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Australia vs England Preview: England desperate to bounce back

England's shock defeat to Ireland at the T20 World Cup has raised the stakes for their clash with hosts and defending champions Australia on Friday.

The Aussies started their title defence with a bruising 89-run loss to New Zealand, but got back on track by beating Sri Lanka and are 4/5 to boost their chances of reaching the semi-finals with a win over England in Melbourne.

All the action from the MCG can be followed on our Sports Live Streaming platform.

WhatAustralia vs England, T20 World Cup
WhereMCG, Melbourne, Australia
When09:00, Friday 28th October
How to watchSky Sports Cricket & bet365 Sports Live Streaming
OddsAustralia 4/5, England 1/1

England encouraged by T20 record against Aussies

Australia, as tournament hosts and Twenty20 world champions, merit great respect despite their opening horror show against the Black Caps and the betting suggests it will be a tight contest between the Aussies and England.

However, the recent head-to-head T20 record between the Ashes rivals is one-sided, with England winning six of the last seven completed games including an eight-wicket walloping in the group stage of last year's World Cup.

Australia went on to win that tournament, but they came into this year's T20 jamboree on the back of a 2-0 series defeat to England, who were primed to complete a 3-0 clean sweep before rain forced an early end to the final game in Canberra.

While history is on England's side, they have made a tentative start to their World Cup campaign with a low-scoring win against Afghanistan followed by Wednesday's five-run D/L method loss to Ireland, who started the game as heavy underdogs.

England's powerful batting line-up was one of the main reasons they, along with Australia and India, were rated the most likely World Cup winners before a ball was bowled, but they have failed to fire in their first two games, hitting only two sixes against Afghanistan and Ireland.

The Aussies, in contrast, cleared the ropes ten times as they chased down a modest target of 158 against Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

Six of those sixes came from the bat of Marcus Stoinis, who scored Australia's fastest T20 fifty off just 17 balls, and he is 7/1 to hit more sixes than any other player on Friday.

Glenn Maxwell demonstrated his prowess against spin with a couple of sweet maximums off Lankan dangerman Wanindu Hasaranga and the man known as the Big Show is 15/2 to hit the most sixes against England.

Finch form a concern for Baggy Greens

An in-form opening partnership is a vital component of any successful T20 team and several of the World Cup big guns are struggling in that department.

India's KL Rahul and South Africa captain Temba Bavuma are under pressure due to their scratchy T20 form and the same goes for Australia skipper Aaron Finch, who is 5/6 to score under 19.5 runs against England and 9/2 to be his side's top batter.

Finch's white-ball pedigree is outstanding, having made two of the three highest individual scores in T20 international history - 172 against Zimbabwe in 2018 and 156 against England at the Rose Bowl in 2013.

However, he has looked a shadow of his former self recently, struggling throughout an innings of 31 not out off 42 balls against Sri Lanka and scoring 12, 13 and nought in the three-match series against England earlier this month.

Finch's problems against the Lankan pace bowlers should encourage England's top-class attack. He managed just four runs off his first 15 balls on Tuesday and Australia are 10/11 to have the highest first six overs score at the MCG.

Cameron Green impressed at the top of the order in September's series in India and he is an option to open the batting, allowing Finch to drop down to number four.

The young all-rounder, a late replacement for the injured Josh Inglis in the World Cup squad, is 4/1 to be Australia's top batter.

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Crackerjack Curran could shine at damp MCG

Just two points separated the six teams in Group 1 after two rounds of fixtures, so it is shaping up to be a battle royale for the two semi-final spots from the section.

Having already suffered a chastening defeat apiece, the losers of the Australia-England clash would face an uphill struggle to make the knockout stages and rain could add to the tension in Melbourne.

Leg-spinner Adam Zampa was Australia's leading wicket-taker in their 2021 T20 World Cup triumph in the UAE, but damp conditions at the MCG may well make things tough for the slow bowlers.

England lost Reece Topley to injury on the eve of the tournament, but another Surrey left-armer, Sam Curran, has risen to the occasion and he is 5/1 to be the top bowler in the match.

Curran claimed five wickets for just 10 runs in the opening win over the Afghans, following up with 2-31 against Ireland. He also picked up five scalps in two games against Australia at the start of October, dismissing big-hitters Maxwell, Stoinis and Tim David in the second T20 in Canberra.

Curran is 5/6 to gain over 30.5 performance points in his latest crack at the Aussies and he has exceeded that mark in seven of his last eight T20 outings for England, including the warm-up match against Pakistan.

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