Australia will look to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the one day international series against England when the two teams meet in Edgbaston on Wednesday. We’ll have live scores and commentary from 11.00pm AEST.
It was a near-perfect performance from Australia in the second ODI to go 1-0 up after the opener was rained out.
They batted well to get to 315 for the loss of seven wickets and then pegged England back early, which prevented any chance of an English comeback into the game.
Michael Clarke’s first ODI century against England and an aggressive 82 in a supporting role from George Bailey set the foundation for that huge total.
Mitchell Johnson’s fiery opening spell was well supported by Clint McKay’s three-wicket haul and wickets for every Australian bowler who took up the attack.
Eoin Morgan’s decision to field first may have been surprising to some but the Australian captain – who wanted to bat first himself – said it wasn’t surprising given how well England chase.
The selection of the team may only be partially his decision but the fans will hope he – or the selectors – see that the attack lacks teeth at the moment.
In Steven Finn they have a bowler searching for rhythm. Boyd Rankin is still finding his feet for newly-adopted country.
And there is Ben Stoke as their third seamer, a bowling all-rounder who had an underwhelming day in the second ODI.
Without a front third pace bowler, England’s bowling attack lacks the edge. Add the fact that James Tredwell had an off day as well and it’s easy to see why Australia got to 315.
Chris Jordan may replace Stokes in the line-up if reports are to be believed, which should add more of bowling strength to the side.
And while Luke Wright’s in the squad, Michael Carberry will get another chance to open the innings with Kevin Pietersen, despite the Hampshire opener’s previous game failure.
Australia won’t look to change anything around but will want Shane Watson to come good.
Since the end of the Ashes series the likes of Shaun Marsh, Aaron Finch, Michael Clarke and George Bailey have all got going one time or the other and the onus will be on Watson now.
Bowling-wise, Australia have a better line-up.
Mitchell Johnson has shown signs of returning to his best and his pace and bounce made life difficult for the English batsmen.
Clint McKay and James Faulkner gave him good company and it will now be interesting to see how Fawad Ahmed responds to what should be repeat tactics from the previous game against him – the batsmen will look to take him on.
Follow the live score and blog of this third ODI from 11.00pm AEST. You can join me for this live blog and post your comments below.