When will England play next in T20 World Cup 2022? Date, time, how to watch and what to expect from Australia
Australia got their T20 World Cup campaign back on track with a convincing seven-wicket win against Sri Lanka in Perth on Tuesday night. It followed the tournament hosts’ heavy defeat to New Zealand in their opening match last Saturday which put their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals in jeopardy. England followed up with a shock loss to Ireland on Wednesday. All eyes now turn to Friday’s blockbuster showdown between the old foes in Melbourne, with the match at the MCG now a virtual eliminator for both teams – with the loser virtually out of the tournament.
Has Australia improved since the series loss to England?
Jos Buttler’s side warmed up to the World Cup with a 2-0 series win against the defending champions and it would probably have been a 3-0 whitewash but for the weather that saved Australia in the final game in Canberra. To say the hosts have improved since then would be a stretch. If anything, they have gotten worse, with the win against the Sri Lankans extremely nervous at times and the team looking far from settled.
What has changed about Australia?
Losing so heavily to New Zealand in Sydney last weekend rattled the Australians and crucially hurt their net run rate – a key point given it could be the deciding factor in who reaches the semi-finals from Group 1 at this Super 12 stage. An ongoing theme over the past few weeks has been the poor form of captain Aaron Finch, who recently stepped down as one-day captain and is also likely to retire from T20s after this World Cup. The specter of the 2018 Cape Town ball-tampering scandal has also been raised thanks to new books by former South Africa captain Faf Du Plessis and former Australian skipper Tim Paine that have been serialized in local media in recent days. Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh insisted stirring up the “sandpaper gate” was not a distraction ahead of the Sri Lanka game. But it will surely be brought up again before Friday’s clash with England.
England vs Australia info
- Start time: 09:00 Friday 28 October
- Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia
- TV coverage: Sky Cricket from 8.30am
- Weather forecast: Light drizzle is expected in Melbourne on Friday morning
Live Streaming: Watch it live NOW. You can buy a one-off day pass for £11.99 or a monthly pass for £33.99.
Who is Australia’s biggest threat?
Marcus Stoinis. The all-rounder changed the game against Sri Lanka with 59 from 18 balls – Australia’s fastest T20 half-century and the second fastest in World Cup history. Stoinis gave a glimpse of his threat against England in that series earlier this month – scoring 65 runs from the middle order in 32 balls at a strike rate of 203. The 33-year-old, crucial to Australia’s World Cup victory in the UAE last year, will head to Melbourne full of confidence. David Warner will be another big threat, the opener always ready for matches against England in any format and he was electric in the field in Perth on Tuesday. Australia won’t relinquish the title without making some noise and of their team, Warner is the loudest voice and influence. Also, let’s not forget the seam attack, especially Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, both of whom are capable of turning a game around with the ball.
Who is Australia’s biggest weakness?
It’s simply Finch. It was hard to watch him hit on Tuesday. He looks like a man not only out of shape, but out of time. Finch, 35, scored 31 off 42 balls and just couldn’t time anything. His strike rate of 73.80 is the lowest for anyone who has faced 40 balls or more in a T20 World Cup match. At one point during Stoinis’ blitz, the stump mic picked up Finch and exclaimed “Oh my God!” after he hacked a half-volley from Sri Lanka spinner Maheesh Theekshanka down to long for one. It was the kind of delivery most in-form batsmen would have sent into the stands for six, but Finch struggles. “You can’t have a player who scores 27 from 39 deliveries,” former Sri Lanka star Russel Arnold said in the commentary box. “Throughout this tournament, it’s going to hurt.” Finch also cut a frustrated figure in the field, the Australian captain hitting the ground five times after he misfielded the last ball of Sri Lanka’s innings, letting the ball go for four.
Is Australia likely to change their team?
The question is, will Finch let himself go? Most Australian fans would prefer to see Cameron Green or even Steve Smith in the team instead of their tortured captain. But he is unlikely to step aside ahead of such a big game. The T20 captaincy is a huge responsibility and there are so many tactical nuances that it will be difficult for anyone else to take over at such short notice. Instead, Finch can move down the order to keep him away from the new ball. Australia’s Test and ODI captain Pat Cummins has also struggled for form in this World Cup, conceding 82 runs in two matches so far, with Australian legend Mark Waugh even calling for him to be dropped for England – the match. If Cummins were to be dropped, Kane Richardson is a likely replacement, although Green would again enter the equation. One change that could well happen is spinner Adam Zampa returning to the post-Covid XI for Ashton Agar, although that depends on whether he has stopped showing symptoms.
Key moments from England’s defeat to Ireland
Stirling effort from Wood
Just as in England’s first match, Mark Wood struck again in his first over, the third of the match, removing Paul Stirling as Ireland’s dangerman found Sam Curran at deep third man.
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Andrew Balbirnie brought up his 50 in 36 balls, but after smashing Sam Curran for an 87-metre six in the 15th over, he was caught in the next on 62 with Liam Livingstone. Ireland were 132 for five when Livingstone bowled George Dockrell next ball.
The Irish strike early
The shock was once Josh Little dismissed Jos Buttler with the second ball in England’s chase and the skipper fell behind without his team putting a run on the board.
Fionn Hand played his first match in this World Cup and his first legal delivery, a beauty that took shape, saw him bowl Ben Stokes as England slumped to 29 for three in the sixth over.
How does Australia feel ahead of Friday’s big game?
Nervous but probably relieved, there is now as much on this game for England after their defeat against Ireland. Simply put, the loser doesn’t make it to the semi-finals. There is some pressure. Who will handle it best?