Australia Aim to Avoid White Wash as World T20 Looms Around
England backed up their eight-run win in the series opener with another victory with the same margin in the second game. Now, day by day, match by match, we are getting closer to the real thing – the T20 World Cup. The third and final game of the series between Australia and England will be their last T20I before the big event. So, it’s their final chance to tinker with the team combination and the playing XI.
England have found a new hero – Sam Curran – in this series, and their batters are looking in fine touch. The pacers have also done well, but Jordan was all over the place in the second match. Also, Adil Rashid has not found his groove in this series and has struggled to adapt to Aussie conditions. So, it’s a great chance for both of them to return to their best.
In contrast, Australia’s leggie, Adam Zampa, has bowled well in this series. Their batters have threatened England in both games but have fallen short on both occasions. After getting bossed by visitors in the first two games, this is their last chance to get some winning momentum before the World Cup.
Players To Keep An Eye On
Harry Brook scored 238 runs against Pakistan with an average of 79.33 and a strike rate of 163.01 in a seven-match T20I series. However, he only managed 13 runs in 12 balls in this series’ first two games. If Liam Livingstone regains his fitness in time, he can come into the side for Brook. So, Brook will be eyeing a big score to cement his #5 position.
Aaron Finch is striking at just 124.14 in the last two years in T20I cricket. His technique of lurking on the backfoot hasn’t done him any good in the recent past. The Aussie skipper desperately needs a good outing to regain his form.
Ben Stokes vs Adam Zampa
Stokes has struggled in this three-match series so far and was cleaned up by Zampa in the second T20I. These two are likely to face each other again in the series’ final game, and Stokes will try to go big against the leg spinner.
Tim David vs Sam Curran
The hard-hitting Australian batsman cruised to 43 of 20 in the last game before having his poles knocked over by the left-arm pacer. If they face each other again at the death, it’s gonna be an exciting dogfight to witness.
England can consider giving another game to Mark Wood. If it happens, Topley will be rested.
Probable XI: Jos Buttler (c & wk), Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, David Willey, Adil Rashid, Reece Topley/Mark Wood
Having already lost the series, Australia should play Steve Smith to assess his form and fitness.
Probable XI: David Warner, Aaron Finch (c), Mitchell Marsh/Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
Weather and Conditions
There’s a forecast for some rain earlier in the day, but the weather is expected to clear up before the match. The first six overs will be crucial in both innings as the new ball moves around a bit in Canberra. A first innings score of 170 could be a hard one to chase.
What They Said?
“The way this team is balanced, if we get to a certain stage in the game, everyone is pretty flexible in where they are gonna bat. That’s always been the case.”
David Malan said England would keep tinkering with their batting order during the World Cup.
“In the middle, it’s a role that I’ve played on different occassions over the last period of time. It’s changed from two in the powerplay and two at the death to one in the powerplay, two in the middle, and one at the death.”
Mitchell Starc is confident about his role in the middle overs.