12/04/2022
As Australia are all set to take on England in a Group 1 Super 12 tie of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday (October 28), former Ausssie pace ace Brett Lee believes fast bowlers will hold the key to the fortunes of both teams.

Match 26 of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 at the iconic MCG is a game which neither teams can afford to lose.

While Australia began their campaign on a dismal note, losing to Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand, they bounced back by beating Sri Lanka.

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On the other hand, England started well by beating Afghanistan, but suffered a shock loss to Ireland, in a rain-curtailed match DRS-decided match, throwing the Group 1 wide open.

Brett Lee, who has played only T20 World Cup match against England — at the inaugural edition in South Africa in 2007 — weighed in his opinion about the match in his column for ICC website.

Lee’s pick

“I’ve been really impressed with the way Josh Hazelwood has grown as a white-ball bowler and the way he has got to grips with all these variations you need to succeed.

“We know what Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc can do – as a trio they’re a bowling attack that will strike fear in any batting line-up, including England’s,” Lee said.

Wood the key

England too have an array of quality fast bowlers with Lee picking Mark Wood as the key man.

“Mark Wood is the man of the moment for England. He’s one of the sharpest in the world when he’s fit and firing and Australia will’ve to find a way to nullify his threat. Conditions in Australia obviously favour these guys,” he added.

Must-win game

Lee was quick to add that it is a must-win game for both the teams.

“It’s clear that this is a must-win game for both sides. You can’t afford to lose twice in the Super 12s and Australia have already gone down to New Zealand, and England to Ireland. The momentum is with Australia after they won against Sri Lanka and they’ll hope to carry that through at the MCG. England need to find a way to get back on the horse quickly after the Ireland game and this’ll be a tough test of their resilience.”

Cracker of a contest

With so much at stake, Lee opined that the match which begins at 7pm local time (1.30pm IST) will be a cracker of a contest.

“It’s always special when England and Australia lock horns and this time will be no different. The key is always to put the weight of history and the emotion of the rivalry to one side. The focus has to be on yourself and the other 10 guys trying to win the game. I think whichever team wins this will be hard to stop for the rest of the tournament. It’s going to be a cracker.”