Glenn Maxwell has symbolised it. His unbeaten 24-ball 40 helped Australia recover from 10/2 in a small chase of 95 in the first game, but it was his all-round show against England that really signalled his status in this relatively inexperienced side. He returned 3/10, seeing off Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan and David Willey, before hammering an unbeaten 103 off just 58 balls – the sort of knock that comes about when Maxwell is at his best.
England are up against an in-form side showing no obvious signs of weakness. David Warner, standing in as captain, has struggled for form, but the likes of Maxwell, Chris Lynn and Marcus Stoinis add a certain violence to the batting, while the likes of Billy Stanlake, Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson and Ashton Agar form a bowling attack that has so far restricted New Zealand and England to 117/9 and 155/5 respectively.
England came into the tri-series on the back of their comprehensive 4-1 win over Australia in the One-Day International series, but some of that momentum was drained after their loss in Hobart. England are themselves playing with a somewhat weakened outfit – Joe Root, Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes are all missing – but there is still enough quality within the squad. Malan’s 36-ball 50 in Hobart was the latest in what has been a good couple of months for the middle-order batsman, while David Willey’s return of 3/28 coupled with his big-hitting abilities make him a big threat.
First Published: February 9, 2018, 4:46 PM IST