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World Cup T20: Australia prepares for a cookie against battle-hardened England

TREVOR BAYLISS: Australia is finding its feet, but England is battle hardened … their Twenty20 World Cup clash will be a CRACKER

  • England and Australia face off in vital clash at Twenty20 World Cup
  • Eoin Morgan’s side has looked fantastic so far and that’s due to more playing time
  • Australia has been a bit chilly, but is known for getting better at everything
  • How England handle Aaron Finch and David Warner could be the key to success


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England and Australia meet in Dubai on Saturday in what is a vital Twenty20 World Cup match for both sides and a nice little warm-up for the Ashes duel to come.

England have looked excellent so far, and part of that could be because they have played significantly more cricket than all other teams during the pandemic.

They are hardened by matches and it is one thing they have about Australia that they are still trying to rebound. The bulk of its players have barely played in recent months.

England are ready for a cookie against Australia at the Twenty20 World Cup on Saturday

England are ready for a cookie against Australia at the Twenty20 World Cup on Saturday

Australia will know that the most important time to play their best cricket is at the end of a tournament, not the beginning, and they have had a welcome habit over the years of always seeming to find a way in these great competitions.

But England will have gained a lot of confidence in the way it defeated the West Indies and Bangladesh. We’ve seen both turn and actual pace play a big role in this tournament so far and England have those bases covered.

England have something of a new-looking T20 attack in the UAE in the absence of Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Sam Curran, but they are all seasoned lads.

Chris Woakes has played a lot of international cricket and while Tymal Mills has not played as much as he would have liked due to injury, he has been around for a while and is proving that he is good enough for this England team.

Mills has impressed me. He’s been eager to get it right and has good rhythm and variations. England really has a lot of options. The depth of talent in its resources is coming to light.

Eoin Morgan's team is battle-hardened and has entered the competition in good shape.

Eoin Morgan's team is battle-hardened and has entered the competition in good shape.

Eoin Morgan’s team is battle-hardened and has entered the competition in good shape.

Australia has not played that many games, but it has been known to turn into tournaments.

Australia has not played that many games, but it has been known to turn into tournaments.

Australia has not played that many games, but it has been known to turn into tournaments.

It is no coincidence that two of the players who stood out for Australia in their opening win over South Africa, Josh Hazlewood and Glenn Maxwell, played a significant role in the recent IPL. It means that they have not come cold to this tournament.

A key to this game will be how Australia’s starters Aaron Finch and David Warner overcome the power play. They both scored touchdowns on Thursday night against Sri Lanka, which will give them confidence as they have both been running short of late.

Can Eoin Morgan keep Finch and Warner at bay again or can they overcome England’s attack? It will play an important role in the outcome of this clash.

In these terrains it doesn’t matter who it is, you have to hit a good length. England talk about hitting a “hard long” and are shooting a little shorter in this tournament, but, for me, it’s more a matter of hitting a hard long.

That means it would go a little fuller to the Aussies, I hope the pitch goes up and down a bit, and makes it difficult for the hitters to time the ball and get into a rhythm.

The key to England's success could be how they dealt with David Warner (left) and Aaron Finch.

The key to England's success could be how they dealt with David Warner (left) and Aaron Finch.

The key to England’s success could be how they dealt with David Warner (left) and Aaron Finch.

During the IPL, the Dubai window was more difficult to score than the Abu Dhabi window. It looked good, but it actually didn’t work as well as it looked. The ball did not come and was held in the field. Kane Williamson told me that it was difficult to feel inside a Dubai field. It was a battle the entire time.

And with the spin, the stranger would spin, then hold or slide. So I would switch bowlers regularly on this one instead of letting them throw three or four overs in a row, like England have been doing, to make sure the hitters can’t settle. I think Ashton Agar can play this game to give Australia another spin option.

So what is my prediction? I’m afraid I’m going to sit on the fence for this one. I just want to see a good competitive match and I’m sure I’ll get one. And whoever wins will take a big step towards the semifinals.

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