Players to watch during the first T20I between England and Australia
After solid displays and confident wins against Ireland, West Indies and Pakistan at home, England now welcome Australia for a three-match T20I series that’s slated to begin from Friday, September 4. England, though, will be wary of the Aussies and know that getting the better of the men from Down Under won’t be as easy or straightforward as their last few victories.
With that in mind, we have a look at a few players to keep an eye on in the T20I series.
Tom Banton was always tipped to have a big impact on English cricket and going by his last few outings in national colours, the young right-hander seems to be delivering on his promise. Considered one of the hottest prospects to emerge from English cricket since the days of Kevin Pietersen, Banton was a part of the English team that got the better of Pakistan in the recent T20I series. He contributed scores of 71, 20 and 46 in the series and will back himself to kick on against Australia and show them just what all the fuss is about.
Jofra Archer will be raring to go up against the old enemy Australia, having not played white-ball cricket since England’s World Cup triumph more than a year back. Part of the Test squad that went up against England in the Ashes last year, Archer will be keen to pick up where he left off against the Aussies, having enjoyed a lot of success when the two teams met in red-ball cricket last time around. He’s played four Tests this year and taken eight wickets in those matches but expect him to come at the Aussies at full flight and remind them just what he’s capable of doing.
The Australian skipper in limited-overs cricket loves playing white-ball cricket against England in particular and has a record against them to back him up. In T20Is, he’s scored one hundred as well as three fifties and boasts an average of 70.83 against England. His strike rate of 189.73 against England will also worry their bowlers, who will know that getting Aaron Finch’s wicket will be crucial to their chances of victory. Finch, though, will back himself to punish the English bowlers and will be confident after scoring a 37-ball 53 in a recent practice match between Finch XI v Cummins XI at the Ageas Rose Bowl in Southampton.
Pat Cummins was lethal against the English during the Ashes last year and the Australian pacer will be eager to make his mark against them in the T20Is as well. He’s taken 36 wickets in 28 T20I matches so far and has an impressive bowling average of 19.86 as well as a miserly economy rate of 6.87 in the shortest format of the game. Likely to be given the responsibility of bowling the opening overs in the powerplay and in the death overs, Cummins thrives in such situations of pressure, and how England’s batsmen cope against him will go a long way towards dictating the outcome of the series.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Mike Hewitt
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