Wednesday, November 25, 2020
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‘Majority of our best team are back’

England captain Eoin Morgan and Australia captain Aaron Finch
England beat Australia in their most recent limited-overs game, last year’s World Cup semi-final
Venue: Ageas Bowl, Southampton. Dates: 4, 6, 8 September
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, Radio 4 LW, online, tablets, mobiles and BBC Sport app. Live text commentary and in-play clips on the BBC Sport website. Highlights on BBC Two at 23:20 BST. Second T20 live on BBC One at 13:50 BST.

England will field close to their best team “for the first time this summer” in the opening Twenty20 against Australia, says captain Eoin Morgan.

The Ageas Bowl in Southampton will host the first of three Twenty20s on Friday.

Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Sam Curran return to the squad after missing the Pakistan T20 series because of their Test involvement.

“It means a huge amount. We’re seeing the majority of our best team on the park and that’s great,” said Morgan.

“I don’t think we have to go out and pick our best XI every series we play, because we can’t put all our eggs in one basket.”

The second T20 will be live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from 13:50 BST on Sunday.

Australia are top of the International Cricket Council T20 rankings and England second.

The series will be followed by three one-day-internationals at Emirates Old Trafford from 11 September.

The T20 World Cup, due to start in Australia in October, was moved to India in 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

England stars return to white-ball cricket

With Jason Roy missing because of a side strain, wicketkeeper Buttler will open the batting for England alongside Jonny Bairstow.

It means Tom Banton or Dawid Malan could miss out, despite both impressing in the drawn T20 series against Pakistan that finished on Tuesday.

All-rounder Ben Stokes, who missed the last two Tests and T20s against Pakistan to visit his ill father in New Zealand, is still missing, while Test captain Joe Root and all-rounder Chris Woakes are not part of the T20s but feature in the one-day squad.

England have been the fastest scoring team in T20 cricket since the 2016 World Cup, but have also been the most expensive with the ball.

T20 squad: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood. Reserves: Liam Livingstone, Saqib Mahmood.

ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood. Reserves: Joe Denly, Saqib Mahmood.

What about Australia?

Riley Meredith
Riley Meredith, 24, has taken 27 wickets in 21 domestic T20 matches

Australia, who have not played a competitive match since 13 March, arrived in the UK on 24 August and quarantined at Derby’s County Ground before travelling to Southampton.

They have won nine of their past 11 matches and their past four series, and, in T20 captain Aaron Finch and David Warner, have the “best opening partnership in the world”, according to coach Justin Langer.

Warner is Australia’s highest T20 run-scorer with 2,207 at an average of 31.52 and strike-rate of 140.48, while Finch is second with 1,989 runs at an average of 38.25 and strike-rate of 155.87.

Marnus Labuschagne scored a 51-ball century in Australia’s final intra-squad T20 warm-up game on Tuesday, but Finch said he “might have to wait a little bit longer” to make his T20 international debut.

All-rounder Glenn Maxwell also made a hundred in a 50-over practice game. He has not played for Australia since October 2019 after taking a break for mental health reasons then suffering an elbow injury.

Pace bowler Riley Meredith, wicketkeeper Josh Philippe and all-rounder Daniel Sams, all of whom have impressed in the domestic Big Bash League, have yet to make their Australia debuts.

Australia’s T20 and ODI squad: Aaron Finch (capt), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey (wk), 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 (wk), David Warner, Adam Zampa.

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