After England’s men’s side were sent home by Australia on the wrong end of a 4-0 thrashing, the women’s team will have the opportunity to restore some pride in English cricket ahead of five T20s, one Test match and three ODIs. But who will make a winning start to the tour? Read on for our full Australia vs England first WT20 preview and prediction.
Australia vs England First WT20 Preview and Prediction
England’s preparation for this series did not get off to an ideal start as they lost all three warm-up games against the England A side, and fairly handily to boot. They did, however, enjoy a successful summer at home in white-ball cricket, beating India and New Zealand in T20 and ODI series. That included a particularly comprehensive 4-1 win over the White Ferns to conclude their summer programme. It seems safe to assume they will be hoping to recapture that sort of form here.
As for Australia, results for the game’s leading side have also been promising, particularly on home turf. They were last in action against India, who toured for a series of ODIs and T20s as well as a Test match. The red-ball game, as too many of the format are, was drawn, but Australia dominated with the white ball, winning every match bar two – a dead rubber in the ODI series and a washed out T20. That ODI loss did snap a world-record winning-streak, however.
For Australia, the big news is the absence of opening-batter Beth Mooney who fractured her jaw batting in the nets. She may yet return before the tour is finished, but will surely miss the entirety of the T20 series. That is a big blow to Australia, but there is some comfort in the availability of her partner Alyssa Healy. Captain Meg Lanning could move up the order to compensate for Mooney’s absence, with Ashleigh Gardner also an option in that position.
Ellyse Perry remains a versatile and vastly experienced option in the middle order, despite some concerns over her strike rate in this format, while Tahlia McGrath’s recent contributions with bat and ball have also been encouraging. The return of Jess Jonassen is welcome, particularly with Georgia Wareham out. The uncapped Alana King may be line for a debut. Sophie Molyneux will miss out, with Hannah Darlington a possible replacement. Annabel Sutherland and Tayla Vlaeminck should also play.
England will be looking to rely on runs from Tammy Beaumont and Danni Wyatt at the top of the order, with Nat Sciver, possibly playing in her last Ashes, the likeliest option to come in at number three. Keeper Amy Jones, Sophia Dunkley and captain Heather Knight will provide an engine room in the middle order. Katherine Brunt provides plenty of experience as an all-rounder, with the bowling department likely to be staffed by Sarah Glenn, Sophie Ecclestone and Tash Farrant, with Maia Bouchier also an option.
With neither side having played a great deal of cricket lately, England’s intra-squad matches aside, it’s hard to know exactly what sort of shape their games are in. But Australia have certainly had the better of this rivalry of late, both home and away. The T20s may well represent England’s best chance of racking up some wins, if nothing else due to the randomness of the format, but Australia will surely be determined to get off to a winning start on home turf.
Prediction: Australia win.
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