London: England will hold the edge over Australia in the solitary T20 match, to be held at The Oval on Thursday, despite resting several key players from the Ashes-winning Test squad.
England’s Alastair Cook is not in the Twenty20 set-up, handing over the captaincy, to fast bowler Stuart Broad.
Broad has a squad full of in-form players, having recently played in the Friends Life T20. Michael Carberry heads that list after over 500 runs in the T20 meet and is in line for a first international appearance since his solitary Test in Chittagong three years ago.
Ravi Bopara has also found his touch and will use the limited-overs internationals to stake a claim for a place on the Ashes tour as a potential No. 6.
Apart from in-form players, the hosts will also draw confidence from a 3-0 Ashes win.
Australia, on the other hand, will need to reverse a poor recent record in bilateral T20 series. Since June 2010, they have only won five of 19 matches. That they managed to defy that form with a run to the semi-final of the World T20 in Sri Lanka was down to a remarkable tournament from Shane Watson and a good showing from the now-retired Mike Hussey.
They would certainly want Watson to replicate that form and the younger players to step up and take responsibility if they wish to win the match.