England start their preparations for the 2014 T20 World Cup tomorrow morning when they open up the three game Twenty20 series against Australia in Hobart (8.35am start UK time).
The tourists will be desperate to leave the country with a series win after losing both the Test and One Day Internationals and they will welcome a flurry of exciting players into the fold at the Blundstone Arena.
For captain Stuart Broad it is the first of six competetitive T20 fixtures before the World Cup starts on March 22nd, in Bangladesh.
The likes of Luke Wright, Alex Hales and Michael Lumb will play tomorrow after impressing in the Australian Big Bash competition while T20 specialist Jade Dernbach could also feature in a side which will be led by Broad.
The fast bowler has been one positive from the tour after being England’s leading wicket taker in the Test series he is hoping to guide his team to a morale boosting victory as he told ecb.co.uk.
“All our focus is these three games. If you look too far ahead you can get yourself in a bit of a twist,” admitted Broad.
“There’s opportunities for guys in this particular squad to put their hands up for T20 World Cup spots, but I’m sure the team won’t be thinking like that.
“It’ll be about winning here at Hobart. It’ll be about going to the MCG, putting a strong performance in. The shorter our mindsets can be, just looking at what we have to do to win here tomorrow, the better chance we have of doing that.”
After losing the Ashes 5-0, the tourists could only go one better in the ODI tournament with the five game series finishing 4-1, which included losing two extremely close encounters which would have gave the series a completely different complexion.
“England cricket’s been through a bit of a tough three months. There’s a lot of hurt players because we’ve not done ourself justice on the field.
“But it is also key to remember how well this T20 side have played for a year or so. We’ve won some really good games; we’ve played some really strong cricket.”
England do have some pedigree in the shortest form of the game, having won the competition in 2010 so they will be hoping to regain the title in Mirpur on April 6th.
Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler are two players who will be hugely important in the coming games, having enjoyed success in the recent 50 over series and as Broad explains, Wright has been one of the stars of the Australian domestic summer.
“Morgs has been scoring runs. Buttler’s been scoring runs. Wrighty’s probably been the standout player of the Big Bash.
“There’s a lot of confidence going into this series and we know T20 is a big confidence game. If you believe you can hit the ball over the ropes then generally you do.”
Australia squad: George Bailey (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Dan Christian, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Ben Cutting Josh Hazelwood, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, James Muirhead, Chris Lynn, Kane Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, Cameron White.
England squad: Stuart Broad (c), Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Michael Lumb, Eoin Morgan, Boyd Rankin, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Tredwell, Luke Wright.
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