Having played relatively more cricket in their summer, England have used the conditions to their advantage to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the T20 international series. Will Australia make a comeback in the dead rubber in Southampton on Wednesday morning (3am AEST)? We take a look at some reasons that might impact the game along with our betting picks.
Southampton, Wednesday 3am AEST
Australia’s batting has faltered badly this series. There have been patches of usual brilliance from their top order, led by captain Aaron Finch. However, losing key moments will often result in T20 losses against a clinical team. This was the case in both matches, as was admitted by Mitchell Starc.
"It's not an excuse but coming off five months without cricket doesn't help," Starc said. "You can't really simulate international matches by having nets or a centre-wicket practice. And T20 cricket is such a short game - those little moments have really cost us in the long run. We've been a little bit off where we want to be and I think that comes from a little bit of game time. There was still plenty of good stuff with bat and ball. I think we were just that little bit off, which I think you get from playing cricket.”
Australia will look to their best T20 player, David Warner, to carry them to a consolation win. He opened the series with 58 before he was dismissed for a duck in the second match. He is one of the best T20 players in the world right now, as is evidenced from some of his career stats (9276 runs in 282 matches at a strong average of 37.86). Impressively, he has a strike rate of 142 in his career. He also opens the innings, giving him the additional opportunity to bat longer than some of his colleagues.
Australia are a proud cricket team. They were beaten 5-0 in the ODI series in England after the ball tampering scandal in Cape Town. They were also beaten 5-0 in an ODI series in South Africa not too long ago. They will want to ensure they aren’t swept in another series, particularly against their fiercest rivals.
From a technical standpoint, they would have adjusted quickly after two matches, and be more prepared to win pivotal plays. Their bowling is arguably better than England’s with some fine fast bowlers in Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins. If there was one team I’d not want to rule out, especially with a full-strength squad, it’s Australia.
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