Australia: Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Cameron Green, Matthew Wade (wk), Daniel Sams, Nathan Ellis, Kane Richardson, Mitchell Swepson
England: Jos Buttler (c) (wk), Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Reece Topley
Hales edges out Salt at the top of the order for England, and Stokes is back at No.4. This is his first T20 since… July 2021! Don’t hate me for plugging my own work but here’s something I wrote about that earlier this week:
Australia win the toss and will bowl first
Aaron Finch is backing his side to chase. A raft of changes for the hosts who have rested quite a few players for this series opener. Jos Buttler is back leading England once again – he would’ve bowled first too. Oh well.
Jonny Bairstow’s in the BT studio! Gutting for him and England that he’s not out there in Australia.
Simon Burnton is on the ground at Perth:
“Greetings from Perth. Not much to report here. It’s overcast today, slightly too cool to wear short sleeves but too warm to wear a jumper. Life is complicated sometimes. As I type there are 11 England players doing catching practice around the boundary rope, and they can’t all be in the outfield, but they include Ben Stokes, left knee heavily strapped as it has been all week, as well as Chris Jordan and Alex Hales.”
Hello, hello and hello. Welcome to Perth where we’re all set for the first of three T20Is between England and Australia.
Let’s be real here: this is all a warm-up act for the World Cup that gets underway later this month. There’s still time for tinkering, room for guesswork over who starts the main show, opportunities to grab some form before things actually matter.
Both sides, I should add, are in decent nick. England closed out their enthralling series again Pakistan with two dominant victories to win 4-3. Australia fell to a 2-1 defeat away to India last month but secured a couple of wins over the West Indies earlier this week.
The hosts have rested their first-choice bowlers for this weekend getaway to Perth so England won’t have to take on Starc, Cummins, Hazlewood and Zampa until Canberra, where the final two matches are. Not all the big names are missing, though; Jos Buttler is fit and ready to go – and Ben Stokes is in town, too. This is still gonna be loads of fun.