MX23RW : Wednesday, July 24 12:26:03| >> :600:245129:245129:

Preview: T20 World Cup: Australia vs. Scotland - prediction, team news, series so far

Sports Mole previews the 2024 T20 World Cup match between Australia and Scotland, scheduled to be played at the Beausejour Stadium on Sunday.

Australia and Scotland will face off in the final match of what has been an intriguing Group B contest in the 2024 T20 World Cup at Beausejour Stadium on Sunday morning.

The Aussies have already booked their spot in the Super Eight, but behind them, the race for the second qualification place is still red-hot between the two British sides in the group.


Match preview

Australia celebrate taking a wicket against England on June 8, 2024.© Reuters

The buildup to this match has been steeped in controversy, with widespread reports from players, pundits and legends of the game suggesting that Australia could manipulate the outcome to deny England a chance of qualifying for the knockout stages.

Assuming England win their final group-stage match against Namibia on Saturday, the two British teams in this group would end tied on five points each heading into this match, meaning a Scotland win (or a no-result outcome) would see the defending champions head home at the group stage for a second World Cup competition in a row.

Indeed, Josh Hazlewood's tongue-in-cheek "in our best interests as well as probably everyone else [to knock England out of the competition]" comment did little to ease the tension around the situation, though Pat Cummins dismissed speculation of possible manipulation in a pre-match interview, insisting Hazlewood's comment was merely banter.

Fair to say, emotions will be running high if this match approaches the final overs still in the balance and the likelihood that Australian head coach Andrew McDonald will consider resting players for the fixture with nothing on the line for his side, adds another layer of intrigue.

Speculation aside, the Baggy Greens are still massively fancied to win this match, having eased through their first three games in the tournament and losing only one of their last seven in the shortest format.

Chris Greaves of Scotland during the ICC Men s T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier match on June 5, 2024© Reuters

Meanwhile, with all the talks centred around the two Test-playing nations in this group, it is all arguably a little disrespectful to Scotland, who earned their shot at a spot in the Super Eight off the back of two very good performances against fellow associate nations Namibia and Oman.

Additionally, it is worth recalling that while their tournament opener ended in a no result outcome, they had shot out the blocks against England and were looking very good at 90/0 in the 10th over when the heavens opened up and ended play.

Another quick start with bat or ball will be crucial for the Scots here, while there also remains a scenario where a narrow win for the English and a loss for Scotland in this match could still see the latter progress given that net run rate is calculated as an average across all matches.

Scotland have only ever beaten four full members of the ICC in the white-ball format in the past, two of which were ODI victories. Their first T20 triumph came against Bangladesh in 2012, while they toppled the West Indies in the last edition of this tournament during the group stage.

Still, on any normal day, this should be a total mismatch, but given what is at stake and the undoubted pressure that Australia will now be under, this could easily turn into one of the most memorable matches in T20 history.


Team News

Australia's Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne during Cricket World Cup final on November 19, 2023.© Reuters

As mentioned, Australia may consider resting a few of their players for this match, which could allow the likes of Ashton Agar, Cameron Green and Josh Inglis to make the starting lineup here.

Mitchell Starc will likely be handed the new ball after being given the afternoon off against Namibia last time out, and it would not be surprising if we saw Mitchell Marsh opt to leave Hazlewood on the bench here given the reports earlier this week.

Scotland will undoubtedly send out what they consider their strongest 11 for this match and will look to the likes of Brandon McMullen and George Munsey to lay the founding with the bat after both players' solid innings against Oman last week.

Mark Watt and Brad Wheal are likely to carry the new-ball responsibilities while Safyaan Sharif, who was the pick of the bowlers in the last match, should provide the change-up with his medium-paced leg-breakers.


Australia squad: Mitch Marsh (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa

Scotland squad: Scotland: Richie Berrington (c), Matthew Cross, Bradley Currie, Chris Greaves, Oli Hairs, Jack Jarvis, Michael Jones, Michael Leask, Brandon McMullen, George Munsey, Safyaan Sharif, Chris Sole, Charlie Tear, Mark Watt, Brad Wheal


Series so far

Australia

Match One: Australia won by 39 runs
Australia - 164/5 (20)
Oman - 125/9 (20)

Match Two: Australia won by 36 runs
Australia - 201/7 (20)
England - 165/6 (20)

Match Three: Australia won by 9 wickets
Namibia - 72 (17)
Australia - 74/1 (5.4)

Scotland

Match One: No Result

Match Two: Scotland won by 5 wickets
Namibia - 155/9 (20)
Scotland - 157/5 (18.3)

Match Three: Scotland won by 7 wickets
Oman - 150/7 (20)
Scotland - 153/3 (13.1)


SM words green background

We say: Australia to win

Despite all the clammer in the lead-up to this encounter, we feel that Australia will treat this match like business as usual and assert their dominance as they usually do en route to a victory.

ID:545957:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect8941:

Previews by email

Click here to get Sports Mole's daily email of previews and predictions for every major game!


Collect / Create New Data
Share this article now:
England celebrate taking a wicket against Pakistan on May 25, 2024.
Read Next:
ICC T20 World Cup 2024: Confirmed squads, fixtures, team previews, tournament format
>