England vs Australia 3rd ODI Preview: Steve Smith set to be back in winner-take-all clash
Both teams have a good shot at winning the series, but you never know which Australia shows up.
Venue - Old Trafford, Manchester
Start time - 12:00 PM GMT/1:00 PM LOCAL
Head to Head - England: 63 Australia: 83 No Result: 3
Weather - Partly cloudy, 9-19°C, Precipitation: 10%, Humidity: 75%, Wind: 19 km/h
Just like England bounced back with all their force when the chips were down in the first T20I, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer brought them back into the match when they were done for all money in the 2nd ODI.
Similarly, just like Australia threw it away in the opening match of the T20I series after being in the driver's seat, they choked again and lost a match by a considerable margin of 24 runs - a game which they should have won 10 times out of 10.
Archer sets the pace
A target of 232 was not the easiest, given that the Emirates Old Trafford surface in Manchester was playing all sorts of tricks, with the ball cutting off the surface and also stopping before coming to the batsmen. This is why a number of dismissals were played on or bowled as the batsmen were deceived off the surface.
David Warner has been a disappointment for Australia on the tour and was dismissed yet again by Jofra Archer in the fourth over of the innings. Marcus Stoinis was looking good but got a brute of a delivery from Jofra Archer and couldn't do much about it.
England's counter punch
Aaron Finch and Marnus Labuschagne then steadied the ship with a 100+ partnership and at 144/2 in the 31st over, Australia were cruising along. This is when Eoin Morgan decided to bring back Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes as his last recourse.
Fortunately for him, the bowlers delivered with Labuschagne dismissed lbw off Woakes, just two runs short of his half-century. A flurry of wickets followed as Australia kept digging themselves into a hole.
Mitchell Marsh, Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell, all departed in quick succession. Surprisingly, all were bowled - a dismissal not that common at the highest level.
Alex Carey tried to find the boundary, but with little success. In his 41-ball stay at the crease, in which Carey scored 36 runs, he hit only two boundaries, that too towards the end of the innings. In an attempt to smash an Adil Rashid googly out of the park, he was stumped in the penultimate over as Australia fell short by 24 runs.
Australian bowlers succeed on slow pitch
Earlier, Jonny Bairstow was claimed by Mitchell Starc early on. Jason Roy was beginning to find his feet but was run-out by Stoinis. Joe Root and Eoin Morgan then struggled to middle the ball due to the sluggish nature of the surface, but did well to add 61 runs, during which time the England batsmen also got a feel of the surface.
The most crucial contributions, however, came from Chris Woakes, Tom Curran and Adil Rashid. England ran the risk of getting bundled up for 160-170 when Woakes was dismissed, with the team reeling at 149/8. However, Curram and Rashid added 76 runs to give the England score some respectability.
Mitchell Starc and Adam Zampa were the leading bowlers for the side. They were not only economical but also shared five wickets between them. Josh Hazlewood, like in the first game, was almost impossible to get away.
Morgan walks the talk
The victory in the second ODI was even sweeter for Eoin Morgan after he called for slower surfaces for England to prepare for the upcoming T20 as well as ODI World Cup in India. They had their wishes fulfilled as the team played on the used surface.
Morgan and company did struggle a bit, especially with the bat, but did well to adjust to the conditions and produce the goods.
Smith good to go after successful concussion test
England were not expected to make any changes to their playing XI but Mark Wood pulled up a bit stiff, while the medium pace of Sam Curran was preferred over the spin of Moeen Ali as a tactical move. Now that the series is on the line and the team that they played in the last match seemed to be their best XI, Morgan is not expected to make any changes.
For Australia, Steve Smith who passed a concussion test on Saturday and was declared fit for the game, is expected to make a comeback. The Australian management did not play him as a precautionary measure, but with the series on the line, he is expected to be back in place of Marcus Stoinis.
Here's the probable playing XI of both teams:
England - Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Billings, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer
Australia - Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc
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