England vs Australia 2018: 5 player battles to watch out for
After the infamous ball-tampering saga, the Australian team led by a new captain in Tim Paine is all set to take on the number one ODI side England.
Justin Langer, the newly appointed coach has already set the ball rolling by chalking out plans to redefine the public perceive the Australian side.
However, without David Warner and Steve Smith, the Australian side will have their backs against the wall and need the other players to step up and be counted and get the job done for the side against the hosts.
England, on the other hand, were humbled by Scotland in the one-off ODI and would want to get their house in order as they take on a much more formidable opponent in Australia.
Here in this slider, we take a look at five player battles which could determine the result of the match and the series as a whole.
#5 Billy Stanlake vs Jonny Bairstow
With the new ball and in the powerplay, this contest will be keenly observed as Billy Stanlake has been impressive ever since his Australian debut. He is pacy and gets disconcerting bounce and has the ability to pick up wickets.
He will be up against Jonny Bairstow who is enjoying a rich vein of form and will be taking guard in the match after scoring three successive hundreds in this format.
While Bairstow generally likes the get going from the outset, how he makes adjustments against the tall and lanky Stanlake will dictate the tone of the rest of the match and also the series.
Bairstow is very good off the backfoot and favours the pull and cut strokes and hence Stanlake cannot keep bashing the pitch as this length will work perfectly for the Yorkie.
Australia need to get rid of Bairstow early in the piece and thus Stanlake will have to put his hand up and get the job done.