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Australia vs England: Five players to look out for in the Twenty20 series
England head to Australia to prepare for the T20 World Cup after a thrilling series victory in Pakistan, with all the action exclusively live on BT Sport.
England head to Australia for a three-match T20 series ahead of the World Cup, with all the action exclusively live on BT Sport.
They arrive after a thrilling series win over Pakistan, sealed by a comprehensive 67-run victory in the decider in Lahore.
Ahead of the Australia matches, we’ve profiled some of the players to look out for in the must-watch series.
David is the million-dollar man with no first-class experience ready to take international cricket by storm.
The hard-hitting batsman is emblematic of the sport’s shifting tectonic plates, rising up the ranks by playing in franchise leagues around the world.
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At the IPL, the most lucrative of all, he became the top-earning Australian in the auction, fetching more than the likes of Pat Cummins and David Warner despite never playing a first-class game.
The 26-year-old has played 14 T20 internationals for Singapore but was raised in Western Australia and switched allegiances ahead of the World Cup.
He made his debut for the defending world champions in India last month, scoring 18 and 2 before he smashed a 27-ball 54 in the decider in Hyderabad.
“It’s nice to start off well in a new team,” he said after his half-century. “It’s nice to feel like I’ve landed on my feet.”
His remarkable rise could come at the expense of Steve Smith, who is arguably the most under-pressure Australian batsman in the format.
David will be very hard to leave out after a sensational rise, starting with the three-match series against England.
Brook has enjoyed a breakthrough year and is establishing himself as a cross-format star for England.
The Yorkshireman made his Test and T20 debuts this year and shone in Pakistan, ending up as England’s leading run scorer and their player of the series.
He scored 238 runs at an average of 79.33 batting at five and has the game to flourish in Australian conditions.
The 23-year-old failed to make an impact for the Hobart Hurricanes in the most recent edition of the Big Bash but looks to have taken his game to a whole new level since his spell in Tasmania.
Brook’s stunning strike rate and dazzling array of shots in Pakistan suggests the future could be now for England, but the conundrum comes in the form of the returning Ben Stokes.
England’s Test captain last played a T20 international in March 2021 against India and missed the Hundred to concentrate on his red ball responsibilities.
Coach Matthew Mott is confident the talismanic all-rounder will be a gamechanger at the World Cup, labelling him a “free hit”.
It feels inconceivable that Stokes will miss out which could be bad news for Brook despite his heroics in Pakistan, although Liam Livingstone’s injury status muddies the water.
Brook is already viewed as indispensable by some, but more success in the forthcoming Australia series could force the hand of England’s selectors.
Towering left-arm seamer Topley has given England’s bowling attack a new dimension since his return to the white-ball set up.
The Surrey bowler made his debut in 2015 but a lean spell and injury problems saw him in the international wilderness for over four years.
He returned last year, making three one-day international appearances, and has been a revelation in 2022 as England embarked on a new era after Eoin Morgan’s retirement.
The 28-year-old was the standout bowler with the white ball this summer, taking 17 wickets across 10 limited-overs appearances and he recorded the best ever figures for England in a men’s ODI when he took 6-24 against India at Lord’s.
His record of 19 wickets at 29.94 with an economy rate of 8.22 is unspectacular, but his demonstrable improvements and obvious points of difference make him critical for England.
His renaissance is a major bonus after England’s hopes of glory in the previous two T20 World Cups were let down by their death bowling.
He played in four of the seven matches in Pakistan and is likely to feature in the Australia series as England look to settle on a bowling unit for their World Cup opener against Afghanistan.
Opener and wicketkeeper Salt is another batsman to leave Pakistan with his reputation enhanced.
He staked a World Cup claim with an astonishing unbeaten 88 from only 41 balls in the sixth match in Lahore to propel England to victory and looks assured opening the batting.
“The way I want to play is aggressive and I want to win as many games as possible while I’m in an England shirt,” he said after his explosive match-winning innings.
The Sussex man marginally outperformed the returning Alex Hales at the top of the order, scoring 167 runs at 27.83 in seven innings, with a strike rate of 157.54.
He didn’t make another score of note in the historic series though and probably hasn’t yet done enough to usurp Hales who has an excellent Big Bash record and 10,000 T20 runs under his belt.
Salt, therefore, is expected to be a World Cup back-up with Hales and captain Jos Buttler opening the batting, but he could prompt a rethink if he impresses in the preceding Australia series.
Another option would be for Salt to continue his partnership with Hales at the top of the order while Buttler drops down the order to adopt a finisher role similar to the 50-over format.
Either way, he is likely to be given a final opportunity to play his way in against Australia.
Warner was sensational as Australia sealed their maiden T20 World Cup crown last year and the veteran opener has a superb record on home soil.
He was named player of the tournament, scoring 289 runs at 48.6, including 53 off 38 balls in the final.
The 35-year-old averages 45.11 in the format in Australia compared to 33.55 overall and returned in the two-match series against the West Indies where he scored 14 and 75 after missing out in India.
Cameron Green, who hasn’t been named in Australia’s World Cup squad, deputised for him brilliantly, but Warner is expected to slot back in at the top of the order alongside captain Aaron Finch.
He’s also in talks to have the lifetime leadership ban imposed on him after the 2018 ball-tampering scandal wiped after Finch’s retirement from the 50-over format.
“I think at the end of the day any opportunity to captain would be a privilege,” he said.
With the upcoming World Cup, an away Ashes and 50-over World Cup all taking place in the next 14 months, Warner still has so much to offer before he follows Finch into retirement.
He is expected to feature in the England series as he looks to build momentum ahead of their World Cup opener against New Zealand.
Watch England take on Australia in the first of three T20 matches from 8.30am on BT Sport 1 on Sunday 9 October.