Ed Hawkins previews the match from Hobart on Wednesday and says both sides are experimenting with their line-ups...
"We respect the flashing blades of Lynn and Maxwell (the market may fear them) but the Roy-Hales combo is as good"
Australia v England
Wednesday 7 February 08.40
TV: live on BT Sport
Australia rediscovered their mojo in game one, trouncing a lacklustre Kiwi side who seemed incapable of finding the form which had lifted them to No 2 in the world.
Billy Stanlake, the rangy Adelaide Strikers quick, set the tone by taking two wickets in his first over. He touched speeds of 93mph. It was impressive but the New Zealanders showed an alarming lack of gumption.
The wickets kept falling. AJ Tye took four, Stanlake one more and spinners Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar one apiece. As Kevin Pietersen said on commentary when New Zealand were 16 for three. "You don't win from losing three so early."
So perhaps we learnt more about New Zealand than Australia. Their batting balance and depth was not tested, despite a brief wobble in the chase of 118 when ten for two.
David Warner failed again but Chris Lynn, batting at No 3, redeployed his Big Bash form and Glenn Maxwell likewise.
Aaron Finch, who missed the match because of a hamstring injury, may have to wait his turn. D'Arcy Short opened with Warner but it would be unfair to give the Hobart dasher just one game.
England warmed up for this by thrashing a Prime Minster's XI by eight wickets. It was a game notable for David Willey hitting 34 runs off one Nathan Lyon over. There would have been a few Englishmen pleased to see the Aussie spinner taken to task considering his pre-Ashes barbs.
Willey hit 79 from 36 as he auditioned for an opening berth. It would seem an odd move, though, because Jason Roy and Alex Hales are reliable specialists.
There is no Joe Root, who has been rested, so a pinchitter at No 3 could be Willey's role. There's no Jonny Bairstow, either, who is their top runscorer over the last year.
James Vince, don't be fooled hy his poor Ashes show, is perfect for T20 and he has a decent record while Dawid Malan should slot in well. Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler are stellar.
Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett and Adil Rashid, the man spin threat with Moeen Ali rested, is a decent attack.
The Bellerive is a good track, giving the bowlers a little bit of help through the air to keep the batsmen honest. The four scores from this year's Bash (1-2 denote match won by side batting first or second) read: 164-2/183-1/170-1/165-2.
Australia are [1.76] with England [2.28]. Fair? Possibly. England are not at full throttle in quite the same way as they are in ODI and their form recently is patchy.
Since losing to West Indies in the World T20 final in Kolkata in 2016, they have played nine times and lost five. Last time out they were beaten by the Windies again.
Root's absence should not be taken lightly, either. England have lost five of their last six without him.
But there remains an experimental look to Australia's XI as well. And we're uncomfortable taking odds-on about a team who knows as much about itself as we do.
We respect the flashing blades of Lynn and Maxwell (the market may fear them) but the Roy-Hales combo is as good. So measure for measure we think England are worth a small interest at the odds.
Warner is [3.85] but he's not worth backing until he proves he is out of a horror slump. Short, on his home ground, is [4.0] and Lynn gets a [3.6] quote. Maxwell is [5.3] and with Finch also hovering around the [3.85] mark we'd argue that he is the value.
Roy and Hales are the dashes who will go hard regardless. So at [3.8] and [4.0] respectively you've got to make your peace that it could be a six-and-out show from both men. Morgan and Buttler are the ones with all the class and we wouldn't put you off either. Morgan is [5.5] and Buttler [6.0]. In the last three years they are Nos 4 and 2 on the run charts.
Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l