Australia is close to proving England’s aggressive brand of cricket was just a one series fluke.
England will take on Australia for the third ODI at Old Trafford, Manchester of the five-match series. Australia is leading the series 2-0 and will be eager to seal the series with the victory at Old Trafford.
After the 59 runs first ODI defeat in Rose Bowl, Southampton England in the second match at the Lord’s lost to Australia by 64 runs. The match was ridden with controversy as Ben Stokes was given out for obstructing the field. But, later Stokes said, he was trying to save him from the throw of Mitchell Starc. The Lord’s match completes setback for England. They have to find a reply to Australia’s challenge. Earlier, in the first match preview I said, even after 3-2 Ashes defeat Australia will come hard at England as the players are different from the Ashes series.
England in the last 12 fifty over game have won only one match, so the alarming bell are ringing for England, as they take the field being at Manchester with an improved side at least on paper, to salvage a win otherwise their much hyped aggressive brand of cricket will be proved as one series fluke.
Both England and Australia will take the field with few changes in their teams. While Australia will start with Aaron Finch, who has come back from the thigh injury, as David Warner has suffered a fractured thumb of Steven Finn’s bowling. Australia’s problem with the injury does not end here as all-rounder Shane Watson will also miss the match. It is expected that Aston Agar, who produced some brilliant performance during Tri-nation series in India will be the replacement of Watson.
Meanwhile, England has also made one change in their playing XI as Jos Buttler is replaced by Jonny Bairstow. England coach Trevor Bayliss welcomed England and Wales Cricket Board decision to call Bairstow. England bowling throughout the series has looked ordinary. Four match old 25-year-old Left-arm quick David Willey might also sneak into the playing XI.
But, Australian bowling attack led by Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins looks lethal. However, Nathan Coulter-Nile will be the third Australian to miss the remaining series as he sustained an injury during the second ODI. It is expected that James Pattionson to Starc and Cummins.
The series is significant in the wake of 2017 Champions Trophy and 2019 World Cup, both will be held in English soil. So, the series is a trial for Australia before the mega event.
England: Jason Roy, Alex Hales, James Taylor, Eoin Morgan (capt), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, David Willey, Liam Plunkett, Steven Finn.
Australia: Aaron Finch, Joe Burns, Steven Smith (capt), George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade (wk), Ashton Agar, Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Pat Cummins.