About the Match
The recently concluded Ashes Series that England won 3-0 comfortably, witnessed lot of sparks flying between the rival teams. Hosts England will come face to face with Australia once again for the 1st T20 match on August 29th at Southampton. After suffering the humiliating defeat, the Aussies will look for revenge here and will come out with all guns blazing. The last time they played in the T20 World Cup 2012, the Aussies had made it to the semi-finals as against England, who couldn’t get past the super eights. With the upcoming T20 World Cup in April 2014, both the teams are looking forward to experiment with new players and strengthen their foundation. There is tremendous pressure on both the teams and it will be a tough battle on Thursday.
With a 3-0 win in the Tests, the home team is bursting with confidence to make it a clean sweep once again. Though key players like Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen have been rested, the team is filled with players who have performed well in international as well as domestic cricket. Michael Carberry, who did very well in the Friends Life T20, has been included and is in excellent form. Stuart Broad returns as the team captain and has been playing well. Other players like Alex Hales, Boyd Rankin, Ravi Bopara and James Tredwell are also in good form. These younger players have a lot on their shoulders and need to better their performances. The Ashes win has boosted team morale and they will be looking to crush the visitors again.
After a humiliating defeat in the Tests, Australia is looking for a big comeback into the series. Confident about his T20 squad, Captain Michael Clarke will definitely lead his side in a fierce attack against the hosts. His erratic decision to declare the innings in the 5th test earned him heavy criticism but Clarke defended his judgments with sheer conviction. It needs to be seen what his game plan will be in the crucial T20 matches. Australia is relying heavily upon fine experienced players like Shane Watson and Glenn Maxwell, performed well for Hampshire. The team also has lot of expectations from the talented all-rounder James Faulkner and debutante Fawad Ahmed. Australia needs to rediscover their strengths and register a win here.
Both the teams are equally matched in the shortest version of the game with and with nothing to choose between them, we can expect and a game will battled out till the finish. Will Australia turnaround the series in this crucial match or succumb once again to the English? Can England keep its stronghold on the visitors and continue on their winning spree? The contest has generated a lot of interest already and the home crowd is going berserk. Will the hosts keep their nerves together and emerge victorious? Or will the Aussies successfully register a much needed victory? I think that though England has the home advantage, Australia will make a comeback into the series with a refreshing win.
Australia, 2.00 @ William Hill
Australian batting might not have performed well enough to bring back the Ashes Urn, but there were still glimpses of some beautiful and imposing innings. One of which was Shane Watson’s who singlehandedly thrashed English bowlers to take Australia in a commanding position. Watson seems to be back into his supreme touch and T20 is his forte. Considering his form and favorable factors, I think that Watson will be the top run scorer for the visiting team.
Top Run Scorer (Away):
Shane Watson, 4.33 @ William Hill