England v Australia, 1st T20, Ageas Bowl August 28, 2013

England still hold edge despite changes


Match facts

August 29, Ageas Bowl
Start time 1830 (1730 GMT)

Big Picture

Any event in the aftermath of an Ashes series has got its work cut out to capture the imagination but a short, sharp Twenty20 series has got a chance, with the World T20 next March adding much-needed relevance. Australia will also be extremely keen to take something home and recent history suggests they are a good bet to do so, with the last three Ashes winners struggling in the limited-overs matches that followed.

But Australia may have to wait until the ODI series to find much-craved success because England's T20 squad is largely fresh and eager to impress selectors ahead of a global tournament. There are potential places in the ODI team at stake too, with England likely to continue rotation of the players involved in more than one format until preparation for the 2015 ODI World Cup begins in a year's time.

Australia also need to reverse a poor recent record in bilateral T20 series. Since June 2010, they have only won five of 19 matches. That they managed to defy that form with a run to the semi-final of the World T20 in Sri Lanka was down to a remarkable tournament from Shane Watson and a good showing from the now-retired Mike Hussey.

George Bailey returns to lead the side along with a host of one-day specialists including Mitchell Johnson, the mere mention of whom draws guffaws from England supporters, but his good showing in the Champions Trophy suggests he could earn their respect.

England also change captains with Stuart Broad taking the reins. He has a squad full of players in form having recently played in the Friends Life t20 and closing rounds of the Yorkshire Bank 40. Michael Carberry heads that list after over 500 runs in the Flt20 and is in line for a first international appearance since his solitary Test in Chittagong three years ago. Ravi Bopara has also found his touch and will use the limited-overs internationals to stake a claim for a place on the Ashes tour as a potential No. 6.

Form guide

England: LWLWW
Australia: LLLLL

Players to watch

It's a big few weeks for Jos Buttler with the jury very much out on how effective his swashbuckling batting actually is. He will be mostly judged on his performances in the ODIs where there is more doubt on his ability to bat for a long period, but he will like to get in credit during this series. His recent showings in T20s for England - two good knocks in New Zealand and good contributions in India before Christmas - plus Matt Prior's loss of form also give him some leeway.

Mitchell Starc endured a difficult Ashes series, coming in-and-out of the side and struggling for rhythm. One-day cricket appears to be his strength and his best statistics both internationally and domestically are found in Twenty20. He was superb at the World T20 in Sri Lanka, third-highest of the wicket-takers with 10 dismissals.

Team news

England's T20 squad is largely at full-strength with a host of options in the batting order. Michael Carberry has been called up following a super domestic season and should play one of the two matches in this series. Joe Root gives England another spin option alongside James Tredwell, with the choice of fast bowlers looking between Jade Dernbach and Boyd Rankin.

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

Australia have an inflated 18-man squad for this series, which will be trimmed to 15 for the ODI series. Adam Voges had a limited Flt20 for Middlesex with the bat but was their most economical bowler and, unless Fawad Ahmed is given a debut, Voges will be relied upon for some slow bowling with Glenn Maxwell also an option. There's a choice between Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh for the No. 3 slot with Finch having the better record from his handful of internationals.

Australia (possible) 1 David Warner, 2 Shane Watson, 3 Aaron Finch, 4 George Bailey (capt), 5 Adam Voges, 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 James Faulkner, 9 Mitchell Johnson, 10 Mitchell Starc, 11 Clint McKay

Pitch and conditions

The Ageas Bowl has produced some cracking pitches for T20, none more so than for the Flt20 quarter-final which yielded over 400 runs. No rain is forecast which bodes well for a good evening for a sell-out crowd.

Stats and trivia

  • Memories will turn back to 2005 when England beat Australia in the only T20 by 100 runs and was seen as a watershed moment for English cricket.
  • The only other international T20 staged at the Ageas Bowl was in 2006 when Sri Lanka edged England in a tight contest in one of Marcus Trescothick's last international games.
  • T20 is still a young game; this will be only the second time Australia have played England in a T20 in England. Both fixtures in 2009 were washed out by rain.
  • George Bailey, parachuted in as Australia's new T20 captain in February 2012, has scored only one half-century in his 16 international T20s.


"These guys have performed throughout the county season to get a chance at international level. They wouldn't be in the squad if they're not good enough to play and the squad will be very focused on beating Australia."
England's T20 captain Stuart Broad defends England's much-changed squad.

"I've no doubt they'd have Mitch in their sights for a couple of those Ashes games particularly given the grounds and his record at some of those grounds."
George Bailey, Australia's T20 captain, tips Mitchell Johnson for a Test recall this winter.

Alex Winter is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • thomas on August 29, 2013, 18:29 GMT

    I dont think so..Finch and Aussies looks like will win this one

  • Owen on August 29, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    @Jono Makim - eating your words yet?! ;)

  • Android on August 29, 2013, 17:23 GMT

    Are the rested senior players of the England team is expected to be in the middle at the end of this match?

  • Dummy4 on August 29, 2013, 17:10 GMT

    No Smith, no NCN, no McKay....Aus should have been better served if they had decided to give the Poms a walkover

  • Nicholas on August 29, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    @Jono Makim (post on August 29, 2013, 13:07 GMT): Yup I was fighting a lone battle with my arguments about KP in tests :-) Mostly because people idolised him so much, but lambasted Bell who had a similar average and is usually much more consistent once he hits a purple patch (as just witnessed!). I have conceded several times now though that a good, balanced test side does indeed need some attacking players to up the ante. I said during the Ashes (and before) that whereas England can afford to have a KP in their side (because even when he fails the others dig in and usually make up for it) - Australia did/do not have their balance right and need more Clarke/Hussey-like players as opposed to Warners/Hughes's. Australia is a whole new set of playing conditions however; I may very well be proved wrong again and hence am taking the 3-0 result in this series with a large handful of salt, reasonably fitting as it was...

  • Charles on August 29, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    Love or hate T20 we are playing Australia and that is enough to get the adrenelin moving . The stakes and bragging rights are always high both here and down under and a win is a must.

  • andrew on August 29, 2013, 15:19 GMT

    I hope Starc plays with the ball and not his mouth, Ian Bell and the viewing public are still waiting for a public apology. Its hard for Aussies to hold the moral high ground when there are a few non thinking professionals within the group.

  • Dummy4 on August 29, 2013, 14:53 GMT

    Steve Back, ladies and gentlemen. Let's all give him a big hand, because he epitomises why England will never win the World Cup in the near future. Keep treating ODIs with contempt, son - lord knows the ODI treats England far worse.

  • Android on August 29, 2013, 14:41 GMT

    i though m clarke retired from t20is

  • Android on August 29, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    isnt m clarke retired from t20s if so y is he in the 18 man squad for the t20 series