England v Australia T20 preview: Stuart Broad backing batsmen
Last Updated: August 30, 2013 10:53am
Coach Ashley Giles and captain Stuart Broad prepare for Australia challenge
With the Ashes battle on hold until the winter, the England and Australia rivalry shifts focus from the longest format to the shortest at the Ageas Bowl on Thursday night.
Hampshire and Chester-le-Street will host two Twenty20 internationals on Thursday and Saturday respectively before five one-day internationals bring the curtain down on Australia's latest northern hemisphere tour.
England's Alastair Cook is not in the Twenty20 set-up, handing over the captaincy to Stuart Broad, while the Aussies shift their leadership from Michael Clarke to George Bailey.
The hosts come into the series on the back of a 3-0 Ashes series win, though the squad for the T20s is dramatically different from that winning side. Only Broad, Joe Root and Steve Finn will be familiar to recent Test audiences.
This means the mindset change for England will not be as dramatic, as players like Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach and Luke Wright have been playing domestic T20s until very recently, and will be thinking switch hits rather than forward defensives.
But Broad has backed his new team-mates to retain the momentum in the upcoming 20-over contests.
He said: "Any time you step on the field you are looking to beat the opposition. Australia are dangerous, they will be hungry to win in England. They have not beaten England in England since June 2010 in any format so it's up to us to continue that form and that responsibility falls on our players in the changing room and it's an exciting responsibility."
In-form Hampshire batsman Michael Carberry will be hoping for a chance to impress on home soil if he is selected in the starting XI on Thursday night.
Stuart Broad says it is not fair on the players called in for the ODI series against Australia after five senior players were left out.
But with Nottinghamshire duo Michael Lumb and Alex Hales, as well as Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Luke Wright, Jos Buttler and Ravi Bopara in the squad, England are stacked with batting options.
"It's great to know that we have that firepower in the squad. We have some powerful players. We will be better the more we play together," Broad added.
"You look at some of the partnerships Alex Hales and Michael Lumb have had together, the way Morgs (Morgan) strikes it, Jos finishes games, there's a real belief in the changing room that we can set a huge target or chase a huge target down."
The Australians, meanwhile, have a core group from the Test arena to call on, with Steve Smith in great form with the bat. David Warner, while not successful in the Tests, will be keen to get back to his roots, while Shane Watson's death bowling will get a better result here.
The Aussies are without fast bowlers James Pattinson and Jackson Bird, as well as young paceman Pat Cummins, all of whom have back injuries, while England couldn't have called on Tim Bresnan for the same reason, even if they'd wanted to.
There will be pressure on Finn and Dernbach if selected, as the former was dropped after the first Test due to some expensive spells, while the latter's last match for England saw him concede 87 runs in 10 overs, without a wicket.
As for England's batting, they have opted to go without Kevin Pietersen, who was back to his flashy best in the final Test at The Oval. They do have second-ranked T20 batsman Hales to call on though, fresh off his string of high scores for Nottinghamshire.
Of the six completed T20s the sides have played against each other, they have each won three, with the most recent ending in a narrow win for the Aussies in Melbourne. As it stands now, England are sixth and Australia are seventh on the T20 rankings.
England: (From) Stuart Broad (capt), Ravi Bopara, Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler, Michael Carberry, Jade Dernbach, Steve Finn, Alex Hales, Michael Lumb, Eoin Morgan, Boyd Rankin, Joe Root, James Tredwell, Luke Wright.
Australia: (From) George Bailey (capt), Michael Clarke, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Faulkner, Fawad Ahmed, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Phil Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Clint McKay, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Adam Voges, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson.