Their win in the first T20 International might have been a hard grind but there was nothing scratchy about England in the second outing, in Southampton. Aided by Jos Buttler’s unbeaten 77, they strolled past Australia by 6 wickets to claim an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
The third and final T20I will be held at the same venue, Ageas Bowl on Tuesday, and while England will be looking for a whitewash, Australia will hope for some sort of momentum heading into the ODI series.
HEAD TO HEAD IN T20Is
Overall: Matches – 18 | ENG – 8 Wins | AUS – 9 Wins | N/R - 1
In England: Matches – 8 | ENG – 6 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.
Though Buttler did show otherwise, run-scoring has not been the easiest of jobs in Southampton over the last few years especially in the initial overs with the ball zipping about. In the first two T20Is as well, both England and Australia found the going tough in the first innings.
In 16 T20 matches played at Ageas Bowl since the start of 2018, batsmen have scored at 21.9 runs/wicket with the bowlers managing a wicket every 17.3 balls. The average first innings during this time has been a relatively middling 149.
A balanced side should be the way to go for the third and final T20I.
The pacers have better numbers than the spinners historically at Southampton in terms of wickets, strike rate and average. However, the surface has assisted the spinners especially in the second half of the innings so far this series.
In T20s here since 2018, pacers have picked 108 wickets so fall striking every 16.6 deliveries as compared to spinners who have returned 55 wickets at a bowling strike rate of 21.8.
Jofra Archer and Chris Jordan were excellent in the first two T20Is and should make it to your teams awhile among the spinners Ashton Agar and Adil Rashid could be considered.
As far as the batsmen go, Aaron Finch, Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow and Glenn Maxwell could make for a good top-order.
Having said that with the series result already decided, both teams could rest a few players so you should wait till the toss to make your final XI.
There could also be a few interesting matchups to look forward to.
Chris Jordan got the better of Glenn Maxwell in the second T20I, just when it looked like the all-rounder was cutting loose. Jordan has had the wood over Maxwell in the 20-over format having dismissed him three times in four innings.
David Warner has fallen to Jofra Archer both times this series and in general, has looked uncomfortable against him. Warner’s average against Archer in T20s reads a disappointing 10.
Dawid Malan’s sheer consistency is what sets him apart. He has played 15 T20Is to date and in almost every game he has made some sort of a contribution. In his international T20 career so far, Malan has scored 661 runs which includes 7 half-centuries and a century. For a minimum of 500 runs in T20Is, Malan’s average of 50.85 is the best in the world.
Another key reason why you should have Malan in your side is his ability to play both pace and spin equally well. His average against Pace in T20s is 34.37 while against spin it reads 37.61. Malan has steadied the ship in both games so far after the early loss of Jonny Bairstow. He is one player, who you can at most times rely on to help with crucial points.
The Criclytics Player Projection says Malan will score 19-40 runs in the third T20I in Southampton.
His side might not have been on the right side of the result so far but Aaron Finch has provided Australia with consistent starts in both T20Is scoring 46 and 40.
Australia’s leading run-scorer in the format since the start of 2018, Finch has scored 943 runs in 30 innings at an average of 39.29. Finch also loves playing in and against England as his average of 63.88 and strike rate of 176.8 suggests. The Australian captain hasn’t always looked his most comfortable at the top of the order but what is important is that he has scored runs. With the ODI series set to begin in a couple of day’s time, Finch will hope his side manage to win the final T20I in a bid to build some sort of momentum.
Our Criclytics Player Projection has Finch scoring 15-36 runs in the third T20I on Tuesday.
The highest wicket-taker for Australia in T20Is since the start of 2019, Ashton Agar has improved by leaps and bounds over the last few years in the shortest format. Add to it his important cameos lower down the order, he almost becomes indispensable. Agar has picked 19 wickets in 11 T20Is since the start of 2019, striking every 13.6 deliveries. What stands out here is his economy of just 6.1. Agar is the leading wicket-taker of the T20 series so far with four wickets in two matches. He is a more than capable batsman. On his day, he is one player who can fetch you a lot of points.
The Criclytics Player Projection says Agar will pick 0-1 wicket against England in the third T20I.
He might not always set the stage alight but Chris Jordan has been a critical component in England’s limited-overs setup over the last few years.The highest wicket-taker for England since the start of 2019 in T20Is, Jordan has picked up 23 wickets in 15 innings a terrific strike rate of 13. Jordan is England’s death-overs specialist. His economy is on the higher side but in fantasy cricket wickets are all that matter and Jordan scores heavily on that count.
Our Criclytics Player Projection says Jordan will pick 0-3 wickets against Australia on Tuesday.