England vs. Australia: Preview and Last-Minute Predictions for Third ODI

Christopher Atkins@@chris_elasticoContributor ISeptember 11, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 08:  Shane Watson of Australia celebrates dismissing Kevin Pietersen of England during the 2nd NatWest Series ODI between England and Australia at Old Trafford on September 8, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Gareth Copley/Getty Images

England take on Australia in the third one-day international of the 2013 NatWest Series on Wednesday evening, with the limited-overs roadshow moving on to Edgbaston for the latest clash between the two sides.

Australia currently hold a slender 1-0 series advantage, following an 88-run victory at Old Trafford on Sunday, but they will be far from confident following a thoroughly disappointing summer in which they failed to perform in both the ICC Champions Trophy and Ashes series.

The BBC suggests that the weather could be an issue for the day-night clash, with outbreaks of rain predicted through the afternoon.

Per BBC Sport, seam bowlers Chris Jordan and Jamie Overton could make their England debuts if an extra bowler is required, with Alan Gardner of ESPNCricinfo also suggesting the inclusion of Jordan in a return to a five-man bowling attack.

Head coach Ashley Giles will hope any changes inspire a better result for his side, having been forced to respond to criticism on Tuesday over the decision to rest key players for the series, per Andy Wilson of the Guardian.

Both sides go into the clash having won three of their last five ODIs, and with the teams ranked second and third in the world per the ICC rankings, it should be a fantastic contest.



1. A shortened match, or even an abandonment, are both on the cards, given the forecast for rain throughout the afternoon.

2. Per CricketGroundStats.com, the average first-innings ODI score at Edgbaston since 2000 is 232. The average chase, however, is just 189. Whichever side bat first will have to defend anything in the region of 250-260 if the full 50 overs are bowled.

3. England will look to Boyd Rankin once more as their man to shine with the ball, with the Warwickshire bowler on his home ground. In his three limited-overs outings at the ground this season, including two Twenty20 games, Rankin has taken five wickets at an average of eight, per Cricinfo.

4. Ravi Bopara, meanwhile, will be England's best chance of posting a big score on the ground. Bopara averaged 91 against Australia in ODIs last summer, per the Express, and scored a quick-fire 46 against the same opposition at Edgbaston earlier this year, per Justin Goulding of BBC Sport.

5. For Australia, George Bailey has made two half-centuries at Edgbaston in recent months, against New Zealand and England in the ICC Champions Trophy. Averaging 46 in this format and having scored 82 just a few days ago in Manchester, per Cricinfo, he looks a solid bet to top score for Australia.