Australia v England, 1st T20, Hobart

Twenty20 provides England's winning chance

The Preview by Brydon Coverdale

January 28, 2014

Comments: 58 | Text size: A | A
'Small ground, big hitting, big entertainment'

Match Facts

Wednesday, January 29, 2014, Hobart
Start time 1935 local (0835 GMT)

Big Picture

No, it's not over yet. England's wretched tour of Australia does not officially end for another five days. Some members of the browbeaten Test and ODI squads have now gone home, including Alastair Cook and Ian Bell, but others remain. Stuart Broad, Joe Root, Boyd Rankin and Ben Stokes landed in Australia in October preparing to defend the Ashes and now the best they can do is go home with a victory in the three-match Twenty20 series. At least they have a very strong chance of achieving that, given the strength of their T20 side and the list of Australian players who are instead heading to South Africa to prepare for the Test series.

Australia finished the ODI series with the No.1 ranking but they will enter this game as the eighth best T20 side in the world, according to the ICC rankings, while England sit sixth. For both teams, this is an important series ahead of the World T20, which begins in late March in Bangladesh. Remarkably, Australia have played only six matches since the last World T20, which was held in Sri Lanka in 2012; England have played nine and are perhaps more advanced in their planning for this year's tournament.

"That's I think our biggest challenge," Australia's captain George Bailey said. "But it's a challenge that every team faces, that there's no continuity through Twenty20 series. You come together at the end of a summer or you tend to be between Tests and one-dayers and it's over in four or five days. Quite often there's a big turnover and sometimes it's tough to remember who played in the last Twenty20 let alone what sort of role they played.

"There can be a tendency for guys to maybe put their hand up and try and play for themselves but we'll be making clear to them that this is a great opportunity to play the way that we want to play and that will be just as important as the result."

Form guide

(Completed matches, most recent first)

Australia LLWLL
England WLLWL

Watch out for


Cameron White and Luke Wright celebrate a wicket, Brisbane Heat v Melbourne Stars, Big Bash League, Brisbane, January 11, 2014
Cameron White and Luke Wright have been Melbourne Stars team-mates this summer but now they find themselves opponents © Getty Images
Enlarge

Cameron White has not played for Australia in any format since the World T20 in Sri Lanka in 2012, so this series is an opportunity for him to re-establish himself as an international cricketer. White has had a productive summer in all formats and has been an effective opener for the Melbourne Stars this summer, a role he may now be asked to play in the Australia team.

White's opening partner at the Stars has been Luke Wright and while the pair may be reunited for Tuesday's semi-final against the Hobart Hurricanes, for the next three games they will be opponents. Wright is third on the BBL run tally this summer with 275 runs at 34.37 and will be a key man at the top of England's order in this series.

Team news

The absence of several first-choice players including David Warner, Shane Watson and Mitchell Johnson, means that Australia may try some new things in this series. White may join Aaron Finch at the top of the order and it remains to be seen whether the raw legspinner James Muirhead will debut in Hobart.

The only apparent certainty is that Mitchell Starc, who is returning from a back injury, will not play in the first game. "I think he's still building up so I think the plan at this stage is for him to play the last couple, or the last game of this series," Bailey said.

Australia (possible) 1 Aaron Finch, 2 Cameron White, 3 Chris Lynn, 4 George Bailey (capt), 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Moises Henriques, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 Ben Cutting, 9 Nathan Coulter-Nile, 10 Josh Hazlewood, 11 James Muirhead.

An influx of Twenty20 specialists means England's side will look quite different from the ODI outfit, with Michael Lumb, Alex Hales and Luke Wright all available for top-order positions. There are plenty of all-round options in England's side, which means they could bat very deep depending on how the selectors balance the team.

England (possible) 1 Michael Lumb, 2 Alex Hales, 3 Luke Wright, 4 Eoin Morgan, 5 Joe Root / Ravi Bopara, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Ben Stokes, 8 Stuart Broad (capt), 9 Chris Jordan, 10 James Tredwell, 11 Jade Dernbach.

Pitch and conditions

The Hobart pitch should be good for batting. In the three completed BBL games there this summer, the first-innings totals have been 162, 167 and 209, and in all cases the team batting first has won. The forecast for Wednesday in Hobart is for a top temperate of 22C.

Stats and trivia

  • Australia have only one player in the top 40 on the ICC's Twenty20 bowling rankings and he - Shane Watson - is not in this squad

  • Alex Hales is the No.1 Twenty20 international batsman in the world, according to the ICC's rankings

  • Australia lost all three of their home T20s last summer; their last win at home came over India in February 2012

  • This will be the second Twenty20 international ever held at Bellerive Oval; the first was four years ago when Australia beat West Indies

Quotes

"Once again [there are] some good opportunities for some guys to come into a squad and with a World Cup so close there's some spots up for grabs so there's plenty to play for."
George Bailey says the Australians will have no shortage of motivation.

"The focus is purely on what we do in Australia and once we've got these three games, and hopefully a series win, under our belt we can focus on planning more on the World Twenty20."
Stuart Broad says England want to finish the tour on a winning note

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

RSS Feeds: Brydon Coverdale

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (January 30, 2014, 14:11 GMT)

Ali ready to rumble! England need Ali, who is an explosive left handed batsman, and a option of spin bowling in the T20 series against Australia.

Out of all fairness, he deserves a chance soon.

Posted by JG2704 on (January 29, 2014, 10:24 GMT)

@Mitty2 on (January 29, 2014, 6:45 GMT) No worries there. I did actually submit a post of apology re the 12-1 as I thought you were saying Eng lost 12-1 in India but you were predicting a 12-1 aggregate here. Having just watched our shambolic bowling effort I think you could be right. 214 is a big ask on any surface. Still at least we've learnt our lessons and wont have Ravi and Root there clogging up our runs...

Posted by cccrider on (January 29, 2014, 8:32 GMT)

Ben Dunk should have played. He's been creaming them, and at this ground.

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 8:31 GMT)

England will lose because they have set themselves up mentally to lose, ever since their first loss on this tour. Even when they should win, they manage to lose (see the last ODI). It will take a revamped team to erase the tape. Note that the "new names" in the T20 side are actually not new, but partakers of the same mental condition.

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 7:43 GMT)

@jonesy2, Surely you're exaggerating about the whole Mitch Marsh statement. How can a kid who's played only 3 T20I's be "the worlds best all rounder in this format." And better yet, in these T20I's he's only taken 1 wicket and that's come at an average of 42 and an economy of over 8. I think Ravi Ashwin is closer to the title of "worlds best allrounder in this format." than Marsh.

Posted by DylanBrah on (January 29, 2014, 7:37 GMT)

Another 3rd string Aussie side. Should be an easy win for England.

Posted by Mitty2 on (January 29, 2014, 6:45 GMT)

@JG2704, ok, on a different note, just so we can straighten things out, please read my response on the other board (the Stuart Broad England is scary one) thanks. To still comment on these boards just as frequently when you're losing as to when you're winning is very commendable and something I couldn't do at times against India and England in July/August. Cheers.

@greatshinwari, "Laughlin is a good t20 bowler" - laughable. Laughin concedes about 10 an over every game he plays for us and not much better when he plays for the Hurricanes from when I see him

Posted by greatshinwari on (January 29, 2014, 6:02 GMT)

i dont know why CA selects Mathew waste...tim paine is much better player than him...bowling will be concern for australia..they must select ben laughlin or tait for coulter-nile or hazzlewood...laughlin is a good t20 bowler...i thnk england wil easily win this match...

Posted by jonesy2 on (January 29, 2014, 5:16 GMT)

surely moises isnt playing? shouldn't he be on the plane to RSA? bring in mitch marsh for goodness sake! hes the worlds best allrounder in this format. if joe root plays I feel I may lose it with laughter. England bowling lineup is the worst ive ever seen on paper I think, Australia should either post well over 200 or chase down anything. the ben Laughlin non selection is shambolic

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 3:43 GMT)

Napier is crying out for selection, I also agree with Moeen Ali. What the heck is Root, a slow bat even at test level, doing anywhere near the squad? Hales, Lumb, Wright, Ali, Morgan, Bopara, Buttler, Stokes, Napier, Broad, Willey // Rayner, Eckersley, Jordan and Vince as the back-ups

Comments have now been closed for this article

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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