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Series on the line for must-win England

Despite losing key players to injuries, Australia’s depth should stand it in good stead

Series on the line for must-win England - Cricket News
Moeen Ali celebrates the wicket of George Bailey.
England will fight to stay alive in the series when it faces Australia in the third One-Day International in Manchester on Tuesday (September 8).
Australia leads the five-match series 2-0 after convincing wins in the first two games, but will miss some key players for the remaining matches due to a string of injuries. 
David Warner was first ruled out after suffering a thumb fracture while batting in the second ODI and two more players - Shane Watson and Nathan Coulter-Nile - joined the opener with calf and hamstring injuries respectively. Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb and John Hastings have been called in as replacements.
England has made one change too, with Jonny Bairstow drafted in to replace Jos Buttler, the wicketkeeper-batsman who has been given a break after a busy summer. 
England won the Test series 3-2 and the only Twenty20 International that followed but the world champion has bounced back in the ODI series. The absence of Warner and Watson could be felt but the visitor will take confidence from the fact that it scored in excess of 300 in both matches. Most of Australia's batsmen have been among the runs and Mitchell Marsh, with scores of 40 and 64, has provided strong finishes down the order. 
The presence of Marsh and Wade in the middle order provides Australia depth in batting, but Steven Smith will want his top-order batsmen to convert starts. Australia's bowling is heavy on pace with Mitchell Starc leading the attack and the likes of Marsh, Watson and Maxwell, the only spinner in the first two matches, chipping in. Injuries to Coulter-Nile and Watson will disturb Australia's composition but just like its batting, the bowling too has decent depth in the form of James Pattinson and Hastings.
England, on the other hand, will have to dig deep into its resources to keep the series alive. The top order has got starts but no one has converted them into big knocks, succumbing to scoreboard pressure on both occasions. With Joe Root rested for the series and the remaining batsmen largely inexperienced, the onus is largely on Eoin Morgan. The captain has been in fine form with scores of 38 and 85 in the two matches but will need more support to pose a challenge to Australia.
England's bowling attack is short on experience and apart from Adil Rashid, who picked four wickets in the first game, the remaining bowlers have been largely ineffective against a strong Australian line-up. The pacers have managed only six wickets so far in the series, with Chris Woakes going wicketless in both games.
"Australia are a more experienced side. I don’t think we’ve hit our straps yet in this series," said Steven Finn. "We’ve threatened and shown signs of doing so but I don’t think we’ve done it 100%. If we do, we’re more than capable of winning the next three games."
England may not be the favourite going into the must-win clash, but with Australia being forced to disturb its winning combination, the host will fancy its chances.

Teams (from)
England: Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Moeen Ali, Eoin Morgan (capt), Jonathan Bairstow, Sam Billings, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Taylor, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Australia: Steve Smith, Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell, George Bailey, Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Agar, George Bailey, Joe Burns, James Pattinson, Peter Handscomb, John Hastings.

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