1st T20 Recap
Aaron Finch won the toss and elected to field first which was expected on that pitch. England went in with a batsman short as they played both Archer and Mark Wood.
Jos Buttler who was returning to the T20 side got England off to a flyer. He took on Ashton Agar who bowled the second over for 16 runs. He continued to go after the bowing as he got a very good 44 from just 29 balls. Bairstow got out to Cummins in the fourth over without contributing much. Dawid Malan who has been prolific for England in the T20 format, once again got off to a good start and kept the scoreboard ticking. Once Jos Buttler got out, apart from Malan, no one really got in as Australia pulled it back very well. Malan made a brilliant 66 from 43 balls. Australia did a great job as a bowling unit, but Zampa’s 18th over in which 22 runs were conceded helped England get to a par score of 162/7.
In return, Australia got off to a fantastic start with Finch and Warner taking on the English bowlers. The pair added 98 runs in 11 overs which really took the game away from England. Aaron Finch fell to Archer for 46 as he failed to clear the mid off fielder, but Warner went on to score a half century. Steve Smith coming out at number 3 showed no signs of rustiness as he pulled his first two balls for 4. Australia were cruising at 124/1 with 39 needed off 36 balls. Adil Rashid then bowled the 15th over that changed the match. Smith missed a ripping leg spinner in the first ball and then he opted to sweep the next ball to combat the spin, and found the safe hands of Bairstow in the deep. Maxwell who came in should have looked to play out Rashid’s final ball, but he tried to go over the covers for a boundary facing just his second ball which lead to his dismissal and put Australia in a bit of trouble. Soon after that Archer bowled David Warner which brought two new batsman to the crease. Marcus Stoinis failed to find boundaries at the right time and the England bowlers pounced in on the opportunity. With 15 required off the last over, Stoinis finally connected one which went for a 6 and spiced up the match. But Tom Curran executed his yorkers very well after that and England managed to steal the thriller by 2 runs in the end.
Australia have lost a game that they should have easily won and this might hurt them in the end.
Third Man Observations
The Australian bowlers got hit around the park by Buttler but they were very quick to realize the nature of the pitch and quickly adapted by changing to Cross seamers, Cutters and taking pace off the ball which worked very well for them.
Two overs off two leg spinners Adam Zampa and Adil Rashid really changed the game today. In the first innings, it was a debatable decision when Aaron Finch gave the ball to Adam Zampa in the 18th over when Starc, Cummins and Richardson had overs left under their belt. When England were struggling at 125/6 in 17 overs, this over of Zampa went for 22 runs which helped England get to a respectable first innings Score. In the second innings, as Australia were on their way to vicoty, Adil Rashid bowled the 15th over in which he picked up two important wickets of Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell, condeding just 3 runs and this over really started the collapse for Australia and they ended up losing the game from there.
Looking back, if Australia managed these two overs better, they would have had a good chance to win this match.
Fast Forward to 2nd T20
This loss will be difficult for Australia to digest. In the next games, England will definitely have the psychological advantage and the positivity to come back even if they are in poor positions where as Australia will feel the pressure even if they get into good positions after this loss. Australia should take confidence out of the fact that they dominated most part of this match and just take more responsibility in crunch moments to win the series.
England on the other hand have the momentum and will just look to rectify the mistakes in the batting department.
Its a must win for Australia and as the number one side in T20 cricket, they are expected to come back harder and hence it should be another cracker off a match.
England should be going in with the same line up having won the game. Playing one allrounder short might have been an area of concern, but it would be difficult for any bowler to be replaced after this bowling effort. Although England will be stubborn about opening with Jos Buttler, at the moment with the strength that England have in their top order talent, with Bairstow, Banton and Roy to come back, I feel, Jos Buttler playing the finishers role will help the team much more. They have enough talent to give the same impact that Buttler can opening the innings but there really isn’t anyone to play the finishers role like he can.
England Probable XI : 1) Jos Buttler (wk) 2) Jonny Bairstow 3) Dawid Malan 4) Tom Banton 5) Eoin Morgan (c), 6) Moeen Ali, 7) Tom Curran, 8) Chris Jordan, 9) Adil Rashid, 10) Jofra Archer, 11) Mark Wood
Australia is also expected to go with an unchanged playing XI after dominating most part of the match. They might however considering replacing Stoinis with Mathew Wade as Stoinis is more effective at the top of the order and has struggled in the past as well to come in the middle order and get going straight away. Mitch Marsh could also be considered as like to like replacement, but he too takes his time to get set early on.
Australia Probable XI : 1) Aaron Finch (c), 2) David Warner, 3) Steve Smith, 4) Glenn Maxwell, 5) Matthew Wade, 6) Alex Carey, 7) Aston Agar, 8) Pat Cummins, 9) Mitchell Starc, 10) Adam Zampa, 11) Kane Richardson
Key to Success
England – Jos Buttler
Australia – Glenn Maxwell