International cricket has been up and running in England for the past one month after COVID-19 pandemic brought the cricketing world to a screeching halt. After West Indies and Pakistan, the Australian Cricket team will be touring England to play limited-overs series.
The two arch-rivals will play 3 T20Is and 3 ODIS. The T20s will be played in the bio-secure venue of Rose Bowl, Southampton whereas the 3 ODIs will be played at Old Trafford, Manchester. Australia had announced a 21-member squad for the tour of England for the limited-overs series which will see Aaron Finch leading the visitors. Three uncapped players, Riley Meredith, Daniel Sams and Josh Philippe were picked by Cricket Australia while some notable players like D’arcy Short and Usman Khawaja were left out. For England, their superstar all-rounder Ben Stokes remains unavailable. The 29-year-old had left the Pakistan series after the first Test to be with his father who has been diagnosed with brain cancer.
The enmities of the two teams aside in the Ashes, the limited over contests in recent times has delivered high-octane entertainment to the fans. With the matches being played behind closed-doors, one would expect the intensity to drop but such is the rivalry that both teams won’t be conceding an inch. The 50–over World Champions will be facing a stiffer test as the Australian side is much stronger and capable than the two teams that have toured so far in the English summer.
In head to head matches in ODI, the Australians clearly have the upper hand as of the 149 matches played, the team from down under has won 82 whereas the hosts have only managed to won 62. In T20s the contest is little close but the Aussies have again edged the English as of the 16 matches played, Australians have won 9 and England have won 6.
The Australian side landed on the British shores and went straight to Derby to train at the County Cricket Ground. The Kangaroos played intra-squad matches at Rose Bowl, Southampton with a cricketer from Hampshire County Cricket Club also included to make a full 22-player squad. The two teams were named Finch XI and Cummins XI and were captained by Aaron Finch and Pat Cummins respectively.
All three T20s of the series will be played at Rose Bowl, Southampton where the pitch is expected to assist the spin-bowling after the entire summer being played here. England have made a surprise selection by excluding their Test captain Joe Root from the side. In the last T20 match England played, the Pakistani team showed that if put under some pressure the English batsmen have a tendency to wilt.
The three match ODI series will begin on 11 September and will be played behind closed doors in the bio-secure bubble of Old Trafford. The 50-over champions will have their task cut out here as the team will be up against a quality batting and bowling side.
Both the T20Is and ODIs will be aired live on Sony Ten Network in India. Other than the network's platforms, the live streaming of the matches will be available on Jio TV and Airtel TV.