England vs Australia: Instead of his regular No 3, Steve Smith walked out to bat at No 4 and that has stirred a debate. Former Australian legend Shane Warne feels that is not the right way to go. He feels the selectors got it wrong to demote Smith in the batting order. Warne feels Smith has so much class that he can adapt his game according to any situation and any bowler. “I will continue to say this. Smith must bat 3, there is no question about it. He is pure class and I just can’t understand why the Aussies won’t leave him there for every game ! Smith can adapt to any situation and bowlers fear him, plus he’s just pure class ! So why isn’t he ?”
Meanwhile, Smith could manage 38 off 34 balls in his brief cameo.
“We are going to bowl. No-brainer, it’s a bit soft on the top, it rained overnight and the wicket was under covers. Hopefully, the sun will come out later and make batting easy. We are playing the same XI. Jofra (Archer) had a slight side issue and we had a precautionary fitness test. We are confident, we have had some success against Australia recently and think we have a good side,” Eoin Morgan said after winning the toss.
Australia skipper Aaron Finch said: “Not too disappointed about batting first. I wasn’t too sure about the wicket, but I would have probably bowled first as well. Two changes for us — Nathan Lyon and Jason Behrendorff in, they replace Adam Zampa and Nathan Coulter-Nile. We aren’t really bothered about how the crowd reacts (to Smith and Warner). Every game is crucial and we can’t take any game lightly.”
England: James Vince, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(w), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood
Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch(c), Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey(w), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Jason Behrendorff
(With Agency Inputs)