England looking shaky heading into Aussie T20 showdown but Starc injury shapes as major concern


Australia vs England is always a big game in cricket, regardless of the format. This weekend’s game could be the highest level we see during the T20 World Cup group stages.

Australia will come into the game on Sunday (3am AEST) feeling slightly more positive than their old foes. After a shaky start against Oman, Marcus Stoinis was able to get going in partnership with David Warner.

The pair alone got just shy the amount of runs Oman did but up until that point, there were many eyebrows raised after a poor start to the innings.

Mitch Marsh and Travis Head didn’t have terrible performances with the bat in the opening game, but will be hoping to build on what they did against Oman.

Glenn Maxwell registered a golden duck after a horror IPL campaign so he will want to put his start to this tournament behind him as quickly as possible.

Pat Cummins was a surprise omission from the starting line-up against Oman, but is expected to play against England. Stoinis carried his excellent batting display into the second innings, taking three wickets and showing he was a cut above the rest on the day.

Mitchell Starc performed well up until going off with a calf injury which may rule him out of the England game and puts his tournament under a cloud. If he is out, Australia’s chances of a second T20 World Cup crown will plummet. Josh Hazlewood didn’t give too many runs away, but did not to take any wickets.

In the end fairly comfortable, but a poor start against England could prove costly.

England themselves will need to bounce back from a below-par performance against Scotland before the rain ruined the contest. While Mark Wood (0-11) and Jofra Archer (0-12) were economical from their two overs, Adil Rashid (0-26) and Chris Jordan (0-24) struggled and overall the bowling display from England left a lot to be desired as their northern neighbours piled on 90 without loss in just 10 overs.

Marcus Stoinis starred with bat and ball in Australia’s T20 World Cup win over Oman. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The abandoned match means the spoils were shared with one point each. There was no guarantee England would’ve reached the rain-reduced target of 109 in 10 overs but it does give Australia the slight edge in group position so England have more ground to make up.

The absence of Ben Stokes is key, a player instrumental to England’s trophy win in Australia in 2022. While England are weaker, they are still an outside favourite to retain their crown but Jos Buttler’s side need to make a statement to show they are still a side who can make an impact.

India look like the side most capable of going all the way at the moment, but international team sport in tournaments can swing at any point.

Australia and England look like they could challenge India and Sunday’s game will be a fascinating metric for how the tournament could go.

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