If the first T20 International between England and Australia was anything to go by, we are in for a cracker of a series. Australia dominated proceedings for close to 34 of the 40 overs only to spectacularly collapse in the final stages of their chase to hand England a two-run win. The visitors will most certainly be hurting and will be keen on setting the record straight when the two sides meet in the second T20I at Ageas Bowl, in Southampton on Sunday (September 6).
HEAD TO HEAD IN T20Is
Overall: Matches – 17 | ENG – 7 Wins | AUS – 9 Wins | N/R - 1
In England: Matches – 7 | ENG – 5 Wins | AUS – 1 Wins | N/R - 1
Last 5 matches: ENG – 3 Wins | AUS – 2 Wins
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms we come up with six different teams that could fetch crucial points.
Southampton has hosted just three international T20 matches in the last five years but the venue has seen a fair bit of domestic T20s owing to the Vitality Blast. And the numbers are skewed a bit in favour of the bowlers.
In 15 T20 matches played at Ageas Bowl since the start of 2018, the average run rate maintained has been a low 7.5. Batsmen have scored at a rate of 21.4 runs per wicket, with the bowlers picking a wicket every 17.1 balls.
In the opening T20I too both teams got off to flying starts but struggled to maintain the momentum in the middle stages.
You could opt for a bowling heavy setup for game 2.
While it was neck and neck in the first T20I, historically the fast bowlers have been more successful at Southampton than the spinners. They have returned more wickets, and have a better average and strike rate.
In T20s here since 2018, pacers have picked 103 wickets to fall striking every 16 deliveries as compared to spinners who have returned 51 wickets at a bowling strike rate of 21.8.
Jofra Archer and Pat Cummins gave a good account of themselves in the opening T20I and you could go for the two in your side. Mark Wood too could be considered.
As far as the batsmen are concerned, Aaron Finch, Dawid Malan, David Warner and Glenn Maxwell could make for a good top-order.
There could also be a few interesting matchups at our disposal.
The Aaron Finch v Jofra Archer battle should be an interesting one. The Australian captain has gotten out to Archer thrice in seven innings but also has scored a few runs against him.
Eoin Morgan has been terrific for England in the format over the last few years but he will have to be careful against Maxwell who has dismissed him thrice in six T20I innings.
On the other hand, Maxwell will need to be really wary of Archer. He has fallen to the pacer twice in three innings and averages just 5 against him.
David Warner ever-since his return from a year-long ban has been a force to be reckoned with. He has looked determined, focussed and more importantly, has translated that into runs. In his last 10 T20I innings, the swashbuckling opener has smashed 473 runs at a colossal average of 118.25 which includes five half-centuries and a century. His strike-rate too has been an excellent 139.5. While his teammates struggled for timing, Warner looked his fluent self during his 58 in the first game. He would have been gutted to not take his side over the line but now that he has a measure of the England bowlers, he will be keen on making amends in the second T20.
According to the Criclytics Projection, Warner will score 23- 44 runs against England on Sunday.
Our first X-factor Dawid Malan has been a model of consistency in the T20 format for England. In a power-packed top-order, Malan has provided the team with much-needed stability without compromising much on his strike-rate. Malan, in his T20I career, has scored 619 runs in 14 innings averaging 51.58 which includes 7 half-centuries and a century. He has managed at least a double-digit score in 13 of those 14 innings. Furthermore, Malan’s T20I average of 51.58 is the best in the world for any batsman with a minimum of 500 runs in the format.
Malan proved his worth yet again in the first T20I with a Man of the Match performance and is one player you can certainly rely on helping you with a lot of points.
The Criclytics Player Projection says Malan will score 16-37 runs in the second T20I in Southampton.
Glenn Maxwell is your quintessential T20 cricketer. He scores runs, he takes wickets and is a gun fielder. The all-rounder wasn’t able to shine with the bat in the first game but proved his worth with ball picking two crucial wickets.
Since the start of 2018, Maxwell has scored 738 runs in 24 T20Is averaging a strong 43.41 which includes four 50s and two centuries. He has also picked 11 wickets at a strike of just 10.9. Maxwell is a fantasy player’s delight and on his day can single-handedly help you achieve a lot of points.
Our Criclytics Player Projection has Maxwell scoring 8-23 runs and picking 0-1 wicket in the second T20I on Sunday.
Adil Rashid might not have eye-catching numbers but the leg-spinner has quietly done the job for his side in the middle-stages. The third-highest wicket-taker for England in T20Is since 2019, Rashid, in 13 innings has picked 14 wickets at a balls per dismissal ratio of 19.7. Rashid’s two wickets in the first T20I were crucial in helping England stage a comeback and he will be keen on doing a similar job come Sunday.
The Criclytics Player Projection says Rashid will pick 0-3 wickets against Australia in the second T20I.