Australia grabbed a soul-crushing defeat from the jaws of victory after a middle-order implosion paved way for them to finish two runs short of England’ target in what turned out to be a cliffhanger of a first T20I at the bio-secure Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
Chasing 163 to win, Australia were in cruise control at 1-124 after 14.1 overs before Steve Smith’s dismissal led to them losing their next four wickets for a mere nine runs as England completed a comeback for the ages thanks to inspired leadership and some pretty poor batting from the visitors.
Coming into the second game, Australia would be hoping to turn the tide around. But will they make any changes to their playing XI?
Here’s a look at Australia’s predicted XI for the 2nd T20I against England-
David Warner continued with the swashbuckling form that he had displayed before the coronavirus-enforced lockdown in white-ball cricket.
The Aussie opener racked up his 18th half-century in T20I cricket during his 47-ball 58 and one can argue that his dismissal proved to be the clincher for England in the end.
Aaron Finch (C)
The Australian skipper looked in imperious form during his 32-ball 46 in the last game. He was quite belligerent, especially against the spinners.
Finch stitched a 98-run opening stand with David Warner but he would be ruing the fact that he couldn’t finish the game off as he fell to Jofra Archer to give England a chance, one that eventually led to their eventual victory.
Steve Smith, just like the opening duo of David Warner and Aaron Finch, did not like he was batting after such a long hiatus as he regularly found the middle of the bat.
That said, it was pretty uncharacteristic of him to squander the start like he did after he top-edged Adil Rashid to kickstart an eventual Australian collapse, something he’ll be hoping isn’t the case in the second T20I.
The ‘Big Show’ had a great outing with the ball as he claimed prized scalps of Eoin Morgan and Moeen Ali during his three-over spell of 2-14.
But he couldn’t replicate the feat with the bat as he was dismissed for a 2-ball 1 thanks to a ‘brain-fade’ moment that saw him give an easy catch to Eoin Morgan at short-cover off Adil Rashid.
The Australian all-rounder was his country’s last hope post the fatal collapse but Marcus Stoinis never really found any rhythm as he attempted to slog like a rusty gate during his 18-ball 23.
Stoinis found the middle of bat on only one instance in the final over, meaning that Australia eventually fell short by 2 runs.
Alex Carey (WK)
Alex Carey had a forgettable game, to say the least. The southpaw was a part of the fatal collapse that saw Australia lose 4 wickets for 9 runs.
Carey was undone by the pace of Mark Wood, who dislodged his stumps for a 5-ball 1.
Ashton Agar was taken to the cleaners in his very 1st over with Jos Buttler smashing him for 16 runs.
But the southpaw recoverer brilliantly in his next three overs as he gave away just 16 runs besides claiming the prized scalps of Jos Buttler and Tom Banton.
Pat Cummins, along with Kane Richardson, spearheaded the Australian pace-bowling department in the first game.
Cummins claimed the all-important wicket of Jonny Bairstow thanks to a brilliantly executed plan by him and skipper Aaron Finch, and returned with figures of 1-24 in 3 overs.
The tearaway southpaw did not have the best of starts in the last game as he neither conceded his quota of 4 overs nor he claimed any wicket.
Starc and Australia will be hoping for an improved show from their bowling spearhead in the next game.
Kane Richardson was the pick of the bowlers for Australia in the last game.
The right-hander lived up to his potential of being the Aussies death-over specialist as he claimed 2-14 in 3 overs, which included the prized scalp of Dawid Malan .4
Adam Zampa was taken to the cleaners in his last over in the death [22 runs] but barring that, the leg-spinner was largely good in his first outing post the lockdown. But he’ll be hoping for an improvement in the second game.