in them & thats what not letting them to play of there potential....

    Furthermore, with likes of Shane Warne, Glenn M., M. hayden, Adam Gilchrist gone the young guns of Australian are lacking way behind to fill the deep hole left because of those big players.....

    And we can also give credit to England team ... all there players are playing as a single unit which is a sign of in form team....

    Its good for international cricket that other teams are competing for No.1 spot in Test, One Day & T20 fixtures as to tell you the truth most of us would have become bore of seeing only Australia dominating Test & One Days...

  • risas on January 14, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    If Australia needs luck to win they should appoint shane watson as a captain because of the efforst he puts in allround even though world cup is round the corner

    Irfan/Abu Dhabi

  • thebarmyarmy on January 14, 2011, 4:32 GMT

    Again totaly dissapointed that Channel 9 in Perth is delaying the broadcast by 3 hours. Another game ill miss 'watching'

  • on January 14, 2011, 3:31 GMT

    Cameron White is the best choice for captaincy, its just matter of time, they will start winning soon. gud luck aussies wip sum english ass.

  • Bunswalla on January 14, 2011, 3:27 GMT

    @Marcio - "On what basis do you assume Eng. are so superior in the shorter versions of the game?" Umm, the fact they won the World T20 Cup last year for one, and winning their last 8 games in a row for two. Need I go on?

  • ABShale on January 14, 2011, 2:57 GMT

    @Marcio You ask: "On what basis do you assume Eng. are so superior in the shorter versions of the game?" Cast your eyes north to the body of the article for a hint of evidence. Namely: Form guide (most recent first) Australia LLLLL England WWWWW. Granted form is at best ephemeral in the shorter versions of the game. Also granted there is an unwonted amount of gloating and triumphalism on the part of some England fans. But you don't do your argument any favours with spurious comments about one-wicket victories. A win is a win is a win. Or, as cricinfo puts it: WWWWW.

  • Marcio on January 14, 2011, 2:15 GMT

    @Prash Ganen- nice heads I win, tails you lose logic!. If Eng win its becasue they are so superior, if AUS wins it will be luck, right? It's you are starting to sound like a broken record. On what basis do you assume Eng. are so superior in the shorter versions of the game? The win on the last ball after losing 9 wickets (AUS lost 5 fewer)? The 3-2 series 1day win in Eng last time, where Eng scrambled a win by one wicket (yet again, 3rd game). Sorry dude, but it's you that needs a wake up call. Australia have strong teams in T20 and 1-dayers. They have a decent chance of winning the World Cup too - and why wouldn't the #1 ranked team have a good chance? If AUS is so weak, what does it say about Eng and their 1-wicket wins? An AUS win will come not because of the law of averages, but because they have some pretty damn good players. You Poms are really starting to get carried away with yourselves.

  • IshanH on January 14, 2011, 2:06 GMT

    T20s' go 1-0 to English. I live 10km from the ground and its bucketing down here. Cant see any play today unfortunately.

  • landl47 on January 14, 2011, 1:23 GMT

    I think some of the fans commenting here are losing perspective on these short format games.While both sides are trying to win, the selectors are not necessarily picking their strongest sides for every game. I'm sure Mike Hussey is being rested; Anderson has gone home to spend time with his wife and their new-born baby, and so on. Let's face it, the T20s, and even the ODIs, don't mean much when compared to the Ashes that came before them and the World Cup that comes after them. Both England and Australia are trying to get their best combination for the WC, so you can expect to see different combinations over the next few weeks. We'll see in the next few days whether Hodge is in the squad for the Aus/Eng ODIs and the WC. If he is, then you can expect to see him getting a game soon. He's obviously not in Aus plans for future T20s, but given that he's 36, that probably isn't too surprising.

  • Meety on January 14, 2011, 0:46 GMT

    @Fareen - I wouldn't say White led brilliantly given he had a possible 16 overs of spin to use & only used 4 - England used 8. White kept going to pace when clearly that was easy to find the boundary with - I think that was a fundamental stuff up. @gzawilliam - agreed Pattinson is the future - but I think the selectors are looking to the 50/50 W/Cup, I would say that after that Lee won't be playing T20 Internationals or may even retire completely. @jonesy2 - harsh, the dropped catch was crucial by O'Keefe & so was a misfield he did. What did Smith do wrong - he wasn't given a go by White & O;Keefe bowled reasonably well only got 2 overs! @Something_Witty re: Haddin v Paine, it is reasonable to assume if you have a 80+ s/rate in 50/50, you have the abiility to double it. @GoodSelector - agreed re: Hussey & Finch - but Warner was reasonable & his history suggests better returns around the corner.

  • Meety on January 14, 2011, 0:35 GMT

    @Something_Witty - I think Paine & Wade AND Hartley are all test quality keepers & their keeping credentials are better then Haddin's. BUT, Haddins batting credentials are way superior to all of them. I'd like to note that Hartley's batting is stats are very good over the last 2 years. In 50/50 Haddin's batting is equal to Paine on average but is FAR superior in S/Rate. I'd be happy with any of the previously mentioned w/k to replace Haddin when he retires or has a major form slump. I would also like to mention that (risking throwing another NSW player into the mix) that both NSWs reserve keepers Neville (from Victoria I think) & Smith are also very good talents - particularly Neville. I am happy for Haddin to be retired from T20s, but would like to see Ronchi given a go as I think his S/Rate is better than all of them in this format. I'd also like to see a bit of a rotation of T20 players & treat it like a testing ground for possible ODI & Test exposure.

  • stationmaster on January 13, 2011, 23:16 GMT

    At some point, you have to think that AUS fans will realise that even if they win tonight, they are way behind ENG in the bigger picture, hard to admit, but even harder to deny.......gulp.....

  • on January 13, 2011, 23:02 GMT

    not sure about the game as it is pouring down right now

  • dr.thirsty on January 13, 2011, 23:00 GMT

    Been following the debate on the makeup of the Oz team with interest. So here's a few thoughts from an English perspective. Surprised, and rather relieved, not to be facing Nannes as he can do real damage. Watson; Superb the other night. Suggests to me that he is seriously under bowled in other formats, particularly tests. Find a genuine opener and drop Watto down the order allowing him to bowl more, it would have a real impact. O'Keefe; Yes, dropped a sitter and let a shot through him, but am I alone in thinking the lad showed great character when he bowled. Could have gone to pieces, but believed in himself and refused to change his line/length and was rewarded for it. Give him time - the character will remain when the drop is forgotten. Paine; sure I saw him open in Big Bash - why no show? Smith; What does he actually do? Lastly, welcome back Binga. Lovely to see, in the heat of battle, that a fierce competitor can still play the game with a smile on his face. Very, very refreshing!

  • mailinsiddu on January 13, 2011, 21:25 GMT

    Pigeon:" Australia will win the T20 Series 2-0"

  • Mitcher on January 13, 2011, 20:26 GMT

    Is david hussey going to try to help us win the game tonight or try to put forward his Test credentials again with another watchful innings?

  • on January 13, 2011, 19:49 GMT

    I'm sick of hearing commens such as "australia will win tomorrow no doubt" Sounds like a broken record and the law of averages will eventially yield in the Aussies favour but lets put things into reality. They were beaten soundly in the tests by us and only won Perth because we had an off day and the track suited Johnsons one hit wonder style. So if the Aussies do win tomorrow it means nothing because they are still having big problems in any format of the game.

  • on January 13, 2011, 19:37 GMT

    LOL what is wrong with Watson's bat in the picture? haha

  • on January 13, 2011, 17:55 GMT

    tim paine is better than any other current aus keeper aus will win tomm no doubts at all !!!!

  • apoorvkumark on January 13, 2011, 17:46 GMT

    @9717669381 Australia would make a Strong comeback in tomorrow's Game and no KP would be able to stop them.............

  • on January 13, 2011, 17:17 GMT

    I am supporting England for this year's world cup along with my home team India.They have certainly turned around their one-day team after the drubbing in the ODI series post 2009 Ashes.They are also getting some good players in their ranks.What I really like about this England team is their discipline.Bresnan was terrific the other day.You can't believe this was the same player who looked like any bits and pieces cricketer who was carted far too regularly by Jayasuriya in 2006 when Srilanka overhauled a target of 320 in just 38 overs.England just need their top and middle order to be in form to at least make the semi-finals.A final between England and India in this WC will be a thing to cherish.

  • Something_Witty on January 13, 2011, 16:54 GMT

    Just for those people who seem to think Haddin would be a better choice than Paine, here are their stats at domestic level. Tim Paine: 23 matches, average of 18.31, strike rate of 143.80. Brad Haddin: 35 matches, average of 19.24, strike rate of 113.41. So yeah, I can tell you who I would rather have in my T-20 side, especially when you add in the fact that Paine is twice the 'keeper Haddin will ever be. All that said, I believe Painey should be our first choice 'keeper for test matches, and Matthew Wade our first choice for ODI's and T20's. He's more aggressive than Paine, and is technically more sound and more responsible than Haddin.

  • azzaman333 on January 13, 2011, 15:25 GMT

    Warner and Lee out, Hodge and Pattinson in. And someone teach O'Keefe how to field.

  • moongoat on January 13, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    i agree, nannes should be in there too. gorod675 : strengthening the middle order by dropping watson down? odd. why are people obsessed with watson changing when he has proven himself as one of the best openers in the world at the moment across all formats. hodge ok is one of the most unlucky of all and has proven his class whenever given a chance. smith looks good in shorter format and i'd be tempted to have hughes in as it suits his game.this said i think the eleven should be so :watson,hussey,m,smith,hussey.d,white,mcdonald,paine,,johnson,hauritz,tait,nannes.lee and marsh and haddin on bench

  • muskhad on January 13, 2011, 14:02 GMT

    i think england side is in its best in last one and half decade.and aussies are in its worst in last one and half decade.it will be a bigtest for india when they tour england for tests and odis in july.

  • RednWhiteArmy on January 13, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    I wish we could play Australia every week

  • Jezinho on January 13, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    Luke Wright really needs to do something this game if he is to retain his place.

  • 9717669381 on January 13, 2011, 13:03 GMT

    tomorrow @MCG,,the world's most beautiful cricket ground,,,kevin pietersen will steal the show....

  • Something_Witty on January 13, 2011, 12:48 GMT

    @chickenpoo, if you look at Haddin's record, his strike-rate is not exactly one to rave about. Also, if you've been watching Painey in the Big Bash, you'd know he doesn't consume too many dot balls, given that he hits a 4 or 6 on average every 2.8 balls or so.

  • mohsan123 on January 13, 2011, 12:44 GMT

    i dont know what happened to australia i think their gloury period is finish but i even think they will bounce back best probable xi is 1.watson 2.warner 3.B haddin 4.finch 5.david hussy 6.white 7.j hope 8.johnson 9.tait 10stev'o caffe 10.nanes or b lee (4 bowler, 3 allrounder including keeper and 4 batsman and one part timmer bowling opition ) try that side to get good result

  • BarrJNJ on January 13, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    You named the same probable side as before the first T20 but Chris Woakes was picked instead of Tremlett. Surely you are not suggesting that he will be dropped after that debut.

  • gorod675 on January 13, 2011, 12:16 GMT

    to strengthen that middle order we could do this, 1. marsh 2. warner 3. hodge 4. watson 5. pain/white 7. okeefe 8. hauritz 9. brett lee 10. shaun tait 11. dirk nannes. Other bowlers could be james pattison, faulkner, stuart clark

  • ozwriter on January 13, 2011, 11:54 GMT

    i really do not understand hilditch and the selectors.

    Why is Mike Hussey not in the team? he single handedly got Australia into the T20 world cup final from what was otherwise a losing situation against Pakistan.

    Dirk Nannes bowls at 140k+, has a killer yorker and dot ball. Takes wickets at crucial times and is ECONOMICAL. he is a proven twenty20 player at the domestic level.

    haddin is a big hitter and a valuable player down the order versus paine who has technique supposedly but is SLOW.

    if only Australia actually chose the best players. the only big hitters down the order are the bowlers (lee and johnson)

  • Ozcricketwriter on January 13, 2011, 11:21 GMT

    It isn't a bad team but it isn't our best team. Our best team would have Brad Hodge, Dirk Nannes and Michael Hussey in it. I also think that Brad Haddin is a better T20 keeper than Paine simply because of his big hitting ability. While Paine is Haddin's equal in terms of average, he simply doesn't score quickly enough. Of course, we should be playing Wade instead of either of them but I digress. Here is our best XI: Warner, Watson, Hodge, White (c), David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Wade, Smith, O'Keefe/Lee, Nannes, Tait . This isn't our worst team but it is still a way off being our best.

  • Kims7777 on January 13, 2011, 11:20 GMT

    If steve smith is picked again for a 20/20 aus selectors should be sacked. why would anyone pick smith over m hussey/hodge is beyond me. lee was very disappointing for me with all his experience he should know not to bang it in short in the last overs to easy for batsmen to get under it and hit for 6 tait is the same especally when they bowling so fast a top edge can go for 6 why would u bang it in short full woulld you bang it in short, need to keep it full and straight much harder to get a top edge for 6. Aus players need to hang on to catches. thats what lost the match was the aus fielding and short bowling.

  • on January 13, 2011, 10:45 GMT

    Nannes, Warner, Strauss, Morgan, Finn - can we find another six Middlesex or ex-Middlesex players to take part?

  • chickenpoo on January 13, 2011, 10:43 GMT

    Brad Haddin should be playing, look at the last match we were short of winning by just 2 runs! Tim Paine consumes too many balls that is why he didnt even bat in the last game! Haddin is a slogger! he hits sixes or gets out and thats what Australia need as a wicket-keeper, look at the last match, only 4 australian wickets fell! the batting was way too slow,Haddin would make our batting a bit faster! And that, obviously, would make a difference.

  • on January 13, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    I think england should play with micheal lumb,instead of luke wright.australia should send paine up the order,because he has good technique and skills

  • mariofan97 on January 13, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    Lee, Johnson and tait!

    that should scare the shit out of england, but please boot steve smith and bring in dirk nannes.

    THAT would be EPIC

  • Dhoni_fan_from_a_dada_era on January 13, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    @yorkerguru, LoL. correct spotted dude! hi5! :D

  • LALITHKURUWITA on January 13, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    Hope Aussies will win the second. It was so so so close. God bless Aussie Cricket.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on January 13, 2011, 8:12 GMT

    @ShakerBaker, Because Aussies wanted to loose the match so send hussey to slow down the speed after Watto's blistering start. That is called the aussies tactics. God bless Aussie cricket!!!!

  • Marcio on January 13, 2011, 7:41 GMT

    AUS should play the same team again. You can't say "Brett Lee can't bowl accurately" based on a couple of balls late in one game, as some have posted here. Get real! With that attitude Graham Swann would never play for England in T20 again, and would have been dropped after the 1st test recently. Our best T20 bowler in Dirk Nannes, but he is obviously too good to play for AUS anymore - more genius from the selectors. AUS would have won the last game with him instead of Lee or Tait. M Johnson actually bowled well for a change, and slowed down to about the speed of the England medium pacers - low to mid 130s. In Melbourne the quicks should do better - long boundaries. AUS has a very strong team actually, and there's no reason why they can't rack up a huge score if two or 3 of AUS's big hitters fire. England's bowling is a bit weak. A huge score will happen sooner or later. England's luck will also run out sooner or later. These things go in cycles.

  • on January 13, 2011, 7:30 GMT

    I personally think that Mike Hussey and Brad Hodge deserve a place in the T20 format. Besides the bowling is a bit of concern for the Aussies as Lee and Tait gave away too many runs by pitching it too short giving the batsmen room to free their arms.

  • Something_Witty on January 13, 2011, 6:41 GMT

    Watto needs some support guys. You can't expect him to make ALL the runs and take ALL the wickets. Poor guy.

  • Will90 on January 13, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    @brool, that's because it is. Watson broke his bat early in the match

    @jonesy, which match were you watching? O'Keefe removed England's most dangerous batsman and had good economy for a spinner on a batting pitch.

    Also, Lee had shown himself to be unable to bowl tight when required and so should be dropped.

  • GoodSelector on January 13, 2011, 5:39 GMT

    warner/hussey and finch were picked to smack the ball out the park and score quick, all they manged was run a ball 50 over style cricket, which doesnt win T20's against good opposition, only 4 wickets fell, they didnt go hard enuf at the bowlers. watto played brilliantly and selflessly in going for his slots with 3 sixes in a row, i thought smith batted pretty well, nice reverse sweep over thrird man. O keefe bowled well in his 2 overs and got a wicket, im not sure why u are drilling him.. if he had a 3rd over instead of brett lee's 4th over australia might have won the game.

  • PlayingItStraight on January 13, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    I would play Nannes ahead of Lee ... and Paine should bat higher in the order, maybe 3 or 4. Smith needs some runs to stay in the team, apart from that it's not too bad a side, just out of luck.

  • on January 13, 2011, 5:03 GMT

    Can someone please start a serious campaign calling for Brad Hodge to be included in the 20/20 and One day formats!! Immediately... How many 20/20 games do we have to lose before we play our best batsmen in this style of cricket??? This thing has to go viral before the selectors will do it. I wonder who brad hodge peed off to never get a decent go at any form of cricket???

  • landl47 on January 13, 2011, 5:03 GMT

    Are England going to field the same side or will they bring in Chris Tremlett? The big guy might be hard to handle if the pitch is a bit green, but he doesn't bat or field as well as Woakes. Whoever plays seems to fit right in, such is the chemistry of this England side. I can't see Australia playing Lee, Tait and Johnson as a unit again. They might get a couple of wickets, but they're pretty fast off the bat in a format where speed of scoring is more important than occupying the crease. I liked the look of Pattinson in the PM XI's game and Aus have got to look to the future. I don't give them a lot of chance of defending the World Cup in India.

  • Dr.Qwert on January 13, 2011, 5:01 GMT

    smith doesn't have the power for T20. Hussey is 1 of the best batsmen in this form of the game but couldn't get going but at home at the G he should do alright. Pattinson in for Johnson (rest) & please don't bowl Lee at the death.

  • yorkerguru on January 13, 2011, 4:55 GMT

    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

    Where is Chris Woakes in the list?????????????????????????????

  • on January 13, 2011, 4:32 GMT

    please dont under estimate Ausses as they have a lot to offer to the oponents..

  • ShakerBaker on January 13, 2011, 4:29 GMT

    Why would they bat Paine at 7. He should slot in at 3, he's in great form and strikes the ball cleaner than Hussey and Smith. Finch, Hussey and Smith looked terrible last night.

  • PreeHero on January 13, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    Watson's bat seems to be broken in the pic. Is that what happened in the match?

  • jonesy2 on January 13, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    right, okeefe and smith need to go cos they both single handedly lost the match for australia, replaced by james hopes and nathan hauritz.

  • gzawilliam on January 13, 2011, 4:08 GMT

    I hope James Pattinson plays instead of Lee. He is the future of this 20/20 team.

    And please bat O'Keefe higher than johnson and smith. he's no use down there.

  • Scgboy on January 13, 2011, 3:56 GMT

    I wouldn't think that long ,but it will take a while.

  • brool215 on January 13, 2011, 3:16 GMT

    Excuse me but what the hell is going on with Wattos bat in the above photo? Looks like its floopy/broken.

  • Fareen on January 13, 2011, 3:11 GMT

    I don't think Australia should drop lee.If anybody should be dropped,its Steven smith who doesn't contribute with either ball or bat for Australia.Cameron White led brilliantly in the 1st t-20 but i guess luck is not with australia.hopefully they will bounce back.

  • Ozcricketwriter on January 13, 2011, 3:08 GMT

    There is no way in the world that James Pattinson should play, especially not for Brett Lee.

  • Vijay.R on January 13, 2011, 2:22 GMT

    Seems, Australia need a decade to bounce back to number 1.

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  • Vijay.R on January 13, 2011, 2:22 GMT

    Seems, Australia need a decade to bounce back to number 1.

  • Ozcricketwriter on January 13, 2011, 3:08 GMT

    There is no way in the world that James Pattinson should play, especially not for Brett Lee.

  • Fareen on January 13, 2011, 3:11 GMT

    I don't think Australia should drop lee.If anybody should be dropped,its Steven smith who doesn't contribute with either ball or bat for Australia.Cameron White led brilliantly in the 1st t-20 but i guess luck is not with australia.hopefully they will bounce back.

  • brool215 on January 13, 2011, 3:16 GMT

    Excuse me but what the hell is going on with Wattos bat in the above photo? Looks like its floopy/broken.

  • Scgboy on January 13, 2011, 3:56 GMT

    I wouldn't think that long ,but it will take a while.

  • gzawilliam on January 13, 2011, 4:08 GMT

    I hope James Pattinson plays instead of Lee. He is the future of this 20/20 team.

    And please bat O'Keefe higher than johnson and smith. he's no use down there.

  • jonesy2 on January 13, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    right, okeefe and smith need to go cos they both single handedly lost the match for australia, replaced by james hopes and nathan hauritz.

  • PreeHero on January 13, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    Watson's bat seems to be broken in the pic. Is that what happened in the match?

  • ShakerBaker on January 13, 2011, 4:29 GMT

    Why would they bat Paine at 7. He should slot in at 3, he's in great form and strikes the ball cleaner than Hussey and Smith. Finch, Hussey and Smith looked terrible last night.

  • on January 13, 2011, 4:32 GMT

    please dont under estimate Ausses as they have a lot to offer to the oponents..