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Can England make it four in a row?

On Australia Day, a packed Adelaide crowd will be hoping to see their team finally make a mark on the series.
Jos Buttler

Overview

Australia v England
Adelaide
4th ODI, 03:20 GMT

England’s one-day juggernaut just keeps on rolling. Three wins from three, the series already in the bag – their first in a bilateral rubber in Australia – and a team desperate to avenge the Test series result by whitewashing Australia here.

It’s the fourth day/night match of this five-game series, and Adelaide on Australia Day is braced to see if the hosts can halt the English charge.

Australia’s plans have been hampered by an injury to their form man, Aaron Finch. After posting hundreds in the opening two fixtures and 62 in the third, Finch has been ruled out with what Cricket Australia describes as a “minor right hamstring strain”.

Glenn Maxwell has been called up as cover, and could feature as Australia seek to maximise their hitting potential, but the left-handed Travis Head is also in the running to take Finch’s place. Head was dropped after the first two matches of the current series, but last year against Pakistan he made his maiden ODI century on Australia Day at Adelaide, so has fond memories of the occasion.

England will be full of confidence. After two cool run-chases in the opening matches underscored by Joe Root, the third match at Sydney saw a stunning counter-assault from Jos Buttler – his 83-ball hundred the slowest of his five ODI centuries to date – before a classy fielding performance held Australia at bay. Their 16-run victory clinched the series at the earliest opportunity.

Key players

Marcus Stoinis (Aus)
Australia’s wardrobe-shaped all-rounder is beginning to make his mark in international cricket. After 11 ODIs he averages 66, helped by that extraordinary 146* (11 sixes) against New Zealand in January last year, and he has made two fine half-centuries in this series already. His bowling has yet to catch fire for Australia but with an economy rate of just over 5 across his List-A career, he offers a useful containing option in the middle overs for Steve Smith.

Marcus Stoinis is averaging 66 in ODIs
Marcus Stoinis is averaging 66 in ODIs

Mark Wood (Eng)
It’s one of the feel-good stories of this England team. Wood’s had more than his share of injury problems and his pace through the air was sorely missed in the Test series. But now he’s back, fit and firing, spearheading England’s seam attack. He was excellent at Sydney, removing Cameron White with the new ball and then returning mid-innings to find Steve Smith’s edge.

Mark Wood, England's fastest bowler, is fit and firing
Mark Wood, England's fastest bowler, is fit and firing

Conditions

While the recently-installed drop-in pitch at Adelaide has generally been found to be true and consistent with good pace and carry, overhead conditions for the Test match in December – at least once the lights took effect – offered the seamers plenty of assistance. Weather is set to be partly cloudy, but with no chance of any rain interruptions.

Teams (possible)

Australia
David Warner, Travis Head, Cameron White, Steve Smith (c), Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Adam Zampa

England
Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood

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Standings

Group A

Pos Team P NRR Pts
1 England 3 +1.045 6
2 Bangladesh 3 +0.000 3
3 Australia 3 -0.992 2
4 New Zealand 3 -1.058 1

Group B

Pos Team P NRR Pts
1 India 3 +1.370 4
2 Pakistan 3 -0.680 4
3 South Africa 3 +0.167 2
4 Sri Lanka 3 -0.798 2

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