Brad Hodge is set to make a long-awaited comeback into the Australia side in the 2nd T20 against England. Reuters
Brad Hodge is set to make a long-awaited comeback into the Australia side in the 2nd T20 against England. Reuters

Brad Hodge will be the cynosure in the 2nd T20 between Australia and England in Melbourne, with the veteran batsman making a much-awaited comeback into the international fold following a surprise call up.

Where to Watch Live

The game is scheduled for a 7.35 pm AEDT (2.05 pm IST) start with live coverage on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports HD1 in India. The match can also be watched via live streaming online in India HERE. Catch the action in Australia HERE, while UK viewers can live stream the match HERE. The game can be live streamed online in the US HERE, while Africa viewers can catch all the action live online HERE.

Hodge has not donned Australia colours for six years, and had thought his international career was over, only for the selectors to name the right-handed tyro in the squad to face England.

The 39-year-old certainly has some serious capabilities in the shortest format of the sport, what being the highest run scorer in T20 cricket, and the veteran said he was quite surprised by his selection.

"I never thought this day would come," Hodge said. "It's a pleasing day to wake up. The sun was shining this morning. I got the call from [national chairman of selectors] John Inverarity and it was a nice, pleasant surprise.

"I've probably had the game for a long time. I don't really need to call on anything else other than experience to know exactly what I can do. It's nice to be able to get into this group again and feel what it's like. It's been a long time.

"I never gave up trying to achieve what I wanted to achieve, and that was to play for Australia (but) I guess I felt that if things weren't going to happen before, they certainly weren't going to happen now, but with a new regime, it's come my way, which is very pleasing."

Hodge has been quite impressive in the Big Bash as well as the IPL over the years, and the right-hander is just another dangerous player that England have to deal with now, having lost the first T20 handsomely on Wednesday in Hobart.

The match was much easier than the 13-run win suggested, with Ravi Bopara's six-hitting fireworks coming well after the match was quite out of the visiting side's hands.

The score stands at 10-1 in Australia's favour at the moment, with the Ashes going 5-0 and the ODI series 4-1, and England will be more than desperate to try and win the final two T20 matches, starting with the one on Friday at the MCG.

"A lot of Twenty20 is based around momentum," England batsman Alex Hales said. "These two games coming up are huge for us heading into Barbados where we are playing against a very strong West Indies side who are the current World Cup holders for Twenty20.

"I'm looking forward to turning this series around and hopefully winning 2-1. It's a huge game; any international game of cricket is particularly playing at the MCG in front of what is going to be a huge crowd. It's a must-win game for this series."

Team news: Australia: It will be a bit of an anti-climax if Hodge is not included in the playing XI, with Moises Henriques or Daniel Christian the likely men to make way. George Bailey might also decide to make a fast bowling change with Josh Hazlewood proving to be a little on the expensive side in the 1st T20.

England: Spinner Danny Briggs was tonked for quite a few on Wednesday, and could be replaced by off-spinner James Tredwell.

Expected lineups: Australia: Aaron Finch, Cameron White, Brad Hodge, Glenn Maxwell, George Bailey (capt), Chris Lynn, Daniel Christian, Matthew Wade, Kane Richardson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Muirhead.

England: Michael Lumb, Alex Hales, Luke Wright, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Joss Buttler, Ravi Bopara, Ben Stokes, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, James Tredwell.