Leg-spinner to be a key man as Steve Smith prepares to lead Australia in a T20 for the first time
All eyes on Boyce in standalone T20
Having flown halfway around the world for one match, all eyes will be on leg-spinner Cameron Boyce in the one-off T20 against England in Cardiff on Tuesday morning (AEST).
Boyce is the sole specialist T20 player in Australia’s limited-overs squad, and David Warner says the Queenslander’s vast array of deliveries is what has made him a success in the shortest format of the game.
"Cameron’s a very consistent leg-spin bowler," Warner said.
"It’s hard to find a consistent leg-spinner these days.
"He’s got a lot of variations which is great and the key to Twenty20 is mixing it up.
"I’m looking forward to seeing what he can produce.
"We’ve seen him before, and (we’re) really excited to see him and how he goes."
Warner prepares for one-off T20 in Cardiff
Boyce has had a fantastic start to his T20 International career.
Debuting against Pakistan in the UAE last October, he has captured six wickets in four games at 13.66 with a strike-rate of 15.
More importantly, the 26-year-old has conceded only 5.46 runs per over off his bowling.
Boyce was picked for Australia off the back of his sterling KFC Big Bash League performances for the Hobart Hurricanes.
In his two seasons in Hobart, Boyce has taken 20 wickets in 14 matches at 17.5 and helped the club to a Champions League T20 appearance last year.
Stand-in skipper Steve Smith says Boyce’s ability to identify a batsman’s game plan and adapt accordingly is one of his biggest strengths as T20 bowler.
"I think as a leg-spinner you’ve really got to read the batsmen quite well," said Smith. "(And) I think he does that.
"He knows when someone is going to step down at him and try hit him for six, and when they’re going to sit back.
"He adjusts his length and his pace quite well so I’m looking forward to seeing him bowl out here.
"It’s going to be quite tough conditions I reckon with probably a pretty good wicket and short straight boundaries so he’s going to have to adapt there and see how he goes."
Those short straight boundaries could cause Boyce and his fellow bowlers issues if they overpitch on Monday night.
The average 20-over score batting first in Cardiff this season is 147, and Warner has some advice on how to avoid getting slogged into the adjacent River Taff.
"If the bowlers are smart enough they’ll bowl just short of a length and make you hit to the long boundaries," Warner said.
"As an opening batter (facing the) new ball, you can probably get you can get one or two that’ll be pitched up and try to swing a little bit.
"The key is for the bowlers to bowl that short of a length and if you get one in your half you’ll be trying to hit it out of the park straight."