England’s heroic fightback in the 2nd ODI against Australia has earned them a lifeline in avoiding a first ODI series defeat in 5 years on home soil. They would look to capitalize on that and aim for a 10th successive home series win and earn 10 points from the last International Cricket match to be played in the UK this summer.
A fresh, unused wicket will be used for the 3rd One Day International, something that might be in favor of the two England openers. While Jonny Bairstow did get some runs in the first game, albeit a bit uncharacteristically, he and his partner Jason Roy have not been as lethal so far in this series as we have seen them be over the last year or two. Today’s game would serve as the perfect opportunity to get a bulk of runs under their belt and end their home season on a high, take the pressure off the middle-order batsmen, and take the game away within the first few overs in the process.
The same goes for one of their Australian counterparts, David Warner. Other than the half-century in the first T20I, since the World Cup last year, Warner has found it difficult to reach double figures across formats in England. It was Stuart Broad last year who had him on strings, and it is the pace of Jofra Archer that has caused the left-handed opener trouble throughout this summer.
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Warner has been dismissed by the Barbados-born pacer on all 4 occasions he played in across the T20I and the ODI series, although to be fair, all four of those wicket-taking deliveries were almost unplayable. Warner would need a slice of luck and lots of concentration and self-confidence to sign off this tour with a big, potential match-winning innings to break that psychological barrier of being dismissed by the same bowler on English soil.
One major positive that the Australians have derived from this tour is how their bowlers have operated in tandem. While the quicks have applied the pressure and kept the explosive England top-order quiet throughout the ODI series, it was Adam Zampa who has reaped the rewards immensely. Thanks to the opening burst of spells from the likes of Starc and Hazlewood, Zampa, after having his confidence dented in the T20I series, having conceded 22 and 18 runs off consecutive penultimate overs, has responded brilliantly over the course of the ODI series, taking 7 wickets at an average of 13 so far.
Team News – England
Mark Wood’s dodgy ankle helped Sam Curran earn a place in the side, and he did not disappoint, taking 3 lower-order wickets alongside bowling an economical spell. England might not want to rush Wood back into the side straight away, despite playing on a different surface today. An unchanged XI seems to be the order of the day for England.
Probable XI: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Billings, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer
Team news – Australia
Steven Smith was seen practicing in the nets ahead of the 3rd ODI. The Australian batting line-up would heavily benefit from his presence, but Australian coach Justin Langer had said that Smith looked a little rusty upon return and a decision on his availability will be taken right before the game.
Probable XI: David Warner, Aaron Finch (c), Marcus Stoinis/Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
Venue – Old Trafford, Manchester, Lancashire
As mentioned twice earlier, a different pitch from the previous two games will be used for today. Although there is not much knowledge on how the pitch will behave, a new surface will definitely encourage the batsmen. Given the pattern of the series, both sides would want bat first and pile runs up on the board. Once again, an uninterrupted day’s play is expected, although dew might play a part deep into the match.