England vs. Australia Cricket 2013: Players to Watch in Second T20 Matchup
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England posted their second-highest Twenty20 score on Thursday night but were undone by a brilliant innings from Aaron Finch. They go into the second game with a need to save the series, while Australia will want to salvage something from the tour.
After the intensity of the Test series, often fraught with controversy, it's been nice to get back to the short format of the game and enjoy some powerful hitting.
Below are three players crucial to the outcome of the second game.
An obvious selection, but his incredible performance in the last game made it impossible to leave him out. When he hit 156 from 63 balls in the first game, Australia finally found something to be happy about. He bludgeoned 14 sixes and 11 fours in a brutal display of hitting that England just couldn't match.
If he dishes out similar treatment this time around, the England bowlers will need to rotate a little more. The first five or six overs were a little predictable and Finch was able to get himself set and run away with the game.
His main weapon is sometimes his greatest flaw. Dernbach possesses one of the best-disguised slower balls in limited-overs cricket, but he has a tendency to use it as his stock ball rather than his change-up. Released from the back of the hand, it's a great variation to have at his disposal.
Dernbach's figures were the most respectable of all the England bowlers in the first game, precisely because he kept his composure and changed his deliveries around.
Jade Dernbach bowled fantastic yesterday but Finch played an absolutely unbelievable innings! #hardhats needed in the crowd— Tom Wheeldon (@Tommy_Basford) August 30, 2013
It was impossible for Finch to guess the length and pace of the ball when facing Dernbach, which kept the score from being much worse. It also led to Finch's eventual demise, so England will need another good performance from their versatile bowler.
A player who had some problems in the Test arena, Joe Root nonetheless found a way to get England close to a remarkable victory in the last game.
He took a quick delivery to the face, which required four stitches, but he is unfazed by anything and always plays the game on its merits.
This will be just his second T20 appearance for his country, but he looks comfortable on the big stage and deserves the opportunity to prove himself in every format of the game.
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