White's youthful charges stand in way of England's place in history

 

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The World Twenty20 champions will attempt to create history tomorrow. If England beat Australia in Adelaide they will become the only team to have won eight successive matches at the shortest form of the game.

It will be a reason for trying beyond all others because the two T20 matches which herald the start of the limited-overs section of this tour otherwise lack context. Three teams have so far won seven matches in a row, South Africa and Pakistan both in 2009 and England last year.

England's run started during their breathtaking march to the title in the Caribbean last May and includes the final against Australia, which they won in exhilarating style. Three of the championship team will be missing – Stuart Broad and Craig Kieswetter, who are injured, and Ryan Sidebottom, who has retired from international cricket.

The other eight should all take their place in the match at the Adelaide Oval, though Michael Lumb may face pressure from Ian Bell after Bell's 124 not out in Canberra yesterday. Chris Tremlett, Steve Davies and Ajmal Shahzad are the likely replacements. It is probably as well that six of the likely side did not play in the Ashes and will be hungry for cricket.

Australia enter the arena with a new captain in Cameron White, who is highly regarded as Victoria's captain. But the appointment of the side's new wicketkeeper Tim Paine as vice-captain may have more bearing on Australia's future direction.

Paine has already played four Test matches – two in England last summer during the neutral series against Pakistan and two in India last October, when he made 92 at Mohali – when the first-choice Brad Haddin was injured.

But many pundits urgently seeking change in Australian cricket after their Ashes defeat are already suggesting that Paine, 26, could succeed Ricky Ponting as Test captain.

The rest of the home squad also has a youthful bent, with the uncapped Aaron Finch and James Pattinson called up. But Australia's clear intention is that their cutting edge be provided by two experienced speed merchants. Brett Lee and Shaun Tait can both be expected to propel the ball at speeds in excess of 90mph and the former may approach 100mph, as he did at Lord's one summer's day last year when he uprooted the stumps of three Englishmen with ferocious pace.

Adelaide details

* Australia (from): C L White (c), T D Paine (wkt), A J Finch, D J Hussey, M G Johnson, B Lee, S J N O'Keefe, J L Pattinson, S P D Smith, S W Tait, D A Warner, S R Watson.

* England (from): P D Collingwood (c), I R Bell, T T Bresnan, S M Davies (wkt), S T Finn, M J Lumb, E J G Morgan, K P Pietersen, A Shahzad, G P Swann, J C Tredwell, C T Tremlett, I J L Trott, C R Woakes, L J Wright, M H Yardy

* Umpires: S Fry and B Oxenford (Aus)

* Adelaide Oval, tomorrow, 8:35am

* TV times: Sky Sports 1, 8am

Comments