Australia get their first chance to play in front of the Shane Warne stand as their T20 World Cup final hopes go against England.
But it was a dramatic build-up for the Australians, with confirmation that Matthew Wade has tested positive for Covid and could miss Friday night’s MCG clash.
A big one-game loss to New Zealand left the Aussies in penultimate place in their Group 1 with only the top two teams advancing to next month’s semi-finals.
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The Australians have not beaten England, who suffered an embarrassing defeat by Ireland on Wednesday night, in a T20 international since September 2020.
Read everything you need to know about Australia v England on Friday:
Australia will take on England in their third match of the T20 World Cup with the first ball at 19:00 AEDT at the MCG.
Gates 1 and 3 will open from 1.30pm and those needing gates 2, 4 and 5 will be able to access their seats from 5.30pm.
The innings break is scheduled from 20:30 to 20:50 and the match should be completed by 22:15.
Australian cricketer taking a break | 00:32
On Friday night, England will meet the Australians for the second match in a row.
Melbourne is forecast to receive between 4mm and 6mm of rain with a 90 per cent chance of showers during the day.
But the good news for the two teams is that the chance of rain will drop to just 25 percent by the time the first ball is thrown at 7 p.m.
The air temperature is expected to hover around 11-14 degrees Celsius for the international blockbuster.
HEAD TO HEAD
England lead 3-0 in the last five T20 meetings between the two sides.
14 October 2022 NO SCORE: England 2-112 (12 overs), Australia 3-30 (3.5/12)
12 Oct 2022 ENGLAND WIN by 8 runs: England 7-178, Australia 6-170
9 Oct 2022 ENGLAND WIN by 8 runs: England 6-208, Australia 9-200
31 Oct 2021 ENG WIN by 8 wickets: England 2-126 (11.4), Australia 125
8 Sep 2020 Australia WIN by 5 wickets: Australia 5-146 (19.3), England 6-145
Ireland won a famous victory over England | 01:06
All-rounder Glenn Maxwell was forced to make a mad dash for the Kookaburra Factory in Melbourne on Thursday morning after it was confirmed that the team’s only wicketkeeper, Matt Wade, had tested positive for Covid.
While the Aussies remain confident that Wade will be fit enough to take his place in the side on Friday night, the team opted to play it safe by sending Maxwell out to suit up with the gloves.
Maxwell was trained at the wicket on Thursday, while David Warner emerged as another potential option behind the stumps after taking the gloves in a Test match in 2014.
If Wade is given the green light to play, he will have to travel further away from the team and will not be able to use the same dressing room as his Australian teammates.
Adam Zampa is set to return to the squad to face England after recovering from Covid, while Aaron Finch has backed himself to remain at the top of the Australian order despite a lack of form.
“The only pressure is the expectations you put on yourself,” he told the media on Thursday.
“It’s not much more than a mcg with a full house and a lot on the line.”
As for England, the team is still reeling from the shock of their loss to Ireland, which was blasted by the British press.
Captain Jos Buttler admitted his players were “hurt” after Wednesday night’s T20 humiliation.
“We are very far from where we should be,” he said.
“I’m definitely looking forward to the team’s reaction.”
England were miserable with the ball despite resisting the temptation to rest Mark Wood and Chris Woakes and were five runs short when DLS entered the game due to rain.