September is upon us, schools are going back, nights are drawing in, but the cricketing treats just keep on coming in this most delayed gratification of a summer schedule.
There was a time, not so long ago, when the prospect of this many white-ball games against Australia this deep into an English season would fill most of the home contingent with dread - the most damning example coming in Australia's 6-1 filleting of Andrew Strauss's sated side in 2009, although the same autumnal fate awaited England's Ashes winners in 2013 and 2015 too.
Right now, however, what would any of us rather be tuning into? Having waited so long for this season even to begin, and having doubted for longer still that Australia would actually show up for their share of the action, here we are, with the prospect of six more contests to round off the summer and give the impression, statistically speaking at least, that 2020 was actually a fairly standard season after all - blighted by English rain, obviously, but nothing else untoward, surely?
As Mark Wood put it in his typically effusive tones on Wednesday, and Eoin Morgan reiterated on Thursday, there's something special about an Anglo-Aussie clash, regardless of context. It's England's biggest rivalry, and the oldest, and the fact that Australia come in as the No.1-ranked side in T20Is merely adds to the two team's desires to, on the one hand defend that status, and on the other to knock them down a peg.
Australia arrive with a quietly formidable side, powered by a pair of quicks in Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins who would grace any team in the world, backed up by the established twin-spin pairing of Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar, and with Aaron Finch and David Warner leading off a batting line-up that will feature the unfettered talents of Glenn Maxwell for the first time in 2020, following his decision to take a break for his mental health last October.