England vs Australia 2020, 1st T20, Southampton: Preview, Probable XIs And Weather Forecast
The Rose Bowl, Southampton. (AFP)

England face Australia in three Twenty20s in Southampton starting on Friday (September 4) before taking on their oldest foes in a further three ODIs in Manchester later this month.

The T20s should have served as preparation for October’s T20 World Cup in Australia but the Covid-19 outbreak means the next edition of the global showpiece will take place in India in 2021.

That does give both teams time to fine-tune their line-ups but equally they may want to give their strongest XIs as much as time as they can in their middle.

Australia are currently the world’s top-ranked T20 side, with much of their success built on a top order featuring captain Aaron Finch, David Warner and Steve Smith.

So even though the likes of Marcus Stoinis and Marnus Labuschagne have been in the runs during Australia’s warm-up matches in England, they are unlikely to displace the three premier batsmen.

“We’ve had a pretty settled T20 side over the last 12 months or so and all we can ask for is that guys bang so hard they are putting pressure on the guys in there,” said Australia coach Justin Langer, who can also call upon Glenn Maxwell in the middle-order after he took a break to deal with mental health issues.

England beat Australia in the semi-finals on the way to winning last year’s 50-over World Cup and white-ball captain Eoin Morgan believes consistency of selection is important if they are to replicate that triumph in the T20 equivalent.

“I don’t think we can have a scenario where we can play the majority of our games with a half-strength team and then expect to go into a World Cup as contenders when guys don’t know their roles or haven’t been familiarized with them,” he said.

ENGLAND vs AUSTRALIA, 1st T20 – WEATHER FORECAST

(Source: accuweather.com)

SQUADS

England: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood

Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa

PROBABLE XIs

England: Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Tom Banton, Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood

Australia: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa

(With AFP Inputs)