Geoff Lemon sets the scene for a match that may never take place, cautioning that “Australia and England in their current state is not exactly a battle of the titans, but a struggle between teams looking to emerge from difficulty.”
I know it’s unfair to blame the messenger, but boooooooooo George, booooooooooo.
Melbourne, like all of Australia’s east coast, has been saturated this spring, and today has been no exception. What has made today exceptional is quite how spitefully the rain has been delivered, blowing in horizontally in unpredictable gusts, at a frigid temperature. The ‘feels like’ widget of the forecast dashboard hasn’t reached double figures all day. It is grim.
Ireland vs Afghanistan has already been washed out without a ball being bowled. The MCG is grey and sodden. We are very unlikely to start on time.
More promisingly, the raincloud the size of Wales that has sat over the state of Victoria for most of the day is moving its way eastwards, and should soon clear Melbourne CBD, aside for some tendril-like showers. These modern grounds drain quickly and umpires have already shown their eagerness to play through tricky conditions this tournament, so we may yet have a match, however short.
For that to occur play needs to be underway by 10.04pm (12.04pm BST).
Hello everybody and welcome to live coverage of the 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. Weather permitting, Australia vs England in Group 1 of the Super 12s begins at the Melbourne Cricket Ground at 7pm local time (9am BST).
If the rain does hold off, this is a fixture of enormous consequence to the tournament. After Australia were bullied by New Zealand and England outplayed by Ireland, defeat tonight probably spells the end of the loser’s campaign.
Australia rebounded with a Marcus Stoinis-inspired settler against Sri Lanka, but the defending champions haven’t clicked yet, extending a prolonged run of indifferent performances in the format. Of greatest concern is the output of skipper Aaron Finch at the top of the order. Finch has already announced his retirement from the ODI format and is limping towards the end of his T20i career on home soil.
England are back in action just two days after they failed to adapt to the characterful MCG surface against Ireland. The seam bowlers were too short and the batters never looked assured on a deck that offered plenty of movement and bounce. Against the highest quality pace attack in world cricket England’s top order need to find both intent and timing.
I’ll be back shortly with
the toss and the teams synonyms for rain. In the meantime, you can contribute by sending me an email or directing any tweets to @JPHowcroft.