NatWest Series 2013: Key Players in England vs. Australia Third ODI

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NatWest Series 2013: Key Players in England vs. Australia Third ODI
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England host Australia at Edgbaston on Wednesday looking to bounce back in the third one-day international of the five-match Natwest Series.

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After the first match was abandoned due to rain, Australia gained a small measure of revenge for their comprehensive Ashes defeat by comfortably defeating England by 88 runs at Old Trafford on Sunday.

With more bad weather expected in Birmingham, both sides will be looking to make the most of their time on the field—even if it ultimately decides that a result is not possible.

With the hope that the match isn't a washout like the first ODI, here's a look at some of the players who will be key on Wednesday.

 

Boyd Rankin, England

The resting of some of England's Ashes heroes opened up spaces for less experienced players in the squad for this series, and Boyd Rankin took full advantage.

The former Ireland international only made his ODI debut for England last week, but impressed by taking 4-46 against his old country. 

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He was then the only England player to emerge with some credit after the defeat in Manchester, having managed two wickets for just 49 runs in his 10 overs. 

The seamer has spoken about his dream, according to a report by Agence France-Presse, of playing in the winter Ashes down under, and if he continues to progress, then he may well stand a chance of being included in the travelling party.

With his recent form in mind, Rankin looks certain to play a key role in England's bowling attack on Wednesday and for the rest of the series.

 

Michael Clarke, Australia

The hero of Australia's win on Sunday, Michael Clarke scored 105 off 102 balls to help his side take a well-deserved series lead.

The Aussie skipper endured a painful Ashes series, struggling for personal form while the rest of his team failed to match the hosts in almost every Test.

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But the experienced batsmen looked back to his best on Sunday and will be determined to lead his country to a series victory, if only to prove that Australia are a better team than they showed when battling for the famous urn.

If Clarke can continue his dominating form with the bat, then England's bowlers will be in for a difficult day indeed.

 

Kevin Pietersen, England

Arguably England's best batsman, Kevin Pietersen was surprisingly not rested by the England selectors like many of his senior team-mates.

The 33-year-old had a mixed Ashes series, but did manage 60 in England's defeat to Australia in the second ODI.

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

However, with nine ODI centuries to his name, leaving him behind only Marcus Trescothick in England's all-time list, Pietersen is an expert when it comes to the one-day format.

One of the most experienced members of the squad, the South African-born batsman will be expected to lead by example at Edgbaston.

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