Australia v England, 3rd T20, Sydney February 1, 2014

Last stop for broken England


'England ready to go home for a lie down'

Match Facts

February 2, 2014
Start time 1935 local (0835GMT)

Big Picture

Day 100: the mission continues. Survivors from England's 2013-14 tour of Australia may one day be able to look back and extract some grim humour from the sorry affair. Right now, taking the positives would be taking the proverbial. With one victory in 12 encounters, three crushing series defeats and numerous casualties, England could do with a few weeks in a sensory deprivation tank. Instead, they must countenance one final bout of frenzied competition against a rampant foe.

England's latest loss, more recent than the eight-wicket shellacking at the MCG, was that of their team director, Andy Flower. With the architect gone, the England matrix seems ever more fragile. The attention will now turn to Ashley Giles, the limited-overs coach, who also has the small matter of a World Twenty20 on his mind. Since taking charge of England's pajama cricket at the start of 2012, Giles has overseen six ODI and T20 series defeats, with just two wins, though the Champions Trophy suggested greater potential. A T20 victory to finish the tour would be the smallest of crumbs but England are in need of sustenance.

Australia, of course, are in no mood to offer England anything so much as a cup of tea, let alone sympathy. George Bailey's ruthlessness in sealing the series in Melbourne - smashing 60 off 28 balls to pummel England senseless - extended to denying 39-year-old Brad Hodge, on his first international appearance in six years, a bat in front of his home crowd. The bowlers were superb during England's pitiful thrash and a 3-0 win would seal their rise to sixth in the T20 rankings.

Form guide

(Completed matches, most recent first)

Australia WWLLW
England LLWLL

Watch out for

James Muirhead has less than a dozen senior appearances to his name but, in the last three months, England have faced him five times. His figures across three formats are a very respectable 12 for 337 and the tourists still seem unable to get the measure of Australia's latest legspinning tyro. The 20-year-old gets appreciable turn and also showcased his control and composure at the MCG. Looks to be an exciting bolter ahead of the World T20.

It is easy to ridicule Jade Dernbach - and many do - but he is also one of England's most gifted bowlers in this format. When it goes wrong for him, as it has in the two matches so far (1 for 92 from seven overs), it makes for car-crash viewing but, in the absence of Steven Finn, he remains England's most-likely wicket-taking option, with a strike rate (16.4) that betters Mitchell Johnson, Sunil Narine and Lasith Malinga. He needs to rediscover his mojo, pronto.

Team news

Mitchell Starc made an impressive return from injury in the previous match and will continue working towards top form. There may be a temptation to look at Ben Cutting or Kane Richardson but the batting looks in good nick, with Hodge hoping for a crack in the middle this time.

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

England probably deployed their first-choice T20 XI, minus Kevin Pietersen, in Melbourne, only for them to produce a truly abysmal performance. The top order failed again and England could try opening with Luke Wright, as he has been doing in the Big Bash. Ben Stokes is surely due a crack and Dernbach's place may also come under pressure from Chris Jordan.

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

Pitch and conditions

Sydney pitches tend to aid spin - but the difference about this one is that it is situated in the Olympic Stadium, home of the Sydney Thunder. A cool, breezy evening should kept everyone interested.

Stats and trivia

  • If England manage to win only their second game on tour, it will return them to No. 6 in the T20 rankings, at the expense of Australia.

  • Stuart Broad became the 13th player to reach 50 caps in T20 internationals in Melbourne.

  • Australia have improved their head-to-head record against England to 6-4 in the current series.


"We're going to give them nothing. There's no reason we should let them leave the country with a win. It's another chance for all the boys to show what we've got, and really dominate England again."
Mitchell Starc has not purchased a farewell gift for the tourists

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mick on February 2, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    What's going on with England team. There seem to be far too many bowlers in the side? 6 wickets down and will be well into the tail. In contrast Australia can bat very deep, even without Faulkner. Australia also has some spin options.

  • Ashok on February 2, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    So the torture ends soon for England.

  • Peter on February 2, 2014, 8:26 GMT

    Fantastic turn-around performance by Australia all summer. We look forward to an even more comprehensive flogging of the English in the next bout in England, when we will be even stronger, given the excellent young talent the Aussies have uncovered in recent times

  • dexter on February 2, 2014, 8:21 GMT

    As if the ass whipping that the Australians have put on the English was not enough embarrassment during the Australian summer, to further add insult to injury all of their senior team are now in South Africa getting ready to play a test series when the series at home still has one more game to be played, talk about rubbing salt into open wounds.

  • Rahul on February 2, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    Leehmans wish for Broad to cry and go home seems to have come half true for entire English cricket team. A rock at no 3 gone, Arguably worlds best off spinner retired, Vice captain dropped from the playing XI and the Big Boss of the team has caved in. As they say you need to be careful what you wish for.

  • Ronald on February 2, 2014, 6:56 GMT

    Maxwell is the most overrated player in T20. He needs to stop listening to his own publicity & start playing some proper cricket strokes.

  • Firdaus on February 2, 2014, 6:51 GMT

    I think Australia are in a pretty good place, T20 wise, for the world cup. They'll need a spinner in Bangladesh, so Muirhead/O' Keefe can fill in for that role (Looks like Muirhead, though). I'd think they'd want Faulkner at 8, with Paine or Haddin at 7. Finch and Warner to open, followed by White, Bailey, Lynn and Maxwell. Starc and Coulter Nile as the two last pacers.

    Team: Finch, Warner, White, Bailey, Lynn, Maxwell, Haddin/Paine, Faulkner, Coulter Nile, Starc, Muirhead

    I don't see this side giving away too many games...

  • mark on February 2, 2014, 6:45 GMT

    Am enjoying Australia's dominance, but seriously other than T20 think Maxwell is massively over rated... is a regular No Show... spends way too much time playing flashy reverses... should try play cricket shots like a Finch... want to see him make substantial innings in one day and fc cricket.. not flashy 15-30.Otherwise.. Australia's T20 and One day sides look pretty well set now..hope the Test side surprises us again with big result over there.

  • Mick on February 2, 2014, 6:32 GMT

    @SaketG. Once you have stand out all rounders in Watson, Faulkner & Maxwell (Christian a backup), you only need 3 other bowlers, and hopefully some of those can bat too, e.g. a Cutting. Yes specialist spinners like Muirhead, Hogg, and Lyon to pick one or two from. Don't need any fast bowlers that are a touch wayward in Bangladesh. So question is which fast bowler would be the best? Ryan Harris would come close I reckon (and can bat a bit), or Bird. So not so interested in Johnson, Nile, Starc, McKay unless they can prove high accuracy for bowling Yorkers at the death. Is Wade the best WK? I doubt it. Haddin or Paine? Blessed with batting talent. Choose just 4 (to make 11) from Finch, Warner, Hodge, White, Bailey, Lynn. Some rotation to find out who handles spin the best. Run rates and economy rates are the key factors, for a team to keep winning (as in Melb Stars). The right Aussie team that plays well against spin could win it.

  • Dale on February 2, 2014, 6:20 GMT

    So this is the future of cricket when the big 3 take over? A way too long tour of England by Aussie, followed by a way too long tour of Aussie by England - and in-between a pointless 7 game ODI series between India and Aussie. I think it shows that these three countries need the others or cricket is going to suffer. I mean it was a joke here in NZ how some English reporters following the tour had to go home because their 90 day visas have run out in Australia. Maybe when the three get control they could organise an Aussie tour of India - 5 Tests, 7 ODIS and then best of 15 T20's.

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