Australia and England line up for their second T20 battle inside four days this Saturday night. The home side took the honours in the opening battle between the teams with a century from star all-rounder Glenn Maxwell the undoubted highlight. Blasting an unbeaten 103, the Victorian reached three figures with a six that also doubled up as the winning runs. The victory in Hobart means the Aussies haven’t lost to England at home for five consecutive matches and sit two games clear at the top of the tri-series ladder. Although England will take positives from last Wednesday’s match, most notably their batting performance during the opening overs (they were 1-49 from five) there is doubt surrounding their ability to contain an Aussie batting line-up that has the Big Bash’s 2nd highest scorer of the season, Alex Carey, coming in at 7. Adil Rashid certainly demonstrated his ability to bamboozle, but he still went for 7.5 an over whilst Mark Wood was perhaps the pick of the bunch in Hobart but still finished wicket-less with an economy rate similar to Rashid’s. Although the $2.30+ odds on England to win this are tempting, we’re once again backing Darren Lehmann’s side to prove too strong.
Key stat: In six of their last seven T20 matches against England, Australia has recorded a total of 160+ runs.
Although Chris Lynn and Glenn Maxwell are tempting propositions, Aaron Finch is tough to look past in a match that shapes as his return from a hamstring strain. The Melbourne Renegades captain is a force in the two shortest formats of the game and prior to his injury had racked up 270+ runs against the English ODI attack in just three matches. Playing on his home Shield wicket of the MCG, Finch is likely to open alongside skipper David Warner and resume a T20i partnership that has yielded 380 runs in 17 innings. For the away side, Eoin Morgan is well worth considering at the odds. The England captain appears on the cusp of a big one and has now scored 20+ in seven of his last 10 innings.
Key Stat: Aaron Finch’s last two scores at the MCG are 107 (ODI) and 43 (BBL).