Having successfully hosted West Indies, Ireland and Pakistan, it is now time for England to welcome Australia to their shores. The tour will kick-start with a three-match T20 International series with all games scheduled to be played at the Ageas Bowl, in Southampton.
HEAD TO HEAD IN T20Is
Overall: Matches – 16 | ENG – 6 Wins | AUS – 9 Wins | N/R - 1
In England: Matches – 6 | ENG – 4 Wins | AUS – 1 Wins | N/R - 1
Last 5 matches: ENG – 2 Wins | AUS – 3 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.
There haven’t been a lot of international T20 matches played at Southampton over the last few years but the venue has seen a fair few domestic T20 games owing to the Vitality Blast. And the numbers suggest that the surface here has been favourable to bowlers.
In 14 T20 matches played at Ageas Bowl since the start of 2018, batsmen have scored at a rate of 21.1 runs per wicket, the second-lowest across any venue in England during the time period. The average run rate maintained is also a low 7.5 while the bowlers have managed a wicket every 16.9 balls.
However, both Australia and England have a solid top-order in place so you should opt for a balanced side for the opening T20I.
The fast bowlers have ruled the roost in T20 matches played at Southampton over the last two years. They have returned more wickets, and have a better average and strike rate than spinners.
In T20s here since 2018, pacers have picked 97 wickets to fall striking every 15.5 deliveries as compared to spinners who have returned 45 wickets at a bowling strike rate of 22.6.
You are truly spoilt for choice as far as the fast bowlers are concerned with both Australia and England packing a punch. You could go for the likes of Jofra Archer, Mitchell Starc and Chris Jordan in your side while among the spinners you could choose between Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa.
As far as the batsmen are concerned, Aaron Finch, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan and Glenn Maxwell could make for a good top-order.
There could also be a few interesting matchups at our disposal.
Glenn Maxwell can be lethal in the backend of an innings but he will have to be really careful against Chris Jordan, who is excellent in the death. The pacer has dismissed Maxwell twice in three T20 innings.
The Eoin Morgan v Pat Cummins battle should also be good. The England captain has faced the pacer just twice in T20s but has a strike rate of 212.5 against him.
The fact that Eoin Morgan has been actively playing over the last month or so and been in good touch makes him a prime candidate for the captain’s role. He showed good form in the ODI series against Ireland and then again during the T20I series against Pakistan a few days back. Morgan has been in excellent nick since the start of 2019 in the 20-over format. He has scored 494 runs in 15 innings averaging a strong 44.91 which includes 5 half-centuries. Morgan is undoubtedly one of the best finishers in the game and if he gets on a roll, the England captain can help you score a lot of points.
According to the Criclytics Projection, Morgan will score 14- 29 runs against Australia on Friday.
Remember Aaron Finch’s whirlwind 156 off just 63 balls in 2013, which at the time was the highest score in all T20Is? That knock came at this very ground against these very opponents. Finch has always enjoyed playing England. In 9 T20 innings against them, the Australian captain has scored 425 runs averaging a strong 70.83 which includes three fifties and a ton. What stands out here is his strike rate of 189.7. Finch also has been in decent form in the last year or so. Since January 2019, he has scored 326 runs in 11 innings averaging 36.22. Finch loves playing in and against England and that is one very strong reason why he should make it to your side.
Our Criclytics Player Projection has Finch scoring 19-36 runs in the first T20I on Friday.
One critical component while building any fantasy team is to check how consistent the batsman has been and Dawid Malan scores heavily on that count. He might have played only 13 T20Is but has shown remarkable consistency in the format. Malan, in his T20I career, has scored 553 runs in 13 innings averaging 50.27 which includes 6 half-centuries and a century. Malan has also been extremely effective against both spin and pace and that could come into good use against Australia. If he gets going, Malan is one player who can guarantee you a lot of points.
The Criclytics Player Projection says Malan will score 8-25 runs in the first T20I in Southampton.
Mitchell Starc has not played a lot of T20Is owing to his commitments in other formats but whenever given a chance, he has shown his effectiveness. Since 2019, Starc, in 8 T20Is has picked 12 wickets at a balls per dismissal ratio of 14.3. His economy might be on the higher side but in fantasy cricket picking wickets matters and Starc does well there. It will be interesting to see how the England top-order handles Starc. They have in the past shown susceptibility against left-arm pace and if Starc can get his inswingers going, England better watch out!
The Criclytics Player Projection says Starc will pick 0-3 wickets against England on Friday.