MANCHESTER-With the series level at 1-1, the winner of the third ODI will take the series in addition to 10 vital points on the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League.

After suffering a collapse in the second ODI to concede a game from an advantageous position for the second time on the tour, Australia will look to get their act right for the third and deciding match on Wednesday. Towards that end, they will hope to be able to include Steve Smith in the playing XI after the star batsman missed the first couple of games over concussion concerns, having taken a blow to the head in training prior to the first ODI. 

England, while they should be delighted about their ability to bounce back from seemingly hopeless situations time and time again, will be keen to identify issues landing them in tough spots in the first place. Worryingly for them, the usually dominant openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow have looked slightly rusty in the two matches. While Bairstow was able to break the shackles for a big score in the first match, Australia’s bowlers didn’t allow that to occur again in the second game. 

As for the bowling side of things, England will be very pleased with how the likes of Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid and Chris Woakes are delivering. It will be interesting to see whether they make room for Mark Wood in the third match after he sat out the previous game. The hosts will hope to extend their early lead on the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League points table. 

After bowling superbly on a pitch with slightly uneven bounce, Australia had England on the mat at 149/8, but a splendid 76-run stand between Tom Curran and Adil Rashid for the ninth wicket carried the hosts to a respectable 231/9. 

The visitors then looked in command of the chase at 144/2 with captain Aaron Finch (73) and Marnus Labuschagne (48) steering the chase expertly. But Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes produced an excellent display of bowling to set the cat among the pigeons as Australia slipped to 147/6 to completely change the complexion of the match. Australia simply were unable to recover thereafter, conceding defeat by 24 runs after a collapse that had strong echoes of their performance in the first T20I on this tour. 

A new pitch offers the prospect of something more in favour of the batsmen, although Old Trafford is usually a good battle between bat and ball on any surface. The forecast is for another dry and bright autumn day, although there have been a few signs of dew being a factor at the very end of the game. 

England captain Eoin Morgan said: “Jofra is obviously an ace and so is Woakesy. It’s our strongest suit. For them to come back like that was outstanding. When they bowl like that they make the captain look good.” Australia leg-spinner Adam Zampa said: “He’s a world-class player and has that experience as well. It’s pretty obvious if Steve Smith is fit, he’s in most cricket teams. I’d hope to have him back for the third game.”


ENGLAND: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer. 

AUSTRALIA: David Warner, Aaron Finch (capt), Marcus Stoinis, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood.