AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

RYAN SIDEBOTTOM: World Cup Previews & Ireland v England Reaction

Less than a week into the T20 World Cup and already it’s all on the line for Australia and England, who face each other in a winner takes all game tomorrow at the MCG! With one win and one loss a piece, both sides will need to put their best foot forward to take a vital win tomorrow.

Ex-England star Ryan Sidebottom knows all about crunch clashes – here are his exclusive thoughts ahead of the tournament’s biggest game so far….

A shock defeat for England against Ireland – what did you make of it?

It came as a surprise – you look at the two teams in terms of strength in depth and England would be favourite – but Ireland were better in all three aspects of the game, as their bowlers – especially Joshua Little – got the most out of conditions against the top order, their batters showed fantastic early intent which helped them to set what would turn out to be a challenging total, and their fielders were

Regardless of the Duckworth-Lewis rule – which I’m not generally in favour of – Ireland were the better team in all aspects (and the smartest one tactically) and fully deserved their win.

I think England played being second very badly – they’d been excellent against Pakistan and Australia, but they’ve had no rhythm in their two games so far. Moeen Ali was the standout but it was too little too late, but again Ireland bowled brilliantly so I can’t take anything away from their performance.

Malan scored 35 off 37 balls and Stokes could manage only 6 off 8, which is not just a problem in terms of having a low strike rate, but also giving the middle to lower order too much to do. It cost them against Ireland especially, as they were behind the 8-ball and despite Moeen Ali’s efforts, the rain got the better of them. Had their strike rate been a little higher they could well have won the game – but they didn’t deserve to and it’s onwards to Australia now.

Australia were back to form against Sri Lanka – which should tee them up nicely for tomorrow…

It was a convincing victory for Australia who outclassed Sri Lanka – Marcus Stoinis produced a sensational knock, and they made chasing 157 look easy thanks to the Stoinis -Maxwell partnership. Their bowling was also better against the board – all of Hazelwood, Cummins, Starc, Agar and Maxwell took a wicket – and they’ll be in a good frame of mind against England.

🇦🇺 Australia v England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (9am, MCG)

Going on current form I’d say Australia would just edge it slightly, but you can’t underestimate this England team – they’re the second best T20 side in the world for a reason. However, they’ve got to make better use of their innings, and they means going hard from the start – and they’ll need to play much better all round if they’re to win this game.

The match will be decided by the top 4 batters on both sides. Australia and England have needed their middle order to bail them out in their wins – Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell for Australia against Sri Lanka, and Liam Livingstone and Moreen Ali for England. executing the tactical plan properly will be so important, as England’s loss to Ireland showed.

🏏 RYAN’S TIPS: With both sides so evenly matched, all-rounders could be the different here. I think Mitchell Marsh has a huge part to play – and he’s my pick for top batter and top wicket taker, whilst I’ve doubled-up on Moeen Ali for England too.

BACK Mitchell Marsh Top Australia Run Scorer 1pt at 4/1 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

BACK Moeen Ali Top England Run Scorer 1pt at 12/1 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

BACK Mitchell Marsh Top Australia Wicket Taker 1pt at 9/1 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

BACK Moeen Ali Top England Wicket Taker 1pt at 9/1 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)


🇦🇫 Afghanistan v Ireland 🇮🇪 (5am, MCG)

Ireland will be on Cloud Nine after that victory, and I think they can follow up. They’ve shown their class and fighting spirit with their wins against the West Indies and England, and their batting power can help them just beat Afghanistan in what’s sure to be a tight encounter.

🏏 RYAN’S TIPS: Ireland can just get the better of Afghanistan here if their top order shows the same power they did against England.

BACK Ireland to beat Afghanistan 2 pts at 6/5 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

🇳🇿 New Zealand v Sri Lanka 🇱🇰 (9am)

New Zealand were outrageously good against Australia. Their top order looked brilliant that day whilst their bowlers caused chaos for the Australian. Sri Lanka have been searching for their best form – their spinners were great against Ireland but they had no answer to the Australian middle order.

🏏 RYAN’S TIPS: Finn Allen should be raring to go again after his stunning 16-ball 42 against the Aussies and he’s a tempting price at 7/2 to outshine Devon Conway against the Lankans.

Mitchell Santner took three Aussie wickets in that opening victory and in the same form, he’ll provide the opposition with real problems again.

Charith Asalanka was Sri Lanka’s second-best batter against the Aussies and that should stand him in good stead for this test. That was his third score in the thirties and with a bit more luck he can top the run scoring charts.

Wanindu Hasaranga had a tough outing against the Aussies, but he’d taken eight wickets in his last three games before and he’s capable of bouncing back here.

BACK Finn Allen Top New Zealand Run Scorer 1pt at 7/2 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

BACK Mitchell Santner Top New Zealand Wicket Taker at 5/1 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

BACK Charith Asalanka Top Sri Lanka Run Scorer 1 pt at 9/2 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)

BACK Wanindu Hasaranga Top Sri Lanka Run Scorer 1 pt at 9/4 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)



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