England cricketer celebrates during match against Australia. England cricketer celebrates during match against Australia.

England set to face Australia in a clash of white ball champions

The two white-ball champions England and Australia are set to face each other in a much-anticipated game in Bridgetown. However, England are the ones defending their title and this game holds a lot of significance for them after their washed-out game against Scotland. Australia on the other hand are coming off from a scintillating victory against Oman courtesy of Marcus Stoinis who played a blistering knock to take his side to a respectable total in the first innings.

England would feel they are short on match practice coming into this World Cup with two games out of the four-match series against Pakistan prior to the mega event washed out and their opening game against Scotland also suffered from the same fate. Jos Buttler’s team looked perfectly balanced in the two completed games against Pakistan with both their batters and bowlers seeming to be in form. However, Buttler’s men looking anxious in their opening match as Scotland managed to score 90 in 10 overs without losing a wicket.

Australia also went through a nervy phase against Oman, but the experience of David Warner and Stoinis bailed them out. The veteran Australian opener could be facing England for the last time in national colors and a match-winning effort from him would likely reduce the chances of these two teams meeting again later in the tournament. On the other side of the picture, all eyes are on the returning Jofra Archer who will be facing Australia for the first time since 2020. 

Aussie skipper Mitchell Marsh will be concerned about the form of his star batter Glenn Maxwell who has been on a shocking run recently with an average of barely 8 in his last 14 T20 games for Australia and Royal Challengers Bengaluru with a golden duck in the opening game against Oman. His recent T20I record against England is not great either with 5 single-digit scores in 6 innings since 2020. Marsh, however, has put all his faith in Maxwell and said, “We know Maxi’s going to win us games”.

Buttler inspired his team to glory in 2022 beating Pakistan in the finals, however, things have been tough for him lately largely because of the embarrassing campaign last year in India at the ODI World Cup. 

Pat Cummins was rested for the first game against Oman, but he is expected to be back for the big match against the old rivals. Mitchell Starc suffered a few cramps during the previous game but he is believed to be match-fit which could mean Nathan Ellis to miss out. With Marsh not fit to bowl yet, Australia will be sticking with the all-rounder duo of Maxwell and Stoinis. 

England can look to replace Mark Wood with Reece Topley to give the fast bowler some rest. No other tweaks in the playing XI are expected from Buttler’s side.

Kensington Oval has produced a variety of results in the four fixtures hosted here. One of them saw a low-scoring thriller between Namibia and Oman which went to the super over while on another day Scotland was able to score 90-0 in 10 overs against England. This match will however be played on a new surface and some rain is forecasted during the course of the match.