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Simon Hughes: England will have their work cut out against dangerous Australia

30 Aug | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Simon Hughes: England will have their work cut out against dangerous Australia

Australia boast plenty of power with both bat and ball, but in-form all-rounder David Willey could be the man to fight fire with fire

David Willey is the obvious man to watch when England play Australia in a T20 match at Cardiff on Bank Holiday Monday.

Willey uses the new white ball cleverly and destroyed Warwickshire in the NatWest Blast semi-final on Saturday.

He had the same effect on New Zealand in England’s previous T20 match in June, clean bowling the dangerous Martin Guptill with the third ball of the innings and taking two other wickets as a rejuvenated England won by 56 runs.

And it was only just over two weeks ago that Willey blitzed an amazing 40-ball hundred against Sussex at Hove.

He will not, however, be able to take quite as many liberties with Australia’s bowling attack.

I saw them bowl in Belfast on Thursday against Ireland.

Mitchell Starc – the world’s top ranked one day bowler (although he is only ranked 5th in T20s) controls the white Kookaburra ball better than the red Duke, and produced some searing yorkers.

He was partnered by Nathan Coulter-Nile – a lively right-armer who is quicker than he looks and regularly surprises batsmen for pace.

Being sidelined for a while with various injuries also does not seem to have affected the potency of Pat Cummins, who generates pace and bounce from a strong body action.

Mitchell Marsh completes a formidable Australian seam attack.

The England batting – kicked off by Alex Hales and possibly Moeen Ali – will have to be at its sharpest, especially as there is no Joe Root to rely on who has been rested.

It might be a good opportunity to give Hampshire’s talented stroke maker James Vince an international debut.

Yet Australia’s batting is just as impressive as their bowling.

The dashing Aaron Finch is injured but the young Queenslander Joe Burns looked a substantial replacement in Ireland, a powerful driver and puller of the ball with a better defence than Finch.

His opening partnership with David Warner looks threatening, and since it will be followed by heavyweight strikers like Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell and Shane Watson, they won’t need to hold back.

The England bowlers will have their work cut out.

It is up to the English batsmen to post a substantial score, but without Root and with captain Eoin Morgan short of runs and confidence since his barnstorming batting in June, it won’t be easy.

There will be a lot of responsibility on Hales, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler – as well as Willey – to make effective contributions.

Australia look stronger on paper and the straight boundaries at Cardiff are invitingly short.

England v Australia T20 match betting