Back to those Australia changes, out go Cameron Green, Daniel Sams, Nathan Ellis, Kane Richardson and Mitchell Swepson; in come Glenn Maxwell, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa and Josh Hazlewood. So it’s a Test attack, which I’m excited to see – that pace is nasty, but also, that pace can fly without a bunch of catchers behind the wicket.
Mark Butcher reckons there are loads of runs out there, and Aaron Finch says the quality of the track is why his team are chasing.
Australia make five changes, details to follow, while England replace Mark Wood – gah! But yeah! – and Chris Woakes with Chris Jordan and David Willey.
It’s a bit overcast in Canberra. But it’s sunny in north Lahndan; you pays yer money etc.
Australia win the toss and will field
We’ve not actually been allowed to watch that as yet, but it remains true.
More from Cricinfo, who report that David Willey is out with the paint, so probably playing.
Elite-level sport is all very well – and a contest like this, at this kind of hour whether in Australia or in England feels like a ridiculous bonus – but what elevates things onto a different plain is the sacred state of needle. And, thanks to Matthew Wade’s intervention in Sunday’s series opener, we might be on our way to establishing a fresh aspect in a rivalry that is already one of sport’s most historically needleacious.
Let’s hope so, but even if not, the standard of competition we’re seeing at the moment augurs extremely well for the World Cup. England’s series in Pakistan was an absolute classic, Australia’s in India’s wasn’t far off either, and the first match between these two advised us that there’s plenty more in store.
It’s true that neither side’s attack is quite as tasty as has previously been the case. But the batters are every bit as outrageous as we’d like, and the nature of the tracks we’ll see over the next month will extract from them every last bit of dynamite. So gird yourselves well: this is going to be great.
Play: 7.10pm local, 9.10am BST