England vs Australia: Third ODI Preview

Can England claim the series win when they face Australia in the third of five ODIs at Trent Bridge on Tuesday 19 June. 

England are just one win away from sealing an unassailable three-nil series lead, while Australia have slipped to their lowest ODI ranking in more than 30 years - and require at least one win this month to get back above fifth-placed Pakistan.

The second ODI said a lot about the hosts' solidity and the tourists' fragility - and the third will bring another test of both. The home side need to consolidate, while the visitors require swift correction.

England vs Australia | Tuesday, 19 June | Trent Bridge, Nottingham | 15:00

To Win Match
England 52/100 
Tie 35/1 
Australia 31/20

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The English were without captain Eoin Morgan for the second match. His return from injury remains in the balance, leaving Jos Buttler in line to lead the XI again. His two-month purple patch continues, with a successful Indian Premier League campaign, fruitful Test return - and now the ODI promotion - catapulting him to the fore of England's World Cup plans.

The temptation to draft Tom Curran into the XI is evident. He can hold his own with the bat - among a string of all-rounders - and would certainly offer plenty with the ball. As shown by Australian Andrew Tye, the need for a masterful slower ball is in high demand - and Curran certainly possesses this in his artillery. Trent Bridge conditions could be particularly kind to his art.

Also in line with World Cup experimentation, now might be the time to open the batting with Alex Hales - and drop Jonny Bairstow to the middle order. This could momentarily stifle Bairstow's progress, but the need to empower Hales is greater. Either way, both will want to again capitalise on the opposition's penchant for offering too much width to such free-flowing stroke makers.

England have won only 50 percent of their last dozen ODIs at Tuesday's venue. Two of their four defeats came consecutively at the hands of the Aussies. That was back in 2009, though, when the tourists were far more formidable than they are now. The damp weather that interfered with Saturday's second ODI will likely do the same 72 hours later, with a 50 percent chance of rain predicted.

Like England with Morgan, the Aussies have a few injury concerns of their own. Captain Tim Paine copped a nasty blow to the face at Sophia Gardens, while fast bowler Billy Stanlake is still on the mend with a foot injury. If Stanlake remains sidelined, Jhye Richardson is expected to retain his place. Alex Carey would come in for Paine - and Aaron Finch would probably be named captain.

While D'Arcy Short's call-up to the ODI unit has been a while coming, batting Finch in the middle order seems counter-intuitive. The better combination would see Finch pushed to the top - and Travis Head drop down to four or five. This is complicated by Glenn Maxwell's presence - he too, arguably, could be afforded more time at the crease.

The Aussies simply can't afford to let Jason Roy and Bairstow run away with the opening powerplay again. Tighter lines, wicket to wicket, must be bowled time and time again. Tye is being held back a bit too long, for many pundits' liking. As is the case with Curran, conditions in Nottingham - especially if the Australians bowl first - could play right into Tye's hands.

Is now the time to get Nathan Lyon into the XI? Probably. Should he be playing ahead of or alongside Ashton Agar? The latter. The pair are tipped to do well in tandem - and the visitors can't afford to lose Agar's prowess with the bat. This would leave tremendous responsibility on the shoulders of Marcus Stoinis with the ball, as another seamer - perhaps, at a push, Richardson or Tye - would need to be dropped.

Verdict: England 52/100
While Australia's recent ODI record at Trent Bridge is stronger than England's, that was then and this is now. The home side will wrap up the series - and then set their sights on a five-nil whitewash.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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