ENGLAND and Australia do battle for the first time this year as the two sides meet in a crunch T20 international.
- TV/Live stream: Sky Sports Cricket/NOW TV
- Toss: Australia chose to field
Follow ball-by-ball updates from the Rose Bowl with our live blog below…
OVER 0.5: ENGLAND 4-0 (BUTTLER 3, BAIRSTOW 0)
Bairstow is beaten all ends up by Starc when facing his first ball.
OVER 0.4: ENGLAND 4-0 (BUTTLER 3, BAIRSTOW 0)
Starc replies with a couple of dot balls.
The second was a full toss but Buttler could only pick out the man at mid-off.
Buttler is then off the mark by chipping the ball up through midwicket and running two.
A single down to third man follows.
OVER 0.1: ENGLAND 1-0 (BUTTLER 0, BAIRSTOW 0)
Wide ball to start the game.
Starc was way off there.
HERE WE GO
Starc to bowl the first over, Buttler to face.
NEARLY READY TO GO
The players are making their way out onto the pitch at the Ageas Bowl for the first of three T20's between the sides.
Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow stroll out into the middle to open the batting for England.
BUTTLER AND BAIRSTOW TO OPEN
Jos Buttler comes into the side and will open the batting with regular opener Jonny Bairstow, with Tom Banton dropping down to number four.
Speaking before the game, England skipper Eoin Morgan said:
“I think the most important thing for us is trying to maximise our potential with the players that we have.
“Trying to find roles that achieve that, a year out from the World Cup gives us plenty of time to have a look.
“We do have a lot of strength and depth in that top three position, that guys are vying for, which is a great headache to have.
“But we'll see over the course of the next year or so in the lead in to India and the World Cup, and see how we go.”
After winning the toss, Australia skipper Aaron Finch said:
“Looks like a really good wicket, we think it will stay together pretty well, and it's nice conditions to chase in.”
Credit: Getty Images
This is how Australia line-up tonight.
Some serious power hitting at the top of the order.
5 Finch, 31 Warner, 49 Smith, 32 Maxwell, 4 Carey, 17 Stoinis, 46 Agar, 30 Cummins, 56 Starc, 55 Richardson, 63 Zampa
Here's the side England have named for tonight's game.
51 Bairstow, 63 Buttler, 29 Malan, 98 Banton, 16 Morgan, 18 Ali, 34 Jordan, 59 Curran, 29 Archer, 33 Wood, 95 Rashid
AUSTRALIA WIN THE TOSS AND CHOOSE TO BOWL FIRST
England fast bowler Chris Jordan will be targeting Stuart Broad's record of 65 T20 wickets this series.
The limited overs specialist is just four wickets short of Broad's record.
England's bowlers putting the work in ahead of the first T20 tonight.
ONE EYE ON THE WORLD CUP?
The T20 World Cup takes place in India next year, after the tournament scheduled for this year was cancelled due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
Both sides will be eager to lay down a marker in this series ahead of the World Cup, as well as getting an idea of what their strongest squad is for when the tournament comes around.
BACK IN ACTION
Australia play their first international fixture in almost six months this evening.
An opportunity perhaps for England to press for a 1-0 series lead, seeing as their last game was only on Tuesday.
WE MEET AGAIN
England face Australia today for the first time in white ball cricket since the one day World Cup semi-final.
England cantered to an eight wicket win that day, helped by Jason Roy smashing 85 runs from 65 balls.
Roy misses out today with a side strain, but there is hope he will feature at some point in the upcoming fixtures with Australia.
Welcome to our live blog of the first of three T20 fixtures between England and old foes Australia at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
There’s no time to rest for white ball captain Eoin Morgan’s side, after the 1-1 series draw with Pakistan.
The last of those games was played on Tuesday, and won by Pakistan in a nail-biting finish.
England fell just five runs short chasing Pakistan’s total of 190, who were helped to that score by an unbeaten 86 from 39-year-old Mohammad Hafeez.
England had won the first game of the three match T20 series, before the second game was abandoned due to rain.
Australia come to England to play three T20’s, followed by a three game one day series.
The Aussies are currently top of the world T20 rankings, but a 3-0 series win for England would see Eoin Morgan’s side leapfrog them into first place.
The return of key white ball players will give England hope of pulling off a series whitewash.
Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran and Mark Wood are all back available after resting following their exploits in the Test arena.
There is no place for test captain Joe Root, while opener Jason Roy is still unavailable with a side strain, and Ben Stokes is missing for family reasons.
Glenn Maxwell returns to the Aussie setup for the first time since November 2019, while Aaron Finch, David Warner and Steve Smith are all expected to play.
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