England enter the Trans-Tasman Tri Series on Wednesday when they head to Hobart to take on Australia in what is actually a big match in the tournament even at this relatively early stage of it.
Australia won the opening match of the competition at the weekend and they can put one step in the final if they can win this game but England will open the tournament right up if they can come out on top.
To be fair to Australia they were excellent in the first match. They set the tone with the ball where they were very good up front and once Billy Stanlake and ripped through the New Zealand top order you sensed there was no way back for the visitors. Australia were shaky with the bat to begin with but soon powered home.
If they can put together that performance again here then they are entitled to think they will be tough to beat but this remains their weakest format so we shouldn’t think a repeat performance is a given. You would think their bowling is going to be under more pressure here and it will be interesting to see how they cope if that is the case.
England will go into this series in buoyant mood after thrashing Australia in the ODIs. They have had an emphatic win in a warm up game for this competition and have some key players back who missed that match so they should be feeling really positive heading into the contest. A win here would give them a great chance of making the final.
This is probably England’s strongest format right now and they have a golden chance to show that. They have a very strong batting line up and when you look at the players in the squad who may not play that is perfectly highlighted and they have plenty of variety and options when it comes to the ball so they tick all boxes.
There is no reason for Australia to change a winning team so D’Arcy Short could play for his country on his home ground. If they do change things up a little then Travis Head could come into the side.
England are expecting to have Alex Hales, Jason Roy and Chris Jordan fit for the match after they sat out the warm up game. It looks like Dawid Malan will feature so the final selection decision could be about which Curran brother plays.
I’ll take two bets in this second match of the tournament. The first of those is on England who I just think are a better side than Australia. I think they have more variety in their bowling attack and they have a batting line up which can destroy sides in a few overs. Australia looked much better than they have done for a while in the opener to the tournament but I need to see that from them again before I believe they have turned the corner. England are a really good side in T20 and they can show that here.
I also expect the sixes to flow on this Hobart ground. They flowed here in the Big Bash League which has just finished and with the square boundaries gettable and the straight boundaries not out of reach the sixes should come along regularly. There is enough power in both batting line ups to belt a number of sixes so I expect to see the dozen which would cover the 11.5 line.
Back England to beat Australia for a 4/10 stake at 2.25 with Betfair
Back them here:
Back Over 11.5 sixes for a 4/10 stake at 1.80 with Ladbrokes