Australia v England
3rd ODI, 03:20 GMT
It was very much a case of ‘as you were’ in the second ODI at The Gabba. Just as in Melbourne, Aaron Finch made a hundred as Australia set a sub-par total batting first only for England’s confident line-up to make light work of the chase.
In Brisbane they brought in the extra batsman, Cameron White, in place of leg-spinner Adam Zampa, but that call could well be reversed for the third ODI, with Australia hyper-aware of the need to take wickets to halt the march of England’s hitters.
To that end Steve Smith will also warmly welcome back Josh Hazlewood (from illness) and Pat Cummins (rested) to join Mitchell Starc for the first time since the Sydney Ashes Test, and ask his first-choice pace trio to do the damage required. Jhye Richardson and Andrew Tye could make way.
England meanwhile are brimming with self-belief: they have a varied bowling attack and back themselves to chase down totals well in excess of 300 regularly. Unless Australia’s middle order can support the work of Aaron Finch at the top, the tourists look likely to take an unassailable 3-0 lead.
Judging by the last four ODIs here, this is a 300+ pitch. We’re set for a bright, sunny day of 30 degree temperatures, with a bit of breeze in the afternoon. A lovely day for cricket, and run-making in particular.
Josh Hazlewood (Aus)
Mitchell Starc showed just what a difference quality pace can make by taking four wickets in Brisbane – and how Smith would have loved to give him another few overs. This time, Starc will be sharing the new ball with Hazlewood, whose ODI record (average 23.85, strike-rate 30.5) is stellar. If he can hit the seam and nip out a couple of England’s top order early Australia will finally have a chance to get their opponents’ behind in the game and under pressure.
Jos Buttler (Eng)
Yet to be fully called upon so far but lilely to play a bigger role from No.6 now Australia have a full strength bowling line-up, Buttler’s destructive strokeplay and cool head could be crucial for England in Sydney. The vice-captain made 42 from 32 balls last time out – pedestrian by his standards – and will be itching for big runs in the third. Eoin Morgan’s side just need to give him a platform to deliver.
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Steve Smith (c); Pat Cummins; Aaron Finch; Josh Hazlewood; Travis Head; Mitchell Marsh; Tim Paine; Jhye Richardson; Mitchell Starc; Marcus Stoinis; Andrew Tye; David Warner; Cameron White; Adam Zampa
Eoin Morgan (c); Moeen Ali; Jonny Bairstow; Jake Ball; Sam Billings; Jos Buttler; Tom Curran; Alex Hales; Dawid Malan; Liam Plunkett; Adil Rashid; Joe Root; Jason Roy; David Willey; Chris Woakes; Mark Wood